A recent visit to The University of Texas-Pan American by Ford Motor Company executives, including the president of the Ford Motor Company Fund, served to strengthen current relationships and foster new ones between the University and one of the world's major auto makers.
Besides enhancing their current partnership with UTPA's Career Placement office, plans for support by Ford for UTPA's GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and HESTEC (Hispanics in Engineering, Science and Technology) Week 2004 were discussed while meeting with representatives from the University's External Affairs Division.
"First and foremost we wanted to re-establish and further our relationship with the University and the various departments of the University. We are also doing some interviewing. We are looking for the best talent that is here." Morgan said.
Working with the Career Placement Services Office, Morgan said they have hired five UTPA graduates within the last few years. He said all but one were presently working in manufacturing and product development and the other employee is within Ford's finance group.
Morgan said Ford has been pleased with UTPA's engineering graduates and on this visit were interviewing finance, math, economics and business majors. He said Ford's marketing, sales and services operations also seek business graduates but interview English and journalism majors as well.
"We are excited because we hope to start a long term relationship between our department and Ford as well as in other areas of the University," said Enedelia Kidd, director of UTPA's Career Placement Services Office. "They have been happy with our engineering graduates and it is exciting to have them also now looking at more business students."
Other Ford executives visiting the campus included David Cooper, director, North America Salaried Recruiting; Sandy Ulsh, president, Ford Motor Company Fund; Albert Allred, finance manager of Operational Support, Corporate Finance; and Olga Hernandez, controller, Ford Customer Services Operations.
Ulsh, who oversees the Ford Fund, met with Mary Alice Reyes, director of UTPA's GEAR UP program, to discuss implementing Ford pre-engineering programs among GEAR UP's 17 South Texas high schools. The Ford Fund sponsors the Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (PAS) program that was presented to teachers at HESTEC 2003. PAS supports curriculum that motivates students to seek careers in science and engineering.
"Corporate partners are vital in helping UTPA feed its engineering and science programs," said Gilbert Maldonado, director of UTPA's Corporate and Foundation Support. According to Maldonado, plans are also underway for the Ford Motor Group to be a major partner in HESTEC 2004.
The Ford Motor Company Fund is a nonprofit corporation organized in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits. The Ford Fund provides awards in five categories: education; environment; public policy, health and social programs; civic affairs and community development; and arts and humanities. Ford Fund grants to nonprofit organizations in these areas totaled $83.8 million in 2002.
"We are looking for a long term relationship with the University on many fronts," Morgan said.
For additional information on Ford Motor Company employment opportunities, contact the Office of Career Placement Services at 956/381-2243.