MC Assembly’s Human Resources (HR) Director Brian Kingston recently spoke as a panelist for CareerSource Brevard’s Juniors to Jobs program. This initiative helps provide internship opportunities and career advice for local high school students and recent high school graduates looking to start their careers. For the first time, MC Assembly will host five interns from the Juniors to Jobs program working this summer in the departments of HR, Finance, Engineering and Production.

Kingston has participated in the program as an HR expert panelist for the last three years during the Foundations Training week. On the panel, Kingston passed along tips and best practices in resume writing, interview techniques and overall business acumen.

“This program allows the students to get “real-world” work experience. It gives each student a chance to find out what they like and what they don’t,” Kingston said. “We hope the students decide to enter a career in manufacturing but if not, at least we are able to help them with that decision now rather than wait.”

Kingston believes opportunities like this also help manufacturing companies build a talent pipeline for the manufacturing workers of tomorrow.

“Our manufacturing workforce is aging and unless we begin to train our next generation of employees our industry is going to suffer,” he said.

Manufacturing is often publicly perceived through a time warped lens as it appeared decades ago. Kingston says what he likes most about the internship aspect of the program is the opportunity to show student interns what modern electronic manufacturing is and how they could make it a career.

“The students leave here and tell their friends all the great things that we do at MC Assembly and for the students, their families and friends to realize that manufacturing is not what it was and how it is only getting better,” Kingston said.

Kingston interviewed and selected the students who will be interns and says the students MC Assembly selected are very excited to begin.

“At orientation, the students could not stop asking questions about MC Assembly,” Kingston said. “Once we hit the production floor their eyes opened wide and you could tell they were very impressed with the facility, process and products we make. Several times throughout the tour the students described how “neat” the entire PCBA manufacturing process is and how “cool” it is assembling the printed circuit boards. The students had no idea this type of work existed and were very intrigued and wanted to learn more.”

Kingston also shared some valuable insights as to the selection process and what characteristics and qualities stood out about the MC Assembly intern picks.

“Communication during the interview process is very important,” Kingston said. “Each intern we selected communicated very well. They did not have typical “work experience” but were able to articulate what they have done in high school and how it would apply for the internships.”

Kingston also shared his secret formula for assessing intern candidates.

“I have three things I look for during an interview. 1) What does the candidate know about MC Assembly? – I ask this because I want to make sure the candidate is interested in MC Assembly, understands our mission and values. 2) How you answer your questions? I do not want yes or no answers. I look for candidates that can answer questions well with confidence and examples. 3) I always wrap up the interview and ask the candidate if they have any questions for me. They should, if they do not it tells me that this opportunity may not be important to them. Everyone should have a question related to a job you are applying for.”