press release - paper mills partnership - abridged

Public Relations | Press Releases


Release date 12-20-12


KVCC partners with industry to respond to anticipated worker shortage in Maine paper mills


Fairfield ME – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) is partnering with Maine paper mills in a coordinated effort to meet the demand for additional employees in the industry as current workers reach retirement age.


The mills are seeking a steady source of workers who are well prepared for pulp and papermaking jobs, and have turned to KVCC – which offers the only one-year Certificate and two-year Pulp and Paper Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree programs in the Northeast – to meet the demand.


The effort will include financial incentives from both KVCC and the industry to students enrolling in an introductory pulp and paper course beginning January 21, 2013. Qualified students will be able to take this online course at no cost, and the $344 tuition together with $101 in textbook costs will be waived. Course enrollment will be limited to 30 students, and student selection will be at the discretion of KVCC.


A special open house on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the KVCC campus has also been scheduled as part of the effort. The 10:30 a.m. event in Carter Hall will offer prospective students the chance to meet with potential employers and KVCC faculty, explore scholarship and internship opportunities with local paper companies, consider career options in the pulp and paper industry, and talk to College Admissions and Financial Aid staff.


Registration for the introductory pulp and paper course will take place at the open house.


While opportunities with pulp and paper companies throughout Maine exist, the companies participating in the open house and supporting the introductory course include UPM Madison, Madison; SAPPI Fine Paper, Skowhegan; and Verso Paper Corp. Androscoggin Mill.


The introductory course that will be provided on a special basis starting this January will be PPT111, Introduction to Pulp and Paper Technology. This is the foundational course for all nine of the technology courses included in the AAS Degree Pulp and Paper Technology Program, and provides an overview of pulp and papermaking from the forest to the shipping dock.


Students taking the introductory course will develop an understanding of the process flow in pulp and paper mills as well as a specific understanding of what happens in each of these unit operations. Students satisfactorily completing the course and who apply for admission into the Pulp and Paper Program for the fall semester, 2013 will enjoy a reduced course load. Industry partners have committed to provide at least two mill tours during the time the course is being offered to students taking this course (between January 21 and May 11, 2013).


For more information you may contact:

Dumont Henderson
Program Coordinator
(207) 453-5805 
 David Deas
Ass't. Program Coordinator
(207) 453-5809


Paper Industry Facts:


Maine is the second leading papermaking state by volume, producing more paper than any state other than Wisconsin. Maine’s paper production has consistently increased since 1900.


Approximately 7,300 people in Maine were directly employed in pulp and paper manufacturing as of December 2011, earning an average annual salary of more than $64,000, and excellent benefits.


Like many sectors of the economy, Maine’s paper industry is comprised of an aging workforce. Within the next 10 years approximately 40% of the workforce will be over the age of 60. The average age for employees at many mills in Maine is late 40s to early 50s.


(Source: John Williams, President of the Maine Pulp and Paper Association).




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