The Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy and Suhner Manufacturing have partnered to create another manufacturing internship program for students.

The company makes flexible shafts and casings for multiple industries such as the aerospace, automotive, lawn and garden and medical fields.

Suhner’s plant off Anderson Drive uses robots and programmable logic controllers similar to those that college and career academy students utilize in Kevin Van Der Horn’s robotics and engineering pathway.

Suhner Vice President of Operations Michael Brown said the program is similar to a full apprenticeship program the company has used at its home plant in Switzerland for decades.

“We’re excited to do it here also because the company really supports the education of the younger generation,” Brown said.

Unlike the apprenticeship program in Europe, the company has met individually with each of the six local students.

“We’re giving them exposure to design work and some project management skills,” Brown said. “We want to expose them to a lot of different themes. They’re putting together a portfolio of their experiences so when they leave here they will be able to show off examples of what they have done during the internship.”

The students from Model High School are Patrick Clarke, Jacob Jenkins, Daniel Schabort and Joseph Wallace. The students from Coosa High School are Adrian Zavala and Timothy Obenlander.

Hoping to become an electrician, Wallace said work on the refurbishment of machinery at Suhner has been tremendously beneficial.

“We’re still getting new stuff we can do every other day,” Wallace said.

Showing interest in the cabling technologies the company manufactures for transportation related applications, Zavala said he’s hoping to become a pilot.

Clarke is hoping for a career in industrial engineering and has really enjoyed a lot of the design work he’s been exposed to.

Jenkins hopes to use the internship to help him get a foot in the door for a career in automotive engineering. The design knowledge he’s getting at Suhner will help simplify the steps that need to be taken with automotive applications, he said.

With oversight from Brown, global quality assurance manager Jon Baker and continuous improvement manager Josh Blasius have been working closely with the students on lean manufacturing principles and methodologies.

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