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Building Competence, Confidence, and Connections

29 College and Graduate Students Complete MD MEP’s Most Successful Summer Manufacturing Internship Program Yet

It has been a productive and enriching summer for the college and graduate students who participated in this year’s MD MEP Summer Manufacturing Internship Program. Now in its sixth year, 2021 was our most successful program to date, with 29 students taking intern roles inside 13 manufacturers across the state.

As always, our interns participated in a diverse array of experiences touching all aspects of manufacturing. This year’s class worked hard to make valuable contributions to their employers in the areas of engineering, maintenance, research and development, production, supply chain, human resources, and more. And our employers once again did a fantastic job designing internship experiences that gave each student a chance to develop hands-on skills in their fields of interest, while learning more about the inner workings of each company and the manufacturing industry.

“This internship has given me a new appreciation for the engineering that goes into a manufacturing line,” says Christian Beres, who recently graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and spent the summer working with the production team at Hardwire, LLC. “I have learned a lot throughout this summer and gained hands-on experience with systems I had never touched before.​”

“I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and learn more about chemistry, olive oil, and manufacturing,” says Kaitlyn Oaksmith, a chemical engineering student at the University of Maryland College Park, who interned alongside chemists in the quality department at Pompeiian Olive Oil. “I gained valuable lab experience that I missed out on during the pandemic, and I look forward to taking my new skills and applying them to my future academic endeavors and career.”

In hosting the Summer Manufacturing Internship Program, our biggest goal is to open students’ eyes to the variety and abundance of opportunities a career in manufacturing offers. At the program’s conclusion, our interns gathered virtually and each gave a final presentation on the most significant projects, contributions, and takeaways from their work experience, which gave all the students a broader view of Maryland’s manufacturing community.

“It was exciting to help the company with projects that directly apply to their development and success,” says Alexandra Pentikis, who is studying biological sciences at The George Washington University and spent the summer supporting Zero Point Five Therapeutics in researching and developing a new therapy to treat disease in underserved areas of the U.S. “I ultimately learned drug development is not all about making a little pill, it involves innovation of the company and advocacy for their patients, which is different from what I expected.”

“I am excited to use what I learned with Strouse and incorporate it into my career moving forward,” says Brady Linebaugh, a new graduate of York College of Pennsylvania who interned with the HR department at Strouse and has now been hired to join the team full-time. “I am very interested in the​ process of manufacturing and all the ​components that go into it, no matter what ​the product is!​”

And the students aren’t the only ones who benefitted from this summer’s program, as the employers also made strides meeting one of their biggest challenges – recruiting the next generation of manufacturing talent. By participating in the internship program, each manufacturer earned a $1,000 reimbursement per intern to support wages from MD MEP through Maryland’s Department of Labor EARN Program. 

“Direct Dimensions is excited and proud to be partnering with MD MEP to help develop area students into our next generation of workers for Maryland area manufacturing related businesses,” said Michael Rafael, CEO and President of Direct Dimensions. “Our intern this summer, Charlie, an engineering student at the University of Maryland College Park, is a terrific young man, very motivated, and truly helped our staff this summer on several very critical projects. We are very much hoping he can come on full-time with us next year after graduation.”

Our team is extremely proud of the contributions of all our interns this summer, and of the valuable connections made between the students and the employers. Thank you to all the students for their motivation and hard work, and to all of our participating companies: Aidar Health, Arnold Packaging, Caldwell Manufacturing, C-Care, Direct Dimensions, EFI Group, Hardwire, Longeviti, Mahlet Consulting, Miltec UV, Pompeian Olive Oil, Strouse, Zero Point Therapeutics.

To be a part of next year’s MD MEP Summer Manufacturing Internship Program, please visit https://mdmep.org/internship-program/ or contact Kerry Wells at kwells@mdmep.org.