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GM reps show off Chevy Volt at Company Day

September 26, 2011 12:00AM

Automotive Technology Professor Ron Downing slips behind the wheel of a Chevy Volt at Company Day.

With more than 90 companies vying for students' attention at the 2011 College of Technology Company Day, there were a few recruiters who were, shall we say, going the extra mile.

Two PSU alumni from the Department of Automotive Technology, Mark Gordon ('93) and Eric Baur ('88), manned the booth set up for General Motors at Wednesday's job fair. With hundreds of students networking with employers about internships and job opportunities, the GM reps certainly turned heads when they showed off what they'd shown up in - a 2012 Chevy Volt, which they drove from Detroit.

"We wanted to build excitement and do something special for students this year," said Baur, manager of diagnostic development for GM. "We're trying to find ways to step it up."

That has meant maximizing their time this week at PSU. After arriving on Tuesday, Gordon (nephew of longtime PSU auto tech professor Ken Gordon) and Baur held an information session that was attended by about 90 students. On Wednesday while they visited with students and collected resumes, faculty were able to test-drive the vehicle. The two will conduct job interviews all day Thursday before presenting a technical workshop on the Chevy Volt for students and faculty, which will cover how the vehicle was launched, how it operates, what technicians need to know, and more. The workshop will be held at 6 p.m. in room S102 at the Kansas Technology Center.

A range-extending vehicle that uses both fuel and a battery, the Volt - GM's latest technology effort  - is positively regarded in the industry because "they took the time to get it right," explained automotive technology professor Ron Downing.

"Technology changes so rapidly in our industry," Downing said. "What's current today is so quickly outdated. We're trying to let our industry partners show students what the latest and greatest things are and demonstrate the high demand for technicians who are familiar with these vehicles."

For Baur, returning to PSU as a recruiter has been an opportunity to reminisce as well as meet the students who will help make GM's future.

"We need the types of individuals we're meeting here, whether it's servicing a car or building new applications," he said. "This vehicle is a game-changer, and we're hoping to find employees who can keep up." 

©2011 Pittsburg State University