After graduation, a handful of Scott County high school seniors learned what more than 300 local employees know — Samtec is one of the nation’s top 15 best workplaces in manufacturing and production according to Fortune.
Last spring, Samtec started the seniors to hire program at their two-year-old facility in Scott County. The program allows seniors in the advanced manufacturing program at Scottsburg High School and in the college-credit bearing program at Austin High School to apply for a job after graduation.
“We do all our own hiring here. We don’t use a temp service,” said Craig Mull, Samtec plant manager. “We tried to focus on the kids who have chosen an advanced manufacturing path, but we won’t turn any high school kids away.”
To find candidates to apply for the program, Mull spoke with the superintendents of the schools in the area. He worked with counselors and teachers to provide recommendations and insight on the students interested in applying for the seniors to hire program.
“We had to lean on counselors and the faculty in schools,” Mull said. “The schools have been 100 percent supportive.”
To be considered for the job opportunity, Scott County students had to have a strong work ethic, good attendance, and be able to complete the hiring process. Once hired, new employees go through a training period before being released to work on their own. The facility specializes in electronic connectors for aerospace, military, automotive, and consumer electronics businesses. Samtec’s electronic connectors have been in a Mars rover and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
“Our quality standards are higher,” Mull said about manufacturing precise technological parts. “It’s a very secure field.”
In 2017, Samtec interviewed 16 students from Scott County and the surrounding areas, including Providence, Crothersville, and Grace Christian Academy. This year, the company added West Clark Schools to the program.
“We had great success,” Mull said about the seniors. “The supervisors were impressed with their behavior.”
Not only do the recent high school graduates earn a full-time position, but they also receive a competitive full benefits package at Samtec, including tuition reimbursement. Employees can work full-time during the evening hours and go to college during the day.
The Scottsburg facility features a clean, modern workplace complete with a dining facility, large-screen televisions, and areas for entertainment. The dining facility houses a restaurant area, where employees can purchase grilled entrees and other meals for comparable prices offered at other area food options in the region. The employees also have their own lockers, where they can store personal belongings. Each part of the facility is brightly-lit, sleek, modern, and clean — not what one might imagine when thinking of manufacturing.
“We felt like Scottsburg was the right place,” Mull said about why the New Albany-based global company chose Scott County. “Scottsburg really stood out. It was a community we really wanted to be in.”