GNO, Inc. Facilitates Partnership Between Laitram, Southeastern Louisiana University

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The global manufacturing company Laitram LLC, headquartered in Harahan, has entered into a partnership with Southeastern Louisiana University’s engineering and industrial technology program to provide financial support and paid internships for students. The partnership was facilitated by Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) in an effort to link companies with workforce needs to local universities with the goal of filling workforce gaps.

“This partnership between Laitram and Southeastern Louisiana University is proof of the innovative solutions that can be developed to meet unique workforce challenges,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “GNO, Inc. looks forward to continuing to work with both Laitram and Southeastern and to facilitating similar relationships with other companies in the region facing workforce challenges.”

Laitram will contribute an initial $5,000 per year to the Southeastern program to assist students in purchasing materials and equipment needed to conduct the research, design and construction of required senior engineering projects.

The company, which operates four divisions, is also providing paid internships and tuition reimbursement for several Southeastern engineering technology students each semester, allowing them to gain valuable job-related experience.

“Both Laitram and Southeastern are committed to providing students with meaningful and rewarding internship opportunities while they attend school,” said Franck LaBiche, director of human resources at Laitram. “Our partnership provides students with the opportunity to work in an advanced manufacturing environment where they can apply what they learn in school to real life problems and opportunities for improvement.”

“We were thrilled when we first formed this agreement with Laitram, but little did we know that it would be so successful this quickly,” said Dr. Dan McCarthy, Dean of the College of Science and Technology at Southeastern. “This is truly a testament to how good the students are in the engineering technology program and a testament to how well our faculty are teaching these students. We hope to form many more similar partnerships with other companies in the region to provide these opportunities to all of the students in the College of Science and Technology.”

“GNO, Inc. sees this public-private partnership between Southeastern and Laitram as a win-win-win model for industry, schools, and students,” said Jana Sikdar, Educational Liaison, Greater New Orleans Inc. “We look forward to facilitating similar workforce solutions that connect companies with critical workforce needs to exemplary schools, programs and students throughout the region.

Five students have been hired as interns by Laitram to initiate the partnership. The students are all working in different departments.

“This past summer I began an internship at Laitram’s Intralox facility as an industrial engineering technician,” said Nicholas Williams of Albany, an industrial technology major and one of the first students entering the program. “This opportunity has allowed me to experience first-hand how an international manufacturing company achieves customer satisfaction by retaining the highest standards of safety, quality and efficiency.”

“I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to come in and get hands on experience and learn more in my field of study and about Laitram,” said Xavier Brumfield of Franklinton, an Industrial Technology Supervision/Automated Systems major. “Working in the shops here at Laitram with other engineers has been one of the best opportunities of my life.”

“It is very exciting to know that employers like Intralox value the education I am receiving at Southeastern,” said Justin Cifreo of Hammond, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major. “I have had the opportunity to design a few prototypes that I hope will save the company money, increase efficiency, and help Intralox deliver the best possible product to their costumer base. Seeing my idea come to life has been a rewarding experience here at Intralox.”

Dr. Sebastian van Delden, head of the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Technology – which houses the engineering and industrial technology programs – said he greatly appreciates the financial support Laitram is providing to the program, as well as the student internships.

“We see with each budget cycle a strong need for financial support of our technology programs,” van Delden said. “This partnership also benefits Laitram since participating students will graduate with integral knowledge of Laitram’s business model and could be an immediate asset to the company.”

Laitram employs more than 1,700 people worldwide and operates four divisions: Laitram Machinery, which services the seafood processing industry; Intralox, which manufactures plastic conveyor belt systems; Lapeyre Stair, which fabricates stairs for industry; and Laitram Machine Shop, which provides high value machining operations.