Kawasaki employees leave work after their shift ends Oct. 22 at the Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation, USA. The Maryville plant has been around for more than 25 years.

Kawasaki and Northwest renewed their partnership to offer part-time positions to students in need of hands-on experience and part-time work this fall.

Students who participate will have the opportunity to interact with Kawasaki leadership and participate in unique engagement events that aim to build their resume and prepare them for post-graduation life. 

Jill Brown, the University’s director of partnerships and placement, said Kawasaki is a wonderful partner with a lot to offer to students. Brown said anyone from education majors to theater majors can benefit from this program; employers inherently know Kawasaki is hard work and will value that in an applicant. 

“All experience is good experience in my opinion,” Brown said. “I’ll take experience and grit over age any day.” 

Human Resources Manager Tim Melvin described the program as successful, recalling a previous year where Kawasaki hosted 24 members of the POWERing Bearcats Program. 

Melvin notices the energy and perspective Northwest students offer to the position. He said they often take advantage of the consistency and convenience of the job due to scheduling that allows for studies, friends and rest. New hires, he said, bring new methods of operation to the table to create more efficient means of production. 

“I wish there would have been something around like this when I was in school,” Melvin said. “I probably would’ve worked harder at both my job and school because my schedule would’ve been more consistent and allowed me those social times.”

Students must work a minimum of 20 hours a week at the Maryville plant. The starting wage is $17.20 an hour. With 20 hours a week, that’s $344 a week gross pay and a total of $17,200 in gross pay a year. This totals to $68,800 over the course of four years. 

From the day of employment, students are building their 401(k). Paid vacation is also available to part-time employees. Anyone working second shift from 3-7 p.m. or third shift from 7-11 p.m. is eligible for an additional $1.25 per hour. Through this program, direct deposits can also be made to Northwest student accounts.

Kawasaki is looking for applicants that have an eye for quality and are self-motivated. Those who are the most efficient at completing the circuit of tasks will be the most successful Melvin said. There are goals set for production each day that need to be met. 

“It’s challenging and high-paced work, but it’s honest pay for the work,” Melvin said. 

The greatest need is in die casting and machining, the two production areas of the plant. Die casting is the process of machines breaking down into aluminum pieces that are then rust filed and moved to the machining process. Six different pieces of aluminum are then quality checked and used for engine assembly. 

Students can apply at http://kawasakimaryville.com/. Once hired, students should contact Jill Brown at jillb@nwmissouri.edu to be enrolled in the program and receive additional information. 

There are also opportunities for careers at the plant beyond graduation. Employees starting in assembly or production have earned management positions. Melvin used his business management degree from Northwest to start as a production manager at the Maryville plant 31 years ago. 

“I’m partial to Northwest,” Melvin said. “I’m proud of the education provided to me at Northwest.”

The manufacturer established the Kawasaki Powering Dreams Scholarship in 2016 for students who succeed just below the highest level of academic achievement and have financial need, and it established the Kawasaki Kids: Powering Your Potential Scholarship in 2019 to assist dependents of Kawasaki employees.

Their website spoke highly of their employees, saying “Our employees are what make Kawasaki, Maryville Plant, successful. The “can do” attitude and the Midwest work ethic that our employees contribute each and every day allow us to accomplish our goals.”

According to a press release from the University Oct. 15, Kawasaki’s support of the University through the Northwest Foundation, as well as support of Bearcat athletics programs, has totaled more than $250,000 since 2015. The company also has supported such efforts as a STEM workshop for area educators and scholarships for students studying abroad.

Kawasaki has annually provided $5,000 to support Northwest’s Visiting Writers Series for the last 20 years. The series was created by the Department of Language, Literature and Writing to host nationally recognized fiction writers for presentations and readings throughout the academic year.

“We are grateful to Kawasaki for all it does to advance our community,” Northwest President John Jasinski said in the release. “Its continuing growth and economic impacts reflect those of Northwest Missouri State University, and we are proud to partner with Kawasaki on this program and are thankful for its long-term support of Northwest.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.