There’s no doubt that diversity in the workplace works. It helps build a greater range of innovative ideas and fosters a more productive work environment, ultimately attracting a more talented workforce. Since 2012, the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) has actively participated in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) to help create a more inclusive environment.
MSIPP increases diversity by boosting the number of women and minority students with STEM degrees into our workforce. The program supports students by investing in workforce development to advance technical skills needed for STEM careers. The program also enhances research and education at under-represented colleges and universities including the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).
KCNSC frequently attends MSIPP college campus events where employees and students can discuss opportunities available to them, including internships. This year KCNSC has many MSIPP interns including Lisa Willis, KCNSC’s first intern from Navajo Tech University (NTU), a tribal college.
Lisa is finishing her master thesis and attending her final semester at NTU. She chose NTU for the industrial engineering program since she had familiarity in logistics from her military experience in the Army. While at NTU, Lisa attended a career fair where she met representatives from KCNSC and she loved what they had to say!
“In talking to the employees, I could tell we had similar interests in metrology,” Lisa said. “I also thought it would be great to intern at a company with a culture for hands-on learning experiences.”
Lisa believes the best way to learn is through meaningful, real-world challenges and KCNSC’s internship program delivers just that. Lisa is currently working in the metrology department calibrating and learning about equipment she will be working with for her final intern project.
Juanita Stephen is a third-time intern at KCNSC from Lincoln University (LU), a Historically Black College and University. Juanita graduated from LU in May, 2018 with a bachelor’s of science in mathematics and an associates of science in pre-engineering. She is currently pursuing her masters of science in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech with plans to graduate in the fall of 2020.
Juanita participated in a pilot program at LU, called LUINSTEP which helps prepare students with information on succeeding in STEM fields and provided her the opportunity to visit KCNSC. While on her visit, she learned all about the internship program and has been participating ever since.
“I would recommend this internship to everyone,” Juanita said. “It has prepared me with technical knowledge, a better understanding of what an engineering career could look like and a broader view of how departments work together for the good of the company.”
MSIPP has a long history of looking outside of traditional intern recruiting methods to build an authentic and inclusive culture. By participating in programs like MSIPP, KCNSC is creating a workforce comprised of employees from different backgrounds in terms of cultural, financial, or educational perspectives – ultimately providing untold benefits to each and every employee each day.
Learn more about MSIPP.