Hiring Waterloo co-op students for the long haul

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

by Jacqueline Gergal

HTS Engineering uses Waterloo’s co-op program to feed the future of their company. After hiring hundreds of Waterloo students for work terms since 2006, they know firsthand the value of co-op.

Wayne Freethy, a principal owner of HTS Engineering, considers co-op students to be a crucial component to the company’s growth strategy.  “We aren’t looking to hire cheap help for four months,” says Freethy. “We are truly looking for the future of our business.”

After twenty-six years in the industry, the company has sold and distributed over $400-million worth of large commercial HVACR systems. Starting in Toronto, the company has expanded to cities like Kitchener, London, Hamilton and Ottawa. Individuals who began as co-op students established and managed these offices.

“Having the right people is essential to any company, which is why we continue to bring young people in,” says Freethy. “We have many students who come through the co-op program and continue with our company full-time, pursuing careers here.” 

To help staff their offices across Ontario, HTS Engineering primarily hires civil, mechanical and chemical engineering co-op students. “What attracts us to Waterloo is that you can hire students all year round,” says Freethy, who also manages the company’s co-op program.

At HTS Engineering, students take on the role of an engineering sales assistant with responsibilities that include providing equipment layouts, pricing and quotations for industrial HVACR equipment. Senior students have the opportunity to expand these skills and perform site visits, conduct design sessions and interact with customers.

 “As opportunities for growth have come up in our company, it’s young people who have come up through the co-op program who typically embrace these opportunities,” says Freethy. “Every time I’m in Waterloo interviewing students, I’m considering this: is this student the right person for the job? If it is, they will stay with us for the future.”

Visit the HTS Engineering website for more information.