Export Internship Program Serves Manufacturers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – After learning about export and trade through the Ohio Export Internship Program at Youngstown State University, Teddi Kinsey was ready to contribute when she arrived as a summer intern at Taylor-Winfield Technologies in Youngstown.

Through the YSU internship program, Kinsey had taken a class taught by Mousa Kassis, director of the Export Assistance Network, through Ohio’s Small Business Development Center, and Mariah Carna, the program’s international trade specialist.

Kinsey credits that class and the program with giving her in-depth knowledge. She learned to look at international trade agreements, export regulations, incoterms and other changes to compliance issues. Incoterms, according to the International Chamber of Commerce, are a set of standards for international and domestic contracts and payments for the delivery of goods.

“I felt very prepared by the time we were ready to go into the workplace,” Kinsey says. The program taught her both the hard information she needed as well as the soft work skills to succeed she adds.

“You go from being a student to learning how to be a professional. And you just feel more comfortable in that role, even in the class. That transfers very nicely into the workplace,” Kinsey says.

Taylor-Winfield has been around since 1882. The company is known for welding but has stretched its reach into induction heating, automation robotics, and the  export of coil joining machines for the steel industry.

“We have a very diversified product offering that serves many different manufacturing sectors,” says Katie Denno, marketing manager. The company creates both standard and custom parts for a variety of clients.

Kinsey did not find many things that needed to be fixed with Taylor-Winfield’s export plans, but periodic reviews are a necessity because there can be changes to international trade regulations each year.

As a marketing major at YSU, Kinsey admits she did not know what to expect when the Ohio Export Internship Program paired her with Taylor-Winfield, a company that employs 85 to 90 people, including 35 engineers. In addition to Ohio Export Internship Program affiliated with the Williamson School of Business, Taylor-Winfield also works with YSU’s Rayen School of Engineering to find talent.

“Every year we try to fill our pipeline with young talent from the OEIP, because we know that it is solid talent,” Denno says.

YSU and five other universities participate in the Ohio Export Internship Program, which places trained students at an Ohio company for a 12-week summer internship. Fifty percent of the student’s wages can be reimbursed, up to $4,080, which amounts to the student earning $19 per hour for 40 hours a week.

Through the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Small Business Development Center has three programs, including the internship program. The programs are run by

YSU professor Kassis, who work with both the students and the employers, as well.

“Mousa and Mariah do an amazing job of preparing the candidates through the Ohio Export Internship Program,” says Denno. “They have many different resources through the EAN and YSU to gather market research for us, help us strategically plan to break into new markets, basically do a viability check to see if what we’re thinking, if we should take our products to specific markets, would be fruitful.”

Denno says Kinsey jumped right into the business, analyzed what they were doing, corrected any problems and helped them streamline their processes. Additionally, Kinsey helped Taylor-Winfield research potential international markets.

Megan Matale, Taylor-Winfield director of continuous improvement, says when Kinsey and other interns arrive in May, they are prepared to spend the summer focusing on anything export-related: marketing, finding new customers in various countries, writing a quality manual and updating work instructions.

“Very little training is required. They’re very knowledgeable and they’re able to jump in and help right away,” says Matale. “She’s been very valuable to us and we’re looking forward to hiring her when she is done with her master’s degree.”

Although Kinsey did not anticipate she would end up in manufacturing when she began studying marketing, she has accepted the full-time offer at Taylor-Winfield and will start when she completes the online MBA program at YSU this summer.

After completing the company’s leadership rotation program, which gave her a chance to rotate through various departments in the company and learn more about what she might want to pursue for her career, Kinsey has found a home as a marketing coordinator.

Pictured at top: Taylor-Winfield Technologies’ Megan Natale, director of continuous improvement, and Katie Denno, director of marketing, say YSU student Teddi Kinsey was offered a full-time position after she completed the Ohio Export Internship Program.