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NSWC Crane wins statewide “Employer of the Year” award for innovative internship program

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | Feb. 27, 2019

CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) was recognized as Employer of the Year for creating a quality internship program within the Hoosier State. NSWC Crane received this award in the nonprofit category at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Indiana INTERNnet 2019 IMPACT Awards in Carmel, Indiana on February 26, 2019.

“This award highlights our work to provide the best experiences for our interns, our commitment to new employee success, and dedication to professional development,” says Cindy Shirley, the Branch Manager of Recruiting and Student Outreach at NSWC Crane. “This is the first time NSWC Crane has won this award, and it shows we are an employer of choice in Indiana.”

Four years ago, NSWC Crane’s internship program included 60 students. Currently, there are 150 students in the two federal intern programs: Pathways and STEM Student Employment Program (SSEP). These programs are part of NSWC Crane’s innovative approach to provide quality experiences for students, which is part of the criteria required to receive this award.

“In the past three years alone, our internship program has more than doubled in size,” says Shirley. “NSWC Crane uses SSEP to recruit hard-to-fill STEM positions, and the Pathways program is used to hire students in career fields such as business, finance, logistics, and technology, that provide necessary support to the science and engineering community at NSWC Crane.”

A second standard to receive this award was for the employer to provide meaningful project work and goals for the interns.

“Many interns have been directly involved in Crane-sponsored senior design projects through their university. Crane uses Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) with research universities, Education Partnership Agreements (EPA), and Education Consortiums with local universities to get students involved early on in Crane-related technology areas,” says Shirley.

The third standard to receive this award was for employers to provide interns with ways to grow professionally. NSWC Crane does this by providing peer mentors for all federal interns and providing development and networking opportunities throughout their career.

Tony Ranard, a Co-coordinator of Student Programs at NSWC Crane, says these programs give interns another tool to decide what they want to do for their careers.

“Through these programs, we are nurturing students’ talent to find their passion,” says Ranard. “We are ultimately making our country stronger because we are placing people to work where they are passionate. This award shows the tremendous growth of our program over the past few years and we look forward to continued development for our current and future workforce.”

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.