Manufacturing Month Spotlight: Investing in Life-long Learners Nets Bright Careers at GP.

Georgia Pacific

With more than 30,000 employees across more than 180 GP facilities, we’re committed to investing in the growth of local talent in our communities. One way we do that is by offering resources to enhance current and future employees’ education and skills – no matter where they are in their career journey.

Powering Up A Career

Daniel Compean, an electrical technician at our Diboll lumber mill in Texas, is someone who took the initiative to advance his skills. Compean didn’t always know he wanted to be an electrical technician. In fact, he started his career with GP in 2010 as a roads and grounds manager, maintaining the property at the mill.

It wasn’t until 2014 when Compean joined the mill’s two‐year apprenticeship program that he was able to satisfy his life‐long curiosity with electricity and the way things work. In partnership with nearby Angelina College, the program allowed him to learn valuable electrical engineering skills through college courses while working toward a career for the future.

“If people are looking for a place to start, GP would be a good place because they give opportunities to all their employees, and they work really well with them as far as helping them get started in whatever career they choose,” says Compean.

His career journey hasn’t stopped there, either. This fall, Compean began work on a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Manufacturing Month Spotlight:  Investing in Life-long Learners Nets Bright Careers at GP.

Daniel Compean graduated from Angelina College through GP’s apprenticeship program and will be attending Stephen F. Austin State University in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

The GP apprenticeship program in Diboll allows employees to work part‐time while attending classes at Angelina College. A two‐year institution in nearby Lufkin, Texas, Angelina College offers associates degrees in a variety of fields. GP pays apprentices for their time in the classroom as well as covering the cost of books, tuition and any other associated fees.

“In the past, employees who have finished the apprenticeship program have advanced into high‐skilled, high‐paying jobs and have become subject matter experts in reliability, mechanical, electrical and control systems roles,” said Jim Cumbie, Director of Human Resources.

High Potential For High Schoolers

This commitment to local talent isn’t only at the college level, either. Just ask Travarius Heyward and Anderson Walker, two juniors at Allendale Fairfax High School in South Carolina who have recently been selected for our Allendale Oriented Strand Board plant’s brand‐new Youth Apprenticeship Program. Heyward and Walker were chosen for two coveted spots based on their academic performance, initiative and drive in the classroom.

Newly selected young apprentices commit to working at GP’s Allendale OSB plant at a signing event. (Left to right: Chris Barrett ‐‐ Plant Manager at Allendale, Travarius Heyward, Anderson Walker)

While school is in session, Heyward and Walker’s work schedules allow for them to continue as full‐time students while also earning wages from the plant after school. Walker works closely with the shipping manager doing work such as inventory cycle counts and mapping the shipping process and procedures, and Heyward works in the safety department assisting the safety manager and Entry‐Level Professionals with tasks to ensure programs are maintained properly.

Following the two‐year program, the young men will receive apprenticeship certifications and will have the opportunity to join GP full time.

To express their excitement, the apprentices, parents, school administration, other local state officials, and management from the mill recently came together following the selection process for a signing event to welcome Heyward and Walker to the GP community.

Applause For Apprenticeships

Youth apprenticeships are beneficial because they encourage younger generations to invest in a long‐term career in their local communities.

In addition to the invaluable experience Heyward and Walker will receive through their program, GP stands to benefit as well, according to Lynette Simpson, HR manager at the Allendale plant.

“We are advancing our talent. The two students will learn one area at a time. By the end of the program, our goal is for them to have exposure to all areas of the mill, and that will put us at an advantage when they come on full time,” Simpson adds.

In fact, after the success and excitement surrounding this apprenticeship, the Allendale plant hopes to bring on four new high school apprentices next fall.

Daniel Compean said it best, “If you want to advance in Georgia‐Pacific, you just have to be determined, motivated, and disciplined, and it’s possible.”

For more information about career opportunities with GP, visit