Andy Hua didn’t just earn a college scholarship this spring though the ACE Mentor Program. The 2016 Roosevelt High graduate also landed a full-time summer job through his ACE connections, working at one of the Northwest’s leading electrical contracting companies.
“It’s been a great experience,” Andy said this week about his internship at On Electric Group in Southeast Portland. “I’m doing real work, I’m treated like an employee, and they’re giving me meaningful challenges.”
Andy spoke at the annual luncheon of the ACE Mentor Program in April about the positive impact that ACE has had on his personal growth and college-and-career readiness. OEG leaders were in the crowd, and they saw something special in Andy, an aspiring electrical engineer.
Today, Andy’s working 40 hours a week for OEG, helping them with a number of efficiency initiatives. Andy says he’s learning a lot from OEG employees, especially operations process manager Tom Bergmann.
“It’s not just the job description or the workload,” Andy explained. “It’s the culture of the company and the work environment.”
Andy’s heading to Oregon State University in Corvallis this fall to study electrical engineering. Denise Ecker, human resources director for OEG, says having interns like Andy is one of several strategies to build their pipeline of talent.
“It’s our seedbed. It’s our future. We continually need an infusion of new talent,” she said. “I think it’s an absolute have-to.”
Bergmann, Andy’s supervisor, agreed. He started at OEG as an intern, which jump-started his career.
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was an intern,” he said. “And it was a really pivotal time.”