Laitram partners with Southeastern to provide support for technology program, paid internships

August 29, 2013
by: Rene Abadie

HAMMOND – The global manufacturing company Laitram, headquartered in Harahan, has entered into a partnership with Southeastern Louisiana University's engineering and industrial technology program to provide financial support and paid internships for students.

Laitram will contribute an initial $5,000 per year to the Southeastern program to assist students in purchasing materials and equipment needed to conduct the research, design and construction of required senior engineering projects.

The company, which operates four divisions, is also providing paid internships and tuition reimbursement for several Southeastern engineering technology students each semester, allowing them to gain valuable job-related experience.

"Both Laitram and Southeastern are committed to providing students with meaningful and rewarding internship opportunities while they attend school," said Franck LaBiche, director of human resources at Laitram. "Our partnership provides students with the opportunity to work in an advanced manufacturing environment where they can apply what they learn in school to real life problems and opportunities for improvement."

The partnership between the company and Southeastern was forged by Jana Sikdar of Greater New Orleans, Inc., who brought LaBiche together with Daniel McCarthy, dean of the College of Science and Technology at Southeastern.

"We were thrilled when we first formed this agreement with Laitram, but little did we know that it would be so successful this quickly," said McCarthy. "This is truly a testament to how good the students are in the engineering technology program and a testament to how well our faculty are teaching these students. We hope to form many more similar partnerships with other companies in the region to provide these opportunities to all of the students in the College of Science and Technology."

"This new partnership between Laitram and Southeastern Louisiana University is proof of the innovative solutions that can be developed to meet unique workforce challenges," said Michael Hecht, president and chief executive officer of Greater New Orleans, Inc. "GNO, Inc. looks forward to continuing to work with both Laitram and Southeastern and to facilitating similar relationships with other companies in the region facing workforce challenges."
Four students have been hired as interns by Laitram to initiate the partnership. The students are all working in different departments.

"This past summer I began an internship at Laitram's Intralox facility as an industrial engineering technician," said Nicholas Williams of Albany, an industrial technology major and one of the first students entering the program. "My responsibilities include new products testing, technical documentation, test plan development and database maintenance. This opportunity has allowed me to experience first-hand how an international manufacturing company achieves customer satisfaction by retaining the highest standards of safety, quality and efficiency."

The other students participating in the program include Robert Golmon of St. Fancisville at Intralox Maintenance, Xavier Brumfield of Franklinton at the Intralox Manufacturing Engineering Group, and Justin Cifreo of Hammond at Intralox New Products Engineering.
Sebastian van Delden, head of the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology – which houses the engineering and industrial technology programs – said he greatly appreciates the financial support Laitram is providing to the program, as well as the student internships.

"We see with each budget cycle a strong need for financial support of our technology programs," van Delden said. "This partnership also benefits Laitram since participating students will graduate with integral knowledge of Laitram's business model and could be an immediate asset to the company."

Laitram employs more than 1,700 people worldwide and operates four divisions: Laitram Machinery, which services the seafood processing industry; Intralox, which manufactures plastic conveyor belt systems; Lapeyre Stairs, which fabricates stairs for industry; and Laitram Machine Shop, which provides high value machining operations.

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