Original Date: 09/15/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Technical Scholars Program
United Defense, L.P. Ground Systems Division Aiken’s Technical Scholars Program provides students and the company the opportunity to join forces and create a strong labor force. Outstanding students bring discipline and aptitude to production processes while the company provides educational support and long-term opportunities for interns.
United Defense, L.P. Ground Systems Division (UDLP GSD) Aiken implemented the Technical Scholars Program through Aiken Technical College (ATC), which prepares qualified students for careers as skilled technicians through a cooperative arrangement that combines classroom theory with practical on-the-job experience. Previously, UDLP GSD Aiken supported ATC by serving on advisory committees and contacting the college for referrals when openings became available for student post graduation enlistments at the facility. However, UDLP GSD Aiken wanted more formal process options.
Currently, qualified students can attain an associate’s degree while working/interning for UDLP GSD Aiken up to 20 hours per week. The facility pays all tuition, book expenses, and provides a working wage to the student. Students are selected based on their ability to complete academic and experiential curriculums. Besides the monetary benefit, students secure a rewarding career with UDLP GSD Aiken, attain advanced technology and production experience, and aid in mastering the technical degree. The pay scale increases as students gain experience, ethics, and certifications. UDLP GSD Aiken benefits by having direct access to the most promising technical labor with proven learning capacity. Management evaluates the interns for future, full-time employment while they work part-time and acquire important production knowledge. UDLP GSD Aiken realizes that students capable of attaining an ATC associate’s degree are well-rounded and likely to achieve further educational qualifications.
On UDLP GSD Aiken’s shop floor, the latest academic processes and methods are openly discussed and compared to plant practices and production processes. The interns’ knowledge of the learned technical efficiencies from their production experience are communicated to other ATC students. Annual and quarterly meetings are held with ATC and include an open dialogue. By teaming with ATC, UDLP GSD Aiken received the Silver Crescent Award, the State of South Carolina’s prestigious manufacturing award.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.