Celebrating 25 Years: Co-Ops Hit the Ground Running
On-the-job training provides valuable career experience. And for 25 years, Honda’s manufacturing and manufacturing support operations have opened their doors to qualified interns and co-ops. Since then, nearly 3,000 college students have participated in the co-op program at Honda of America Mfg., Honda North America (HNA), Honda Engineering North America (EGA), Honda Transmission Mfg. and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana.
Across the region, Honda co-ops gain experience by working with full-time associates in areas such as equipment installation, product quality troubleshooting and talent acquisition.
“Since 1994, thousands of students have gained valuable work experience through the Honda co-op program by utilizing a combination of hands-on work experience and managing impactful projects, while leveraging the skills they have developed in the classroom,” said Joel Holland, manager of HNA Talent Acquisition. “More than 600 former co-ops have transitioned into full-time roles since the start of the co-op program.” One of those former co-ops who accepted a full-time position is HNA associate Melinda Vincent.
In 1997, she was a co-op in Administration at the Anna Engine Plant. Vincent began her Honda career the same month her co-op ended and two days after receiving her college degree in Human Resources. “I grew up in the local area, so I was very familiar with Honda,” she said. “I knew that Honda offered the opportunity for a good career and I really connected with the people and work environment. My personal values align with the Honda Philosophy, which has helped me have an enjoyable career at a company I really believe in.”
Vincent has worked in many roles and departments within Administration and is currently manager of HNA’s Corporate Compliance and Ethics Office. Throughout her career, she’s shared her experience with other Honda co-ops. “When talking to co-ops, I’ve always promoted the benefits of working at a place like Honda,” she said. “The size of Honda and variety of our business provides a wide range of opportunities to pursue your passion.”
Celebrating his 10-year anniversary at Honda this past June, EGA associate Corey Vossler worked two summers as a co-op. Like Vincent, Vossler accepted a full-time position and began his Honda career directly after earning his college degree. “Honda was in the middle of some challenging times in 2009,” Vossler said. “I was lucky to get in. I’m sure my two summers of co-op experience here at EGA helped in the decision to bring me on board.”
Vossler is currently a Division 1 Tool Block section leader, a similar group where he gained experience as a co-op. Throughout his decade-long Honda career, Vossler has worked in various areas, including an opportunity to lead EGA’s co-op program. “Twenty former co-ops from our group at EGA are now associates at Honda, serving in various functions at different companies,” Vossler said. “I enjoy seeing their success. The value our co-ops bring to the company is evident by how many are offered full-time positions. “Honda co-ops are tech-savvy, they bring fresh ideas to the table, and they do some amazing things to help drive major improvements in our operations.”