Concord, NH – Paper products are an integral part of our daily lives, part of countless industrial and consumer products we use every day. The skill of papermaking is a meaningful part of Gorham, New Hampshire’s history, and White Mountain Paper Company is proud to represent that regional legacy. As the workforce ages, keeping the paper manufacturing process going will require sharing paper-industry skills to create a pipeline of skilled workers for this critical industry.
In response to this demand, ApprenticeshipNH, a workforce program of the Community College System of New Hampshire, partnered with White Mountain Paper to launch an Electrical and Electronics Repairers Registered Apprenticeship program. This program is designed to generate a skilled workforce that can keep this specific machinery operating at an optimal level. Using ApprenticeshipNH’s “Earn While You Learn” model, apprentices will earn pay while being trained and mentored at one of the country’s oldest paper mills.
“We are excited to partner with White Mountain Paper as the first employer to take advantage of our incentive funding opportunity by offering a new Electrical and Electronics Repairers Registered Apprenticeship,” said Charlotte Williams, Apprenticeship Building America Grant Manager. “White Mountain Paper is a specialized company that will benefit from a program enabling skilled papermakers to transfer critical knowledge to the next generation to support the paper making process for many years to come. This apprenticeship opportunity is great for anyone who is considering a fulfilling career working on electronic equipment. Apprentices will develop and utilize technical skills and learn from a longstanding and established paper mill.”
The two-year Electrical and Electronics Repairers Registered Apprenticeship is a competency-based program that combines two-years of practical on-the-job training with 327 hours of classroom learning at White Mountains Community College and Penn State Berks. Apprentices will engage in hands-on learning alongside the experts at White Mountain Paper. Their on-the-job training will be focused on repairing the machines that use renewable energy and sustainable pulp to produce high quality tissue and towel, and apprentices will be paid while they are working and learning.
“Partnering with White Mountain Community College and ApprenticeshipNH will play a vital role in meeting the Mill’s future workforce needs, building the next generation of papermakers and providing opportunities for employees to not only learn a skill, but also build a career in the industry, and in their community,” said Matthew O’Day, White Mountain Paper Mill Manager. “White Mountain Paper operates a state-of-the-art tissue machine and has been implementing a comprehensive plan to stabilize paper making in the North Country, preserve jobs, and position the Mill for sustainable future growth. Access to a skilled workforce will be paramount to this plan being successful.”
Electrical and electronics repair technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing electrical equipment. According to New Hampshire’s Economic Labor Market Information Bureau, there will be a total of 345 openings for electrical and electronics repairers of commercial, industrial and transportation equipment in the state from 2020 through 2030.
The ApprenticeshipNH program is offering grants of $4,000 to employers who sign standards for a new Registered Apprenticeship Program or a new occupation within three months of submitting the incentive funding application form. Additionally, employers are eligible for an additional $500 per apprentice (up to a maximum of eight apprentices) hired within six months of the start date of the program and then retained for six months.
The U.S. Department of Labor (US DOL) Office of Apprenticeship and ApprenticeshipNH work together with community partners to create industry-driven, high-quality career pathways where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential. The program is supported by WorkNowNH and Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA).
ApprenticeshipNH was established in 2017 and is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Labor. In cooperation with the Office of Apprenticeship, ApprenticeshipNH assists employers with building registered apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and high school programs in high-demand sectors including advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, biomedical technology, business and finance, construction and infrastructure, education and childcare, healthcare, hospitality, information technology and transportation and logistics. ApprenticeshipNH assists companies with recruiting, screening and hiring potential apprentices, as well as accessing resources in the state that help to fund apprentice training and education. Visit ApprenticeshipNH.com for more information.
The total funding of the ApprenticeshipNH initiative is $12.07 million with 99 percent funded through the following U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration grants in the amounts indicated: State Apprenticeship Expansion 2020 (SAE2020) $3.45 million, State Apprenticeship Expansion Formula (SAEF) $2.82 million, and Apprenticeship Building America (ABA) $5.8M. Additional support of less than one percent is provided by third party scholarship grants.
About White Mountain Paper
With papermaking operations dating back to 1852, White Mountain Paper has been producing paper products in the state of New Hampshire for well over 170 years. White Mountain Paper produces high quality tissue and towel for the retail market using renewable energy and sustainable pulp.