A chance to connect
Jon Walter was searching for a few good engineers Friday to help Polaris Industries turn its expanding product line into bigger sales. The Roseau, Minn.-based company best known for making snowmobiles has branched out in recent years to ATVs, uti...
Jon Walter was searching for a few good engineers Friday to help Polaris Industries turn its expanding product line into bigger sales.
The Roseau, Minn.-based company best known for making snowmobiles has branched out in recent years to ATVs, utility vehicles and motorcycles.
At Friday's Engineering and Tech Expo at North Dakota State University, students looking to land jobs and internships lined up to talk to Walter and other Polaris representatives.
The company had $1.8 billion in sales last year and invested $40 million in technology.
EXPO JUMP A11
The company hopes to reach $3 billion in annual sales by 2009, said Walter, snowmobile testing and development manager.
"We're looking for young engineering talent that can lead our organization to hit that goal," he said.
A couple of the company's newer products were on display Friday at the Bison Sports Arena.
The Sportsman ATV, sporting tracks instead of wheels, was slightly fancier than the stripped-down, rugged version Polaris produces for the U.S. military. Passersby also gawked at the Victory motorcycle, a Polaris offshoot manufactured in Spirit Lake, Iowa, that saw sales increase 12 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Walter said Polaris is seeking passionate engineers who want to be involved in developing and improving the product line. The company has 20 cooperative education positions at its Roseau plant alone, he said.
"We're always hiring," he said.
This year's tech expo drew 115 employers, 25 more than last year, said Joel Hanson, assistant director of the NDSU Career Center. About 1,200 to 1,300 students in engineering, architecture, computer science and management information systems were expected to attend.
For the first time in the expo's history, employers will conduct interviews with students today as well as on Friday, "which is a sign that employers really want to make connections," Hanson said.
Many employer booths were staffed with NDSU alumni.
Larry Jacobson, a 1991 NDSU graduate, manned the Missouri Department of Transportation booth with his coworker Matt Davis. Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington also had DOT booths at the expo.
Missouri has a lot of construction projects that require civil and construction engineers, Davis said.
"We really find great success up here," he said.
Nathan Chilson, a sophomore civil engineering major from Velva, N.D., said employers he talked to while hunting for an internship were ready to hire.
"It makes the whole process of finding a job easier, because instead of going out to each individual place looking, they're coming to you," he said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528