There are several signs that summer has at last reached Indiana. People start disappearing for summer vacations. Corn and soybeans start poking out of once bare fields. Farmers’ Markets start popping up in parking lots every Saturday morning. If you work at Draper, you start seeing lots of college age kids.
For longer than anyone here seems to be able to remember, Draper has provided summer jobs for college-bound or currently enrolled children of employees.
“In some instances, the position is like an internship providing an opportunity to gain skills, experience, and knowledge that will hopefully prepare the seasonal employee for a job in their career when they graduate from college,” according to Danny Thomas from Draper’s Human Resources office. “In non-internship positions, it provides an opportunity for building work skills and having work experience to document on their resume for future employment opportunities.”
Danny says the program provides an opportunity for seniors entering college and current college students of Draper employees to earn income during their summer break which in turns helps out their parents. It is also a nice resume builder for the seasonal employees.
“I think the summer employment program is a great way to get experience for a ‘real job’, ” says Erin Hoodlebrink, whose dad, Jim Hoodlebrink (CTS), is Draper’s Rental/IDS Product Manager. Erin, who is conducting time studies in various factory departments, is studying biochemistry at Indiana University East and hopes to study abroad in Australia in the future. “Everyone is extremely nice and you learn a lot about Draper as well as business while being here only a few short months.”
“I have really enjoyed working with the ladies in Literature these past two summers; all of our senses of humor go really well together,” says Sarah Daubenspeck, adding, “I know they’ll miss my awesomeness when I’m gone!” Sarah, whose parents Larry and Linda both worker at Draper, will be a Junior studying Interior Design at Indiana/Purdue University of Fort Wayne.
Students assigned to the factory participate in general assembly, light groundskeeping/maintenance work, and continuous improvement activities such as time observations and other support.
Office assignees serve as mail couriers, order entry clerks, and receptionists, providing support in office and sales administration, clerical, and data entry areas.
The employees and their kids aren’t the only ones who get something out of the deal. Summer is traditionally one of Draper’s busiest seasons, so the college students provide some welcome additional hands to help keep up.
“An extra set of hands or more is definitely a plus for the maintenance department in the summer months,” Maintenance Supervisor Eric Carrender points out. “There are several jobs to be done outside like painting, weed spraying, and mulching at Wellness Park. If we paid outside contractors for these jobs it would be a significant amount of money. Nice to see Draper owners pass some of this money to children of the Draper employees instead! And yes I believe these college students learn something from us also—if nothing else, to pay attention at school so they can get that ‘better’ job!”
Sometimes, that “better job” isn’t too far away.
“We also have a few internships that we are able to offer our summer employees, and we give preference to the family members of our employees for those positions too. I’ve had very good experiences working with our marketing interns, some of whom have returned for several summers,” according to Advertising Manager Penny Sitler. “They often bring fresh ideas and new energy to our team. One former intern, Josh Shopp, has even returned as a valued permanent member of the marketing team.”
To be eligible, the employee’s relative must either be a current full-time college student or planning to attend college on a full-time basis. Priority is given to children and step-children, but grandchildren and other relatives are also eligible.