Imperial launches new Co-op Program with student Karen Gomez

Over the last 73 years we've learned the importance of getting young folks involved in manufacturing. Without engaged and talented employees our industry can't move forward. Typically we rely on apprenticeships to bring in young folks. We provide comprehensive in-house training; letting these young men and women work alongside some of the most talented craftsmen and machinists in the industry.

More recently we partnered with the Monroe Career & Technical Institute to establish a student co-op program. Our new co-op program allows young folks still in high school to get a taste of the manufacturing world. Our first MCTI co-op is Karen Gomez.

 Karen working on her Haas CNC machining center

Karen working on her Haas CNC machining center

Karen has been a fantastic addition to the Imperial team. She's proved to be a quick learner, starting out in our complex-assembly department while going through our CNC machining training program, and then moving up to running a CNC machining center on our manufacturing floor. It's this hands-on learning that makes all the difference. 

Karen and Imperial's Director of Operations Mike Clifford recently attended the Monroe County Cooperative Education awards dinner, highlighting the accomplishments of Karen and a few other young folks who are getting real-world manufacturing experience.

 Imperial's Director of Operations Mike Clifford (left) and student Karen Gomez (center) at the 2017 MCTI Co-op Awards Dinner

Imperial's Director of Operations Mike Clifford (left) and student Karen Gomez (center) at the 2017 MCTI Co-op Awards Dinner

Karen plans to study engineering in college, but believes her hands-on experience at Imperial will directly help in her academic career. "I think it's a lot easier to learn about a new topic if you have something to relate it to. I'd never worked with metal before. After making metal parts on a CNC machine I think it will be easier to relate classroom topics to the real world."

Karen will be working with Imperial for a few more months. We'll be sad to see her go, but we're excited for the next phase of her education and career.

It's bright young folks like Karen who give us hope about the future of American manufacturing.