Domtar recognizes the influence that educators have on the next generation of the workforce. That’s why we’ve partnered with South Carolina’s York School District 1 to share career information with the next generation. Teachers and counselors from York County schools recently had the opportunity to learn about our company and take a look inside our facilities so they can guide students as they evaluate career options.
Summer Externship for Educators
The South Carolina Department of Commerce Summer Externship for Educators program gives companies such as Domtar the opportunity to partner with educators at area schools. The externship program enables educators to teach their students about the companies in the area, and it helps them provide their students with the knowledge and skills needed for a career in the industries those companies operate.
York County Schools and Domtar
During the four-day externship, educators from York County schools spent two days meeting with employees at Domtar’s corporate offices in Fort Mill and touring the Marlboro Mill in Bennettsville, South Carolina. They then spent two days visiting the Rock Hill converting site and learning how the facility makes various products.
“By the time the teachers left here, they had a very good understanding of how everything works,” said Michelle Osborne, administrative coordinator at Domtar’s Rock Hill converting site. “We taught them everything from top to bottom, and they received in-depth overviews on safety procedures, quality assurance and recruitment processes. They also got to go out on the floor and see firsthand how the machines operate.”
Angel Huggins, the Marlboro Mill’s human resources manager, gave an overview of the mill to the educators and helped conduct the tours of the mill, which showed off the chip yard, the paper machine and cutter, and the pulp dryer.
“I think this partnership is a great idea, especially from a human resources perspective,” Huggins said. “We are always looking for the next generation of talented individuals. We require candidates to complete pre-hire testing and possess specific qualifications to work here, and having the educators know what the students need for the real world helps us and them tremendously.”
Most jobs at the Marlboro Mill require a high school diploma or a GED, at least two years of manufacturing experience and the ability to pass multiple pre-hire tests and receive post-hire certifications, including process and safety procedures. The externship helps teachers at York County schools understand those requirements so that they can pass that information along to students.
Inspiring the Next Generation of Employees
Jennifer Blake, a guidance counselor at Rock Hill High School, thought the best parts of the externship were the tours of the converting site and the paper mill. She also was impressed by the skills and requirements needed for incoming employees.
“The tours and company overviews helped me better understand what it takes to work for a company like Domtar,” Blake said. “I have so much useful knowledge to bring back to my students and can now better assist them in their search for usable, real-life skills needed in today’s current workforce. The time I spent with Domtar was informative and really fun. It was so exciting being the student again and learning brand-new, interesting things.”
Domtar continues to develop its community education programs, and we hope to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and foresters through a variety of initiatives, such as the sponsorship of various STEM programs, conservation camps, high school co-ops, forestry curriculums and more.