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Tennessee’s Storm Copper Components Supports the Manufacturing Industry by Training Future Workers

MARCH, 22, 2014 —

Storm Copper Components in Decatur, Tennessee is giving local schools and universities the support they need to groom students into talented, qualified candidates for the manufacturing industry. The copper manufacturer expresses this commitment with its STEM program to teach high school students about the manufacturing sector, and through Storm Interns, its internship and apprentice program. In addition, Storm provides financial support through its partnership with Tennessee Technical Center, providing Engineering School scholarships, and through corporate sponsorships that support Southern Polytechnic State University students who design, build, and race electric vehicles.

To foster interest in today’s manufacturing environment, Storm’s president Carol Howard is an active partner with Meigs County High School, where she presents the STEM program, teaching about manufacturing with the goal of enabling successful graduates to enter into the Storm workforce in a supervisory-level position. Howard teaches students advanced mathematics, interviewing skills, and blueprint reading.

“Today’s manufacturing environment isn’t the noisy, dirty, stressful workplace of yesterday,” states Howard. “Current manufacturing jobs require technical skills and specialized training. Storm is dedicated to job readiness and we go to where the students are, from the high school to college level. Our programs and resources focus on teaching students technical and professional skills, so they are not only job-ready, but real-life-ready as well.” Scott Moon, who co-teaches with Howard, provides a real-life success story to students: Moon is a Meigs County High School graduate, and one of Storm’s lead engineers.

Another way Storm is fostering interest in the manufacturing industry and encouraging students to gain practical experience is through corporate sponsorship. Storm is the exclusive power components sponsor of the Electric Vehicles Team at Southern Polytechnic State University. Through involved corporate sponsorship, Storm is helping this team achieve their goal of having electric vehicles race-day-ready for international competitions. 

Many new manufacturing jobs require at least a two-year tech degree to complement artisan skills such as welding or milling. Over the past three years, Storm has provided much-needed financial aid to educate future CNC machinists through a scholarship program at Tennessee Technical Center.

Failure to Launch, a recent report by the Georgetown Center for Education and Workforce details the need for workplace readiness programs. “The on-ramp to career requires more entry-level preparation than it did for previous generations,” says Anthony Carnevale, center director and lead author of the study. “The formula for career success today is more complicated than simply getting a college degree.” That’s where the components manufacturer’s expanded apprentice and internship program–Storm Interns–bridges the divide.

“Through Storm internships, students have opportunities to learn about our industry and to garner some real-world experience in their chosen field before they graduate,” says Kimberley Kelly, Storm Copper Marketing Director. “Internships are a true win-win for all parties involved. Storm has access to fresh, bright, talented people who have yet to enter the job market, and students have the opportunity to put into action what they are learning before going to work full-time,” says Kelly. “We deliberately create summer plans tailored for each of our interns. Students spend the summer immersed in real projects with tangible business outcomes.”

Several recent, highly successful internships have resulted in a full-time position, industry exposure, professional experience, and interviewing skill development. Storm is currently recruiting for interns in engineering and market research. Job descriptions for current internship opportunities can be found on the Storm Facebook page, or on the Storm website.