Andrew High School students get lesson on good work habits
BY MIKE NOLAN firstname.lastname@example.org November 16, 2012 7:00PM
Kevin Fromer, manager of corporate communications for Panduit, speaks Nov. 7, 2012, to students at Andrew High School in Tinley Park. | Mike Nolan~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: December 19, 2012 1:21PM
“What do you want when you get out of high school?” Kevin Fromer asked a group of students in an auditorium at Andrew High School.
“A Lambo,” one student said, referring to a high-performance, not to mention very expensive, sports car, a Lamborghini.
“Money,” another replied.
The path to getting one, the other, or both starts with habits learned at an early age, Fromer, manager of corporate communications for Panduit, told them. Showing up to school on time and making sure homework assignments are turned in lay the groundwork for future work-related traits that are sought by employers, he said.
“The habits you form now are going to follow you around the rest of your life,” Fromer told the students.
A lecture about this stuff by a parent or teacher might be met with indifference by some students, creating a challenge for educators, Tim Dalton, division chairman for math and business at the Tinley Park school, said.
Working with the Tinley Park Economic and Commercial Commission, Andrew decided that bringing in representatives from local businesses to talk to students might help them “see the financial incentive” about how things such as good study habits can translate into a good-paying job, Dalton said.
Piloted at Andrew last year, the program was expanded this year to include Tinley Park High School and Lincoln-Way North High School, Dalton said.
Headquartered in Tinley Park, Panduit supplies networking and electrical solutions — products such as network cabling systems — to clients including Boeing, Google and Microsoft, Fromer said. Apart from its headquarters, Panduit has manufacturing operations locally in Burr Ridge, Lockport, Orland Park and Romeoville.
“We don’t just make stuff,” Fromer said. “The stuff we make is part of solutions.”
Hiring people to make that stuff is an arduous process, he said, noting it’s costly to a business to hire someone, only to later find out the employee lacks certain basic skills.
Having a good grasp of math and being able to communicate with your employer and fellow employees are traits employers are looking for, along with computer skills, Fromer said.
“That’s the first thing we look for on a resume,” he said.
Beyond that, all employers want an employee who puts forth the extra effort, Fromer said.
“We’re looking for people who have a good work ethic, who show up on time,” he told students.
Before talking to students, Fromer said Panduit executives feel strongly about “engaging the kids of the community” by speaking at area schools, but it also helps get the word out about employment opportunities down the road.
“This is the area we want to pull people from,” he said. “We’re right here and we’re looking for top talent all the time.”