GP recognizes Mississippi State University as top generator of new hires at company; recruiting manager attributes school's cooperative education, internship programs, 'excellent' forest products curriculum for success

Mathew Kearney

Mathew Kearney

Oct 4, 2013 – Mississippi State University

STARKVILLE, Mississippi , October 4, 2013 (press release) – A world leader in paper and building products manufacturing is praising Mississippi State as a top producer of the company's new employees.

Georgia-Pacific recently recognized the university as its No. 1 generator of total new hires from institutions of higher learning offering forest products concentrations.

A 135-year-old land-grant institution whose academic program in forestry began in 1909, MSU also is second in providing engineering graduates to the company. Oregon State University leads in this category.

Molly Gregware, manager of college recruiting for Georgia-Pacific, said there are several reasons why Mississippi State is among top schools for workforce recruitment at the historic company founded in 1927 and employing approximately 35,000 people.

"Along with MSU's cooperative education and internship programs that many times lead to full-time positions with Georgia-Pacific, we can meet many of the student's geographic preferences with our headquarters in Atlanta and manufacturing facilities throughout the Southeast," said Gregware. "Also, the university's excellent forest products curriculum prepares students for a career in our industry."

The forest products concentration in MSU's College of Forest Resources is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of wood properties, manufacturing processes and the marketing and sales of wood products.

From the Bagley College of Engineering, Georgia-Pacific has hired 18 full-time, entry-level chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering graduates over the past four years, Gregware said.

"We've also recruited MSU graduates as accounting interns, many of whom have subsequently been hired as full-time employees," she said of majors in the Adkerson School of Accountancy.

Gregware added that the company's experience with student interns and others participating in MSU's cooperative education program has been so positive that plans currently are under way to increase their numbers.

Established in the mid-1950s, MSU's co-op program is among the oldest in the nation. Co-op students alternate semesters between traditional classroom learning on campus and full-time work responsibilities with a wide range of companies and businesses throughout the U.S.

"For 2014, we're projecting to have more than 50 engineering co-op students and interns, and 40 accounting interns," Gregware said. She also noted that the numbers represent "the highest projections for these programs in our history."

Scott Maynard, MSU Career Center director, expressed appreciation for Georgia-Pacific's continuing support of the university's students and graduates. "This indicates that we are preparing graduates with the skills they need to become and remain employable," he added.

Maynard said the Career Center has placed an even greater emphasis in recent years on helping employers meet their staffing needs. The work with companies has involved all types of hiring opportunities, from full-time and summer employment to cooperative education and internship programs.

"We also now are reaching out to MSU alumni to aid them in all aspects of the job search process," he said.

For more information on MSU's Career Center, contact Maynard at 662-325-3344 or smaynard@career.msstate.edu.

Mississippi State University is online at www.msstate.edu.

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