As the world’s economy becomes more global in scope, more companies are rethinking the way they do business — everything from redesigning websites to attract a global audience to investing in overseas manufacturing and distribution facilities.
At JLG Industries Inc., an Oshkosh Corp. company and a manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telescopic material handlers, efforts to embrace a global economy also include an internship program that moves beyond job training to teach cultural nuances and encourage community outreach. This past summer, the JLG Class of 2012 interns piloted an online cross-cultural training program that teaches cultural sensitivity and awareness while enhancing cross-cultural business skills.
“The students entering our internship program are wired to be global,” Michael Kannisto, director of talent management and talent acquisition at JLG, said in a news release. “Many of them grew up in multicultural families, played in multicultural groups and are accustomed to working in teams, often with multicultural members.
“At JLG, we acknowledge their global roots, and we have created an internship that builds upon and enhances their global experiences. Using this summer’s class of interns to pilot the CultureWizard program seemed to make perfect sense, given their backgrounds, their experiences and their interests.”
CultureWizard is an online training program that is designed to create awareness of the impact culture has on people’s values, beliefs and behaviors.
Intern Stephanie Song, a native of China, is a graduate of the master’s program in human resources management at Rutgers University. She joined the JLG internship program after meeting Kannisto at a human resources conference.
Another of JLG’s 42 summer interns, Michael Dziados, participated in the CultureWizard program and said the emphasis JLG places on community outreach impressed him. JLG offered its interns the opportunity to participate in a Habitat for Humanity project in Hagerstown.
The interns’ work was evaluated using the performance management system that is applied to all full-time JLG employees.
Song and Dziados were among the interns who received job offers from JLG. Song is working out of the company’s Hagerstown office as a human resources representative, specializing in compensation and compliance issues.
Dziados, a recent graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in safety sciences, spent the summer working in the JLG safety department, conducting audits at a number of JLG facilities to prepare them for a corporate audit of the company’s safety management system. He is senior safety coordinator at the company’s Shippensburg, Pa., facility.