Area Companies Vow to Expand Engineering Internship Programs

By Napsha, Joe | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 3, 2011 | Go to article overview

Area Companies Vow to Expand Engineering Internship Programs


Napsha, Joe, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


A group of Western Pennsylvania companies is among a coalition of about 45 businesses nationwide promising to double the engineering internships they offer to create 6,300 jobs for interns next year.

Alcoa Inc., Bayer Corp.'s Material Sciences unit, Eaton Corp., General Electric Co., McKeeson Corp. and Thermo-Fisher Scientific Inc. are among the companies with ties to Western Pennsylvania that have pledged to expand their engineering internship programs.

The internships are meant to address an Obama administration goal of increasing by 10,000 each year the number of engineering students who graduate from U.S. colleges and universities. The program was announced this week by the White House because of concerns about an engineer shortage in the United States.

"There is a real need for engineers. The Chinese are outpacing us in terms of scientists and engineers," said Anthony M. DiGioia Jr., president of DiGioia, Gray & Associates, a Monroeville engineering firm.

The internships are necessary "to give the youngsters work in the real world and on real problems," said DiGioia, a former president of the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Bayer Material Sciences in Robinson will expand its complement of interns to 50 from 25, said spokesman Bryan Iams. Of that number, about 20 will work at the Pittsburgh area office, with others at three Bayer plants in West Virginia, he said.

For Bayer to remain a competitive company in the global marketplace, it needs talented, science-based employees, Iams said.

Schools such as Carnegie Mellon University that provide engineering talent to companies like Bayer have not seen a decrease in enrollment, said Annette Jacobson, associate dean of undergraduate students at CMU's College of Engineering. …

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