University Economic Development Association


The Valley Industry Partnership for Cooperative Education (VIP) Program

Award Category: Talent
Project Site: The Valley Industry Partnership for Cooperative Education (VIP) Program
Submitted By: California State University, Fresno
Contact: Brissa Quiroz, 559.278.5614

Case Study

The Valley Industry Partnership for Cooperative Education (VIP) in the Lyles College of Engineering (LCOE) is completing its eighth year as an ancillary unit of California State University, Fresno and its eighteenth year as a Cooperative Education Program. The VIP Program offers a paid internship program to engineering, construction management and industrial technology students comprised of twenty-three industry partners from California’s Central Valley who are dedicated to the success of the student. Students complete two, six-month internships throughout their college careers. This allows students to gain the necessary experience to be “job-ready” when they enter the workforce upon graduation. The uniqueness of this program, is that it was created to recruit and retain engineering talent in the region. Being industry driven, engineering students are prepared to enter the workforce with the skills needed for this region. The program has added five new companies in the last year. Bringing more companies also helps to increase the number of students applying to become part of the VIP Program. The success of the program is that students are placed in two different companies, and most of the students graduate with a guaranteed job after participating in the VIP program. During the last year, the VIP Program has join forces with the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance and Fresno Business Council, strengthening the long-lasting partnerships for the Lyles College of Engineering to develop new workforce strategies that will meet California’s Central Valley needs.

Finalist Presentation

UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Milwaukee on October 22 and 23, 2018. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.