The Kingsport Mill: Helping Create a 21st Century Workforce

To counteract the growing skills gap that will be left by the more than 76 million retiring baby-boomers, Domtar’s Kingsport Mill has engaged in several joint ventures to promote education and the skills necessary skills to compete in today’s economy.

One such effort was the company’s role in developing the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) in Kingsport, TN. RCAM, which provides accredited courses for students considering a manufacturing career, was created when Domtar teamed up with Eastman Chemical Company, Northeast State Community College, and state and local government economic development agencies. The school opens the door to a career in advanced manufacturing, offering courses fulfilling requirements for numerous science degrees and technical certificate programs. Domtar’s support of RCAM is obvious, as the school’s 26,000 square foot facility was built adjacent to the Kingsport Mill thanks to a generous land donation by the company.

Another effort of the Kingsport Mill also involves Northeast State Community College, along with the Alliance for Business and Training. Together, these organizations developed a Pulp and Paper Technology Course aimed at giving students a comprehensive course on the industry. Successful completion even allows students to be tested and interviewed for positions at the mill! Benefits of the course include cutting down on on-the-job training and giving potential applicants hands-on experience with pulp and paper manufacturing before their first day of work.

By investing in advanced manufacturing education, Domtar is showing that North American manufacturing is far from extinct. Rather, initiatives like RCAM and Northeast State’s Pulp and Paper Technology Course illustrate how manufacturing can provide a rewarding career for today’s students. By partnering with state development agencies and local companies concerned about their region’s future, the Kingsport Mill is helping create a 21st century workforce in Northeastern Tennessee.