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News Release

Oct. 15, 2020

Northwest, Kawasaki partner to offer part-time employment, industry experience to students

Northwest Missouri State University and Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation are continuing this fall to offer meaningful work experiences, address local employer needs and reduce student debt.

Northwest and Kawasaki have partnered to offer the Kawasaki POWERing Bearcats Program, which provides part-time employment opportunities to Northwest students as well as an invitation to interact with leadership and participate in unique engagement events.

As Northwest strives to be a leader in profession-based learning, Jill Brown, the University’s director of partnerships and placement, believes such a collection of experiences developed through industry and community collaborations and partnerships better prepare all students for lifelong learning, in their careers and as citizens.

“Partnerships like the Kawasaki POWERing Bearcats Program are powerful in making that goal a reality,” Brown said. “This program will also allow students to further build experiences in the University’s seven learning outcomes related to communication; critical thinking; managing information; leadership; valuing; teamwork; and diversity, equity and inclusion.”

To participate in the program, students must work a minimum of 20 hours a week at Maryville’s Kawasaki facility. Work schedules are set in four-hour blocks to accommodate course scheduling, and Kawasaki offers 401k contributions from the first day of employment.

Kawasaki's starting wage is $17.20, which means a student working 20 hours a week could earn $344 a week and more than $17,200 in gross pay during a year – or about $68,000 in gross pay during their time at Northwest, if they work all four years. Kawasaki also offers an additional $1.25 per hour for second or third shift work and a potential for increased pay based on job performance.

Interested students are encouraged to apply directly for part-time employment at

Northwest students hired by Kawasaki will receive an invitation to the Kawasaki POWERing Bearcats Program, as well as additional information from Northwest.


Kawasaki continues support of Northwest

In addition to offering valuable work experiences to students, Kawasaki, which serves as an economic driver in the northwest Missouri region and is Nodaway County’s largest employer, continues to support the University through its funding of two scholarships and sponsorship of the Visiting Writers Series. The manufacturer established the Kawasaki Powering Dreams Scholarship in 2016 for students who succeed just below the highest level of academic achievement and have financial need, and it established the Kawasaki Kids: Powering Your Potential Scholarship in 2019 to assist dependents of Kawasaki employees.

For nearly 20 years, Kawasaki has annually provided $5,000 to support Northwest’s Visiting Writers Series, an initiative of the Department of Language, Literature and Writing that brings nationally recognized fiction writers, poets and writers of creative nonfiction to campus for presentations and readings throughout the academic year.

“Northwest gives back to the community as well,” Tim Melvin, the manager of human resources at Kawasaki and a 1984 graduate of the University, said. “It’s the community that Kawasaki supports and most certainly this University does. I appreciate the partnership Kawasaki and Northwest have put together. I’m really proud of the Kawasaki Kids scholarship because that benefits some of our own family as they come to Northwest.”

Kawasaki’s support of the University through the Northwest Foundation, as well as support of Bearcat athletics programs, has totaled more than $250,000 since 2015. The company also has supported such efforts as a STEM workshop for area educators and scholarships for students studying abroad.

“We are grateful to Kawasaki for all it does to advance our community,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Its continuing growth and economic impacts reflect those of Northwest Missouri State University, and we are proud to partner with Kawasaki on this program and are thankful for its long-term support of Northwest.”

While Northwest boasts a graduate rate in the 90th percentile of its national peer group, the University also owns state-leading placement rates of 96 percent for bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent for master’s degree earners, signifying the percentages of students who secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.

Northwest places a high emphasis on profession-based learning to help graduates get a jumpstart on their careers. Students have opportunities to build their résumés with profession-based experiences on campus in nearly every area of study, and it offers 1,200 student employment positions that help students to build professional skills through its internationally benchmarked student employment program. 


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215