Four Hinds Community College students who interned with Continental Tire over the summer have even more of a reason to cherish their nine weeks of paid training at the company’s tire plant in Mount Vernon, Ill.
Continental has covered tuition for the fall 2017 semester for Dylan Canant, Mack Pope, Samuel Williams and Cody Waddell. The students had been placed at Continental’s maintenance department for on-the-job experience in electrical, electronic, mechanical and hydraulic systems.
The students’ enthusiasm and aptitude for their budding careers with the company building a $1.45 billion plant in western Hinds County near Clinton that’s planned to open in 2019.
“During my visit to Mount Vernon, I heard nothing but positive feedback about our interns from Mississippi. They obviously did a great job and were great ambassadors,” said Michael Egner, project manager with Continental. “The student’s success is proof that we’ve found a strong partner in Hinds Community College. Together, we can build a great workforce and future for Continental in Mississippi.”
Pope, an Electronics student on the Raymond Campus, and Canant, an Electrical Technology student on the Raymond Campus, counted the exposure to new people and faces as a plus to go along with the diversified workforce training.
“Being an electronics tech I came here expecting to do electronics,” Pope said. “However I was hired as a multi-tech, meaning that I would also do electricians and mechanics work on top of that. It has been a wonderful experience meeting new people.”
“My experience has been really great and I am really proud of myself and the people who pushed me to do this,” Canant said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for anybody who gets this opportunity. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life.”
Waddell, an Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology student at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, took note during his internship of the vibrant culture that existed in the plant as he learned to troubleshoot, install and repair tire components in the mixing department.
“This company cares about their employees and it’s obvious to anyone who works here,” Waddell said. “And that alone is most interesting thing to me about this experience.”
Maintenance technicians will be some of the first positions filled when hiring begins in the commercial vehicle tire plant in late 2018. As one of the key roles in Continental’s daily operations, maintenance technicians are responsible for both reactive and preventive maintenance of equipment throughout the facility.
Williams, an Industrial Maintenance Technology student at the Rankin Campus, hopes to fill one of those roles thanks to the unique opportunity he had this past summer.
“I’ve learned new things I didn’t think were possible,” Williams said, adding he learned correct workplace safety tips through the use of Personal Protective Equipment. “This has been one of the best opportunities of my life and I am truly blessed to be a part of it.”
Hinds students Dylan Canant, from left, Mackie Pope, Samuel Williams and Cody Waddell spent their summer as interns for Continental Tire in Mount Vernon, Ill.