HCC students sign on at Volvo Powertrain

(November 17, 2009) - Three Hagerstown Community College students recently completed internships at Volvo Powertrain in Hagerstown.

HCC student Brandon Sloan, of Knoxville, Md., was the first to complete an internship. He began his internship in fall of 2007 and continued through spring of 2008 under the guidance of internship mentor Frank Guthrie. Sloan’s internship project incorporated racking and tooling redesigns, as well as process improvement methods. According to Sloan, he also worked with fellow intern Jeff Ward to create three-dimensional virtual models of a new assembly line. The goal of this project was to allow the team time to analyze and improve individual station layouts and thereby increase efficiency. Sloan is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology at Penn State Harrisburg and has been retained by Volvo as a consultant and now works under mentors Jairid Mowen and Marcus Minkkinen.

Jeff Ward, of Hagerstown, was the second HCC student to complete his internship. He began interning at Volvo in spring of 2008 under the instruction of internship mentor Stephen Dold. Ward’s internship project consisted of aiding in the design and rebuilding of the final assembly line during Volvo’s Capacity Improvement Project in summer 2008. Ward also aided in the line balancing and purchasing of equipment for the same purpose and provided drawings and designs to the team as part of his work. Ward graduated from HCC in June of 2008 and continued to serve as a consultant at Volvo through October of the same year before he was hired as a manufacturing engineer on the Volvo staff and where he continues to work today.

The third HCC student to complete an internship was Michael Foster, of Hagerstown, who began his internship in spring 2009 shortly before graduating from HCC. His internship continued through the summer of the same year. His work primarily focused on the implementation of lean manufacturing principles. According to Foster, he also assisted with analyzing and studying production and non-production methods such as maintenance routines and parts inventory and regularly attended meetings and prepared action plans for various teams. Foster works under internship mentor Ken Carper and has also been retained by Volvo as a consultant. 

“Volvo Powertrain recognizes that the surest way to meet the long-term strategic needs of our business is to grow and develop talent from within. We see this relationship as a tremendous and mutually-beneficial opportunity—both to augment the students' learning experience and to serve as one of our important resources of future talent for the Volvo Powertrain business,” says Anne MacMillan, Volvo manager, human resources training and development.

Sloan, Ward, and Foster are the first HCC students to complete an internship at Volvo Powertrain in recent years, but more students will likely be accepted. HCC routinely offers its students the opportunity to partake in internships at external organizations. Currently, Volvo Powertrain is one of many of employers who work with the College to provide students with on-site job experiences.

Photo Caption: HCC officials met with student interns and Volvo officials at the Volvo Powertrain facility in Hagerstown in October 2009. Front row, pictured from left to right: Judith Oleks, HCC vice-president of academic affairs; Geoff Clarke, Volvo vice-president, human resources; Ilse Ghysens, Volvo manager, communications; Anne MacMillan, Volvo manager, human resources training and development; Margaret Clark Spivey, HCC director, technology and computer studies division; and HCC student intern Brandon Sloan. Back row, from left to right: HCC student intern Jeff Ward; HCC student intern Michael Foster; and Bonnie Owens, HCC workplace learning advisor, internships.