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Diversity In Action

Hamilton Sundstrand is hiring engineers

More than a hundred openings are waiting to be filled by experienced techies. Diversity is an essential part of the company's business strategy

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Ingrid Delgado, left, and colleagues Jason Overstreet and Kimberly Williams pose with one of Hamilton Sundstrand's famous space suits.

Ingrid Delgado, left, and colleagues Jason Overstreet and Kimberly Williams pose with one of Hamilton Sundstrand's famous space suits.

Hamilton Sundstrand is hiring EEs, MEs, system and software engineers to work in aeronautics and aerospace, including an $8 billion 787 program in the works for Boeing.

"We had 300 engineering positions open last year," says Ingrid Delgado, who became the company's manager of workforce talent and diversity in 2005 after more than fifteen years in various HR capacities. Right now there are more than a hundred openings for experienced engineers with skills in systems, control and analysis, turbodynamics, vapor cycle and other emerging technologies as well as project engineering.

The company recruits at most major diversity conferences and career fairs, as well as at colleges.

When Hamilton Standard merged with Sundstrand in 1999, diversity was an essential part of the business strategy for the new corporate entity, Delgado notes. "We're continuing to deploy the diversity strategy and align it with the business. Our affinity groups have been very effective and successful and we need to leverage and maximize these resources."

Hamilton Sundstrand has affinity groups for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Pacific folks and women. Some of the groups have their own intra-company satellites, Delgado says. For example, a fairly small business unit in Arvada, CO has ten people aligned with the Hispanic leadership forum. "They participate with the main group whenever possible," Delgado notes, as does an African American forum at the Rockford, IL facility.

The African American forum was the first group launched at the company. The women's network came shortly after, and has since developed its own spin-offs for women in aviation engineering and finance.

As the groups developed, it became clear that their members thirsted for more professional development and better product knowledge. "The company is comprised of five major business units, and they wanted an overview of all our products and services," Delgado explains.

In response, Hamilton Sundstrand and the groups themselves have hosted many informational meetings. The African American forum, for example, conducts professional development lunches and meetings with top execs. Key speakers come in to talk about the company's business strategy and profile the business units.

Representation and retention have been major focuses for Hamilton Sundstrand in the past few years. "We have diversity reviews every month, where we identify candidates for higher managerial and executive positions," Delgado says. "Those reviews have proved to be very successful for us and the idea has been adopted by the business units."

The company also has a general talent management model which includes diversity along with performance, staffing and sourcing, development, leadership development and so on. "More and more companies are integrating talent from hire to retire," Delgado points out.

Hamilton Sundstrand's affinity groups are active in the Springfield, MA and Hartford, CT communities, and with schools in Hartford and Windsor Locks, CT. Middle and high school students are brought in for career shadowing, and internships are offered to local college students.

Company engineers enjoy working with local kids in FIRST, the country-wide robotics competition. A company-mentored team was national champion one year and another team won the FIRST chairman's award.

On the job, flexible work hours and telecommuting can be arranged with a supervisor. The company also offers educational assistance: "some of the best in the world," Delgado declares. The program picks up 100 percent of tuition and books. Employees also get paid time off to go to school, and are awarded $5,000 in UTC stock for an associate's degree and $10,000 for a bachelor's degree or above.

Employees can attend the college of their choice and study anything they want. Delgado notes that a number are enrolled in the University of Phoenix distance-learning program.



Headquarters: Windsor Locks, CT
Employees: 16,000 worldwide
Revenues: $4.4 billion in 2005
Business: Business: Design, manufacture and support of aerospace and industrial products for worldwide markets; prime contractor for NASA's space suit/life support system


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