(Left to right: Karen Vetsch (HR), Alex Wilson (intern), Tony Ross (COO).)

About Astro:
Astro Metal Craft is a custom metal fabricator based in Hanover, Minnesota. From manufacturing parts for the construction and food processing industries, to precise laser cutting, punching welding and custom design work; when it comes to metal, Astro can make it happen.

Since 2014, the team at Astro Metal craft has hired manufacturing interns through the SciTech Internship Program, bringing them on to help during the busy summer months.

There’s lots to like about the SciTech program, said Tony Ross, Astro’s COO, “one thing is knowing that half of the intern’s pay isn’t coming from us.”

As a free, state-funded program designed to help small employers find and pay for interns, SciTech provides participating companies with a 50% wage match, reimbursing them for up to $2,500 per student hired.

Ross, who received career opportunities through internships when he was in college, also views hosting interns as a way to pay it forward.

Meet the intern:
This summer, Material Science major Alex Wilson got an opportunity of his own when he was hired by Astro Metal Craft as a manufacturing engineering intern. This was his second internship, his first having been a research assistant.

This time around, Wilson said, “I wanted something different, something metal based.”

Wilson got his chance and started by working on some internal projects. Sitting next to Astro’s lead designer, he saw the official CAD drawings, asked questions and learned a great deal about the manufacturing industry first-hand.

His first client project involved designing a custom component for a motorcycle. Wilson met the customer, consulted with them about their wants and specifications and drafted the design.

By the end of his internship, Wilson learned a lot about the manufacturing and design process and was recognized for his contributions. “Alex is the smartest materials guy we’ve got,” Ross said proudly. “He’s brought a lot of great humor to the team.”

Get involved
Looking to build your small business workforce? At least 200 internship wage matches are available to small employers on a first come, first hire basis. Get started today at SciTechMN.org.

Are you a returning SciTech student? Send your current transcript to SciTechMN@mhta.org to reactivate your account. Winter and spring internships are available now.