Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) was selected from 40 General Electric (GE) Corp. "Executive Schools" in the country to receive this year's sole GE Partnership Award, on Sept. 21, 2009. Executive Schools are a highly select group of colleges and universities chosen for their ability to develop talent and aid in employee placement at GE.
The Partnership Award recognizes the university's Career Development Center (CDC) as an "ongoing and significant resource of talent" for GE, according to company officials. Selection for the award was based on the career center's receptiveness to new ideas; the center's efforts in promoting GE on campus; the center being a caring and progressive partner; its ability to facilitate connections with faculty, administration, and students; and for fostering an outstanding overall relationship with the campus community.
Steve Canale, manager of recruiting and staffing services at GE Corp., explained that the company selectively honors career centers at universities across the country with Partnership Awards to recognize the outstanding support and best practices exhibited by the centers and their staffs.
"Career Centers provide critical services and support to students as well as employers," Canale said. "When they do it as well as WPI, both parties benefit."
William A. Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager of GE's Aviation Services, presented WPI CDC Director Jeanette Doyle with the GE Partnership Award plaque at the Sept. 21 awards dinner. Fitzgerald, a 1983 WPI graduate, emphasized that the importance of engineers and scientists cannot be overstated given the issues the world faces today. He noted that water availability and purity, energy availability and environmental impacts, healthcare, and world hunger all require science and engineering.
"The students of today at WPI are learning the skills required to solve today and tomorrow's problems creatively and economically," Fitzgerald stressed. "GE values the skills learned at WPI, and has a strong history of leading innovative solutions with our WPI alumni.
"GE congratulates the WPI Career Development Center for this Partnership Award. WPI is one of 40 Executive Schools that GE targets in its quest to hire the best college graduates. The WPI Career Development Center has been extremely innovative in its use of technology to get its message out," Fitzgerald added. "The center has been enormously collaborative with GE, and both GE and WPI continue to learn from each other as we strive to graduate and train the best talent to address the world’s toughest problems."
Doyle said that WPI's CDC is honored to receive the GE Partnership Award, noting that Leslie Wallace, GE's manager of university relations, worked with Executive Schools and teams to select WPI as the award winner. "The staff in the Career Development Center work tirelessly to make sure our corporate partners receive exceptional customer service, and this is an excellent example of their hard work. I am proud of our relationship with GE, and look forward to continuing this wonderful partnership."