By Will Edwards
This article was originally published in Issue 14, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (April 28, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.
Part three of three in a series about pursuing employment at Lehigh Valley companies
Just as we’ve aimed in this series to shed light on the hiring processes and corporate cultures of multiple Lehigh Valley-based companies, our last subject, Lutron Electronics, Inc., has quite literally shed light on this series.
The privately-held lighting control company, headquartered in Coopersburg, Pa., has its name on light motion sensors and switches in just about every building at DeSales. And the university is in good company: Lutron’s products can be found lighting up the White House; the Empire State Building; the U.S. Capitol building; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia; the impressive Taipei Financial Center in Taiwan; and dozens of other buildings and complexes around the world.
The company was incorporated in 1961 by its founder, Joel Spira, and his wife, Ruth. A New Yorker who believed in the romantic (and energy-saving) power of dimmed lights, Spira was able to patent the solid-state dimmer, which was–because of his use of a thyristor–small enough to fit in everyday homes. Light-dimmers had previously been an expensive technology used mostly in theaters.
Today, Lutron offers over 15,000 products to its clients and operates out of offices in five different continents.
Working at Lutron
Given the nature of the company, perhaps Lutron’s most valued employees are its engineers, who are constantly trying to innovate the firm’s products. No, DeSales doesn’t offer engineering as an academic discipline, but Lutron hires employees who specialize in several other subjects offered here, like marketing, communication, computer science, accounting, finance and business administration.
The company’s headquarters, which is within walking distance of DeSales and connected to the school via the Saucon Rail Trail, lies on a sprawling campus containing four large buildings that house offices and laboratories. They promote a family-oriented corporate culture that places importance on service, outdoor activity and comradery.
“Their Third Principle is ‘take care of the people,’ which is its employees,” says Pat Romaglia, a senior accounting and finance dual major who will start working full-time for Lutron in June, referencing one of the company’s Five Principles that were set by its founder. “There’s a lot that they offer that you can get involved in within the company to get you active.”
According to Lutron’s website, some of these offerings include clubs centered around hiking, gardening and kayaking, and events like an annual 5K race and “Summer Fun Nights.”
How to Get Hired
Because Lutron is privately held, much of what the company does and how they operate is under wraps, and this includes their hiring process. But similar to the other companies we’ve profiled so far, the best way into Lutron seems to be through internships or co-ops.
“When I first began my work at DeSales six years ago, I was invited to their location in Coopersburg for a site visit,” says Kristin Eicholtz, director of career development. “I learned all about their internship program and how supportive it was for student growth and development. As part of their internship program, students are treated as pre-professionals and offered opportunities to work with clients, attend professional development trainings and participate in outside activities such as attending baseball games as a team.
“They want their interns to learn a lot and feel valued, because hiring them as full-time employees is most ideal.”
When it comes to the hiring process for either internships or full-time employment, Romaglia, who interned with Talen Energy last year, says being prepared contributes heavily to an interview’s success, no matter where a current student or graduate seeks employment.
“Just like anything else, it’s important that you do your research, make sure you dress the part,” he says. “Be confident, be yourself and know enough about the company you’re speaking with and you’ll have success that way.”
For a list of job opportunities with Lutron, visit careers.lutron.com.