Drawing from Each Other’s Strengths

Tarleton Partnership with Saint-Gobain Helps Everybody in the Room 

The relationship between Tarleton State University and Saint-Gobain Abrasives fits the very definition of “mutually beneficial.” 

The Stephenville manufacturer just might be Tarleton’s biggest fan.   

“We love to support and be a part of the development of the students through the diverse activities and educational opportunities the university has to offer,” said Hilary Stephans, Senior Human Resources Business Partner at the company’s Erath County location.  

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“Through engineering scholarships, working with senior students on capstone projects, and numerous interns over the years, we have been able to stay connected to the newest technological advancements in the field of engineering. We use the talent of Tarleton students to make our business better, while giving them an actual manufacturing experience.”   

Of five current interns, four attend Tarleton. One of them, mechanical engineering senior Austin Lay, is grateful to gain real-world experience before he graduates. “We work on projects with the other engineers.  After a while we’re not just ‘the interns’ but like engineers ourselves.”    

Saint-Gobain’s local workforce participates in Tarleton golf tournaments, partners with kinesiology students to provide practical experiences on nutrition and wellness coaching, and even helped with pandemic relief. This  

community spirit plays out in contributions to the annual TREAT Rodeo, fine arts performances, the library, athletics and on and on. 

“Professional growth for our employees is at the top of our employee experience,” Hilary said. “One of our favorite development opportunities is teaming up with different departments within the university and sending our leaders to speak to different classes. We have been guest speakers in engineering, human resources, kinesiology, and enjoy assisting in the mock interviews through Career Services. 

“We do this to not only develop our employees but to keep them engaged in the community.  We know that Tarleton is a huge part of Stephenville and the surrounding area, and we want to be close to that connection.” 

Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials that can be found everywhere: in living places and daily life; in buildings; transportation; infrastructure; and industrial applications. 

The company’s products and services provide comfort, performance and safety while addressing the challenges of sustainability and efficiency. With a legacy dating back more than 350 years, Saint-Gobain offers its over 165,000 worldwide employees the stability of a leading Global 500 corporation while operating like multiple small and agile start-ups, where entrepreneurial spirit, pioneering teamwork and bold, forward-thinking ideas pave new paths. 

Saint-Gobain Abrasives forms a key part of the High Performance Materials Division of Saint-Gobain, which is one of the five keys areas of activities in which the company operates. SGA is the world’s leading abrasives manufacturer and the only international supplier of the three major abrasives: bonded, coated and diamond products.   

The Stephenville facility employs over 425 people, many of them Tarleton graduates. “We have about 85 various degrees from Tarleton currently working here, including bachelor’s and master’s, with even more in progress,” Hilary said.   

“In the last seven years we’ve paid over $85,000 in tuition reimbursement for our employees to continue their education through Tarleton, and in the last 10 years we have supported our employees’ graduating high school seniors with $66,000 in scholarships to attend Tarleton.”  

Hilary is herself a 2006 Tarleton graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and she’s taking advantage of the company’s education reimbursement benefits. She starts her master’s program in the fall.