Southern Company Inducted in Co-Op Student Hall of Honor

Southern Company has been inducted into the Cooperative Education Hall of Honor at the University of Cincinnati, birthplace of cooperative education in 1906.

With more than 5,000 co-op students since the early 1920s, Southern Company has a long, deep history of turning promising students into valuable employees.

One of Georgia Power's first co-op students, Bill Bowen, progressed through the company to senior vice president, and Plant Bowen is named in his honor. Many of our current and past leaders got their start with the company as co-op students.

Having expanded onto campuses across the southeast, Southern Company's co-op program now has approximately 250 participants annually. It is designed to give talented undergraduates hands-on work experience in their area of study, as well as an opportunity to learn about the work environment and culture of the company.

Converting co-op students - who must work three alternating semesters and maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average - into full-time employees is a goal of the program.

Southern Company was nominated for the Hall of Honor by Georgia Tech after it named the company "Cooperative Education Employer of the Year" earlier this year. The nomination was based on Southern Company's commitment to training and development, the size of its program and its long involvement with cooperative education.

The University of Cincinnati created the Hall of Honor to recognize individuals and organizations that have significantly contributed to the advancement of cooperative education.

John Aufdenkampe, Engineering Director at Southern Nuclear, was among those from Southern Company attending the induction ceremony.

"At Southern Nuclear, we see cooperative education as a key recruiting tool," he said. "It gives us an opportunity to observe a potential future employee in the work environment to ensure he or she meets the needs of our company."

"With each co-op that comes into our organization, we measure their performance," said Jim Heilbron, Senior Vice President, who also attended the ceremony. "We use the same performance management cycles as with regular employees so we can help them develop and grow into full-time engineering positions."