Relationship With Local IT Company a Win-Win
For more than 10 years Kent State University at Ashtabula has built a partnership with the technology company ID Networks, giving information technology students real-life experience in their field and helping to connect them to a potential employer.
ID Networks is a software company located in Ashtabula, Ohio, that provides public safety, law enforcement and identification-based software to law enforcement agencies across the United States.
The company supports Ashtabula’s Information Technology program by recruiting students for internships and also by looking at the campus and its pool of recent or soon-to-be graduates when they have a position opening.
The partnership between ID Networks and Kent State Ashtabula is a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the university.
“When ID Networks needs more workers, Kent State is a perfect place to get that,” said Carolyn Carvalho, senior lecturer of information technology at Kent State Ashtabula. “We have a nice pool of candidates for them. Every time they ask for someone, we're always able to send them a few good recruitable candidates.”
Carvalho works closely with ID Networks and students as the internship coordinator for the information technology program and has a front-row view of how the partnership between Kent State Ashtabula and ID Networks benefits students.
“They have been very good about interviewing and training and taking on current students, former students and recent graduates,” Carvalho said. “Anytime they have an opening, we’re their first go-to, so they contact me, and then I'll put out a notice out to students who kind of fit the bill as to what they're looking for.”
ID Networks has a connection with Kent State through the Vice President of Operations Doug Blenman, Jr., who is a 1997 Kent State graduate and who sits on Kent State Ashtabula’s Information Technology Board. The board helps give educators an inside look at what companies are looking for in candidates and helps faculty members better prepare students to go out into the workforce post-graduation.
Recently, ID Networks was named a finalist for the Cleveland Partnership Best of Tech Awards that took place in October. The awards celebrate the technology community of Greater Cleveland and honor the companies, organizations and individuals who are advancing the region’s tech sector.
“The Best of Tech Awards celebrates northeast Ohio's tech community. So, they honor the innovation and the support of upcoming IT workers,” Carvalho said. “Those companies and organizations are so important for us to be partnering with for our IT program to grow and for our students to be able to find good jobs when they get out of college."
Carvalho nominated the company for the award because of all that the organization does for Kent State Ashtabula students and the community.
“I've just seen them consistently help our students and support our students,” Carvalho said. “There are other organizations in Ashtabula that I also work with, but ID Networks have just consistently been the ones who have just wholeheartedly opened themselves up to our Kent State students. I really am appreciative of that support.”
As both Kent State Ashtabula and ID Networks continue to grow, Carvalho is hopeful for what the partnership between the school and company will look like in the future.
“I hope that they'll continue to partner with us and be able to provide local jobs for IT students in this community and internship opportunities and that we can continue to develop and grow this relationship as well,” Carvalho said.