Consumers Gives MSU $200K For Engineering Residential Program

EAST LANSING — Keeping engineering and technical talent in the state is essential to Michigan’s economic vitality. To help cultivate top graduates for Michigan’s technology workforce, the Michigan State University College of Engineering and Consumers Energy are partnering in a program that engages with students early to generate the lessons, relationships, and network access it takes to turn freshman-year experiences into serious career opportunities.

The MSU-Consumers Energy relationship will be celebrated on Friday, March 20, to recognize the company’s most recent $200,000 gift of support to the college’s Cornerstone & Residential Experience (CoRe) program. CoRe is an integrated first-year engineering academic program and living-learning community that works to “build the whole engineer.”

At the event, officials from MSU and Consumers Energy will dedicate the redesigned second-floor lobby in East Wilson Hall. The updated lobby offers students a gathering space with charging stations and other furnishings to encourage studying and socializing.

“Consumers Energy is committed to attracting Michigan’s next generation of talented college graduates to work with us,” said John Butler, senior vice president of human resources and shared services at Consumers Energy.

“Consumers Energy is a remarkable leader, and particularly skilled at getting their information in front of our future engineers and computer scientists,” said Leo Kempel, dean of the MSU College of Engineering. “They actively compete for our young talent by offering valuable engineering and volunteering experiences.”

In 2014, Consumers Energy hired 54 MSU summer interns, mostly engineering students, and paid them for their strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Often, they look for people like James McCormick, a senior electrical engineering major from Eaton Rapids.

“I get to see how it all comes together and make sure it all works as expected,” McCormick said. “This kind of feet-on-the-ground experience lets me take what I’ve seen in the field and use it in the classroom.”

Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest utility, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

The Michigan State University College of Engineering has seven academic departments serving 4,900 undergraduate and more than 800 graduate students.

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