September 19, 2012 12:00AM
Bruce Dallman was smiling a lot Wednesday. Dallman, dean of the Pittsburg State University College of Technology, moved from one table to the next in the Kansas Technology Center, visiting with company representatives who were there to meet students at PSU’s annual Company Day. He liked what he was hearing.
“There is definitely a more positive attitude this year,” Dallman said, referring to the way the recession affected Company Day the past few years.
He noted that even through the lowest points of the recent recession, placement rates for College of Technology graduates remained at nearly 100 percent. The recession, however, cooled the spirited competition for new technology grads that existed before 2008.
“A number of these companies are again competing for graduates,” Dallman said. “We’re seeing more of our graduates selecting from multiple offers.”
Company Day began initially as a showcase for construction companies. It soon expanded to include engineering technology, automotive and diesel/heavy equipment, graphics and imaging technologies, electrical technology and wood technology.
Before the recession, Company Day had drawn upwards of 150-160 companies, Dallman said, but after 2008, the numbers fell to half that. This year, about 130 companies attended and they talked enthusiastically to students about both current and future opportunities.
“Company day has always been an opportunity for students to network with potential employers and open doors that often lead to successful careers,” said Dallman. “But it is really much more than that. It is also an opportunity for companies to showcase their industries for students who haven’t decided on a major or career path. There are a great many exciting and rewarding careers that are open to technology graduates that most students are not aware of.”