16 enter International Paper apprenticeship program

Published 10:37 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2017

International Paper Riverdale Mill is partnering with Apprenticeship Alabama and is preparing its next group of Maintenance Journeyman.

Sixteen people joined the mill’s maintenance department last week. Nine of them are general mechanical maintenance and the other seven are electrical and instrumentation maintenance. Over the next four years, all 16 will be working to earn their Department of Labor Journeyman’s certificates — the highest level of licensing for the professional trade.

Individuals joining the Riverdale Maintenance program this week include Jared Chandler, Michael Green, Samuel Henderson, Jason Higginbotham, Clay Jones, Greg Lenoir, Brandon Mathis, Brandon O’Dell and Ronnie Williams in general mechanical maintenance and Aaron Adams, Eric Chavers, Patrick Johnson, Jeremy Lawrence, Tyler McLean, Hunter Smedley and Jonathan Webb in electrical and instrumentation maintenance.

The apprenticeship program was first started at the Riverdale Mill in February 1997. Associate program participants are selected from Riverdale production employees and the local community using an application, testing and interview process. The program recertified with the Department of Labor and was recognized as being one of the best in the state in February 2007.

The program was expanded to the current Maintenance Associate/J1/J3 curriculum under International Paper’s Global Manufacturing Training Initiative.

The industrial-based professional development program focuses on a career path, not merely job skills, said Pam Frasier, Mill Learning Leader.

The group will be led through the program by GM Maintenance Training Coordinators William “Billy” Caver and David Rinehart, and E&I Maintenance Training Coordinator Mike Morrison.

The Riverdale Maintenance Steering Team that includes representatives of mill management, labor leaders, training coordinators and other hourly and salaried maintenance personnel, oversee the program.