With an eye toward helping to grow the region’s pool of talented, qualified STEM employees, the Office of Career Services at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has launched a four-year employer engagement plan – known as the i4 program – to match UAH students with corporate employers in a more meaningful, engaging way than that offered by traditional recruiting strategies.
“The i4 program is changing the way students and employers interact by creating a long-term relationship between candidates and potential employers,” says Candace Phillips, the senior coordinator in UAH’s Office of Career Services. “This program is an innovative way to support employers who are committed to building a pipeline of talented new hires who have hands-on experience in the professional workplace before graduation.”
The concept initially began as a mentoring program in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation, but it has evolved significantly in response to the needs of both the students and employers taking part. “This model is unique to UAH,” says Phillips, who recently presented it at the Cooperative Education & Internship Association’s Annual Conference in Charleston, SC. “We spent nearly a year developing it, and it’s received a lot of attention.”