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General Engineering Partnership

provides VHCC students on-the-job experience with paid internships

Post Date:03/07/2019 10:05 AM

ABINGDON, VA – General Engineering Company (GE) of Abingdon, a leading national supplier of custom hydraulic cylinders, is partnering with Virginia Highlands Community College to provide paid internships to VHCC students pursuing careers related to the development of its product lines.

General Engineering says the 12-week internship, which began this month, is a win-win for everyone.

“We’re getting well-prepared, hardworking students who are eager to perform as professionals,” said Tim Lawson, human resource manager at General Engineering. “And, the students are getting real-world experience that will positively impact their future career success.”

Traci Mitchell, a career services specialist at VHCC, agrees.

“Our students are being compensated at a very competitive wage for on-the-job training that complements the educational foundation they’re receiving at Virginia Highlands,” said Mitchell. “It’s really an incredible opportunity.”

VHCC precision machining student Robbie Murray looks on as he receives on-the-job instruction from Jason Keith of General Engineering.Robbie Murray, 18, of Abingdon, is one of the VHCC student interns working in the field of precision machining. Murray says the experience has been more than he anticipated. 

“It’s a fantastic company and I’m learning more than I ever imagined,” said Murray. “The supervisors have been great. They’re willing to work with you and teach you along the way. I’ve become much more proficient with the measurements and tools.”

Current VHCC interns include four students pursuing a precision machining career studies certificate and one student pursuing an associate of arts and science degree with a specialization in engineering. 

“VHCC students come to us with a strong foundational start,” said Lawson. “Their level of preparedness greatly impacts our success.”

“I know I am growing professionally. It’s been a great experience and I’m really enjoying every minute of it,” said Murray. “I’m getting my foot in the door at a super company and I’m gaining valuable on-the-job training at the same time.”

To be accepted as an intern at General Engineering, VHCC students are vetted in a selection process that includes the submission of a resume and job application as well as a formal job interview. VHCC Career Services prepares students for the selection process by providing resume writing workshops and mock interviews. 

“Our goal is to prepare students with job-seeking skills that will benefit them for the remainder of their lives,” said Mitchell. “At VHCC, education includes much more than classroom knowledge. We do everything possible to make sure our students graduate prepared to succeed in the workforce.”

For more information about VHCC and educational opportunities, visit

Pictured above:  VHCC precision machining student Robbie Murray looks on as he receives on-the-job instruction from Jason Keith of General Engineering.

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