How Sappi Recruits Its Future STEM Leaders

How Sappi Recruits Its Future STEM Leaders

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Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 2:55pm

CAMPAIGN: Sustainability Report 2018

CONTENT: Article

At Sappi, we believe it takes great people to make great products. We offer many opportunities for rapid advancement and a culture that fosters innovation and creativity while positively impacting the communities in which we operate.

Our recruitment efforts begin at the high school level—talking to students about the value of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, and how our industry can help support them with scholarships and co-op job opportunities.

College recruitment efforts are focused on schools near our mills, including the University of Minnesota, the Fond du Lac Tribal Community College in Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Maine, Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of Southern Maine, and the Maine Maritime Academy. We hold career fairs, provide tours of the mills, mentor engineering students, and offer financial support.

Sappi has supported the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation since its inception in 1950, endowing a scholarship fund for engineers with a gift of $100,000 in 2013. The foundation’s programs encourage high school students to select STEM majors, provide full scholarships to select students, and offer internship and co-op positions for undergraduates. Former recipients of University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation scholarships are found at all levels of leadership across Sappi North America.

Co-ops are one of the most effective ways to introduce students to our company and culture. Students are hired for a 3- or 6-month term and perform their work like any other regular, salaried engineer. Lindsey Smith is one of many current Sappi employees who commenced her Sappi career as a co-op at the Westbrook Mill. 

Lindsey graduated from the University of Maine in 2016 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. During college, she participated in a two-term co-op in the Classic Release Department at the Westbrook Mill and was hired back as a production engineer in the same unit after she graduated. Since beginning her career at Sappi, Lindsey has also been pursuing her MBA. “One of the things I love most about working for Sappi is the communal goal of continuous improvement,” she says. “The value put on process optimization encourages employees to think outside of the box, question the status quo, and strive for improvement. This creates an environment of continuous learning and endless opportunities.”

Sappi North America is a healthy and innovative company with a promising roster of STEM recruits poised to be our future leaders.

Read more from Sappi North America's 2018 Sustainability Report here: