Honda Hosts Twelve African-American Co-Ops This Summer
This summer, Honda is hosting eight co-ops from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and they, along with four other African-American co-ops, will be part of a pilot program to ensure the students have a successful learning experience in this unusual era of social distancing.
African-American co-ops will be paired with associates from the African-American Resource Collaborative of Honda (AARCH) Business Resource Groups across North America, to assist the co-ops in networking, navigating Honda and understanding the AARCH members’ roles within the company.
These relationships with BRGs members are particularly critical during a time when most co-ops are working remotely, without regular in-person contact with their co-workers or supervisors, said Casey Kirk, acquisition pipeline manager for American Honda in Ohio.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure our co-ops have a positive learning experience, and that they are made aware of career opportunities at Honda,” said Kirk. “We have seen success when our African-American students have a touchpoint with someone who looks like them. It makes them feel more comfortable.”
A total of 12 African-American students will be part of the program this summer, most from HBCUs:
- Zaniyah Dock, North Carolina A&T, working at EGA;
- Emmanuel Dorvil, Central State University, working in MAP Purchasing at HAM;
- Caleyah Gaither, North Carolina A&T, working in HAM Corporate Affairs;
- Lesley Kitchens, Jackson State University, working in HAM NA Quality;
- Kayla Hollingsworth, Tuskegee University, working in HAM NA Purchasing;
- Charles Brown, Florida A&M, working in HMIN Assembly;
- Augustus Nsiah, Delaware State University, working in HMIN Mfg. Control;
- Preston Thornton, North Carolina A&T, working in AHM HR/Admin;
- Jordin Arthurs, Purdue University, EGA Stamping Engineering;
- Birra Negeri, University of Cincinnati, HMIN Product Engineering;
- Godfred Mantey, Purdue University, HRA; and
- Ryan Davison, Georgia Tech, HRA
Honda has a strong relationship with the HBCU community, having supported it for more than 30 years through programs like Honda Battle of the Bands and Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. More recently, Honda and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) have partnered to recruit students from HBCUs for co-op positions.
Nora Perez, TMCF Program Manager, says she’d like to see the BRG program expanded to all co-ops eventually.
“We are hoping to learn from this pilot program and make it even better. We want all co-ops to benefit from having someone they can reach out to directly with questions,” Lopez said. “Honda is a very large, complex organization and sometimes it helps to have someone to talk to.”