Co-op/internship program recognized by UWM

We Energies has been named Outstanding Co-op/Internship Employer of the Year by the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS).

The award recognizes the company’s commitment to providing meaningful work experiences for co-op students and interns. Associate Engineer Hasan AbuLughod, a December 2012 graduate of UWM and a former co-op program participant, felt so strongly about its positive benefits that he nominated the company for the award.

Co-op students typically attend classes for a semester and then work full time the next semester at their assigned companies. In AbuLughod’s case, he spent the spring semester and the full summer at the company, in both his junior and senior years, so he was immersed in areas where engineering expertise is required.

“The work assignments I received during my four terms as a co-op in gas systems prepared me for the start of my career,” AbuLughod said. “My exposure to various areas within gas systems and regulatory compliance gave me a nice foundation,” he said.

“The quality of the engineering students that we have worked with is outstanding,” said Bob Whitefoot, director – gas operations asset management. “The students bring excellent technical knowledge. Through their co-op assignments we help them gain insight into the practical application of what they have learned in the classroom.”

Students work in various co-op or intern roles at We Energies in a variety of departments including Environmental, Information Technology Services, Customer Operations and Power Generation.

“Our workforce planning strategy with these programs is to groom potential employees, and that is happening,” said Faiza Strain, employment supervisor. Strain said that students are attracted to the co-op program through the company’s participation in job fairs at UWM and other colleges as well as UWM’s Shadow Day program in which students visit the company to learn about its operations.

Over the past four years, the company has hired eight UWM students who participated in the co-op/intern program.