Consumers Energy is working to encourage college graduates to stay and work in Michigan by collaborating with the state's largest university to provide top educational and professional opportunities.
Officials with Michigan State University and Consumers Energy celebrated a recent $200,000 contribution from the Consumers Energy Foundation with a ceremony Friday in the redesigned lobby of MSU's East Wilson Hall. The building provides living and classroom space for engineering students in the College of Engineering's Cornerstone and Residential Experience program (CoRe).
"We are committed to attracting Michigan's next generation of talented college graduates to work with us," said John Butler, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of human resources and shared services. "We're excited to do even more with MSU and the College of Engineering to build relationships with these students today."
"Consumers Energy is a remarkable leader in welcoming and supporting our students," said College of Engineering Dean Leo Kempel. "The company is particularly skilled at getting their information in front of our future engineers and computer scientists and actively competing for that young talent by offering valuable engineering and volunteering experiences."
Michigan State and Consumers Energy enjoy a strong relationship. More than 50 MSU students, most of them who study engineering, were hired as interns for Consumers Energy last summer. In all, some 400 MSU graduates work for the Jackson-based energy provider.
Consumers Energy's support for the College of Engineering and Wilson Hall dates back to 2009, when its foundation made a $150,000 contribution. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy, providing funds for education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment and emerging issues.
The money has supported CoRe, an integrated first-year engineering academic program and living-learning community that works to "build the whole engineer," with activities ranging from strengthening interview skills to seasonal celebrations.
Officials from Consumers Energy interact with Michigan State students throughout the year, making them aware of professional opportunities and encouraging them to learn more about the energy industry. With a generation of engineers expected to retire in coming years, Consumers Energy has been part of the "Get Into Energy" campaign to support and encourage people to consider working in the industry.
"We want engineering students to know they can work for world-class companies like ours when they graduate," Butler said. "Wilson Hall is a symbol of our dedication to providing opportunities for these students now and in the future."