As the two-day Fall Career Conference began Tuesday, Sept 25, at University of Wisconsin-Stout, recruiters from a plethora of well-known companies greeted well-dressed students with resumes in hand.
From national names such as Ashley, Andersen, Bobcat, Boston Scientific, IBM, Jack Link’s, Kohler, Trane and 3M to regional employers such as Greenheck, Jamf Software, Menards and Oshkosh, every booth space in the exhibition hall at the Sports and Fitness Center was filled.
A record 420 companies were looking to hire for full-time, co-op and internship positions.
One of them was new to the conference, but students didn’t need an introduction. Foxconn Technology had two recruiters, and one by one students began stopping by the booth, which included a sign “We Are Hiring.”
Foxconn has been in the news in Wisconsin for more than a year after announcing plans to hire up to 13,000 people over the next five years to staff and support a planned $10 billion flat-screen manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant, in southeastern Wisconsin.
Foxconn also plans to open innovation centers in Eau Claire and Green Bay, hiring several hundred at those sites.
“I wanted to stop just because of the magnitude of jobs they have open,” said Korbyn Knipfer, of Elk Mound, a junior majoring in computer networking and information technology. “It’s a new company here (in Wisconsin) with a fresh start, and they do a lot of innovative things.”
Based in Taiwan, Foxconn makes iPhones and iPads for Apple and also owns Sharp.
Knipfer is working at Menards headquarters in Eau Claire this semester as part of a Cooperative Education Program experience through UW-Stout’s Career Services.
“We have a very special career conference in both the fall and the spring, which is a testament to the quality of students who graduate from our campus and are valued by employers,” said Chancellor Bob Meyer, referring to the 98.2 percent employment rate for the most recent UW-Stout graduates. “We also are happy to welcome new career conference attendees like Foxconn.”
Foxconn’s recruiters are visiting career conferences at universities and colleges around the state. At UW-Stout, they were looking for students in science and engineering; information technology; business and management; and art, design and graphics. UW-Stout has dozens of majors in those academic areas.
As they talked with the Foxconn recruiters, students entered information on a computer and took note of company’s jobs website. Dozens of job openings are being added daily to the site, a recruiter said.
Foxconn’s booth also was one of the first stops of the day for Michaela Beck, of Appleton, a senior majoring in graphic design and interactive media. “I’ll check out their job site. If a graphic design position is not open, it will be soon,” she said. “I like the growing companies and companies that have a well-established brand.”
She also is interested in Foxconn because it’s large enough for long-term career growth and could lead to company jobs in a variety of places, including internationally.
Beck had an internship last summer at Greenheck, of Wausau, which makes air movement equipment, and is continuing to work part-time remotely with the company this fall.
About 2,000 students were expected to attend the Fall Career Conference, according to Career Services Director Bryan Barts.
The record 420 companies attending reflect the strong economy and UW-Stout’s many academic programs that are career-focused. “Many different industries are competing heavily for students who are career-ready and can fill their talent needs,” Barts said.
UW-Stout, which also holds a Spring Career Conference, has an employment or continuing education rate for recent graduates of 98.2 percent.
Foxconn recruiter Robert Schlaeger, right, talks with students at the Fall Career Conference.
A sign at the Foxconn booth told students that the company is ready to hire for its new Wisconsin facilities.