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 where we operate in North America.
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 Sappi offers support with scholarships and co-op job opportunities. We are especially focused on recruiting women who have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields, including forestry.
Brandi Couture, pictured above, is representative of this movement. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maine, she joined Sappi in 1996 and has risen through our ranks to become the Superintendent of Specialty Coating Operations for Release Papers in our Portland, Maine location. Brandi champions women in STEM in the community and at Sappi.
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 programmes 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 the many Sappi employees who began her Sappi career as a co-op at the Westbrook Mill.
Lindsey Smith 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 gained 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 optimisation 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.”