Workforce Development

By James Stockard posted 07-23-2019 00:00

To the Committee:
I thought I would post this document to start a conversation regarding encouraging more participation in this most worthwhile effort.  I invite any and all to comment on or make suggestions to improve the understanding of this committee's existence and role in TAPPI.

Mill Workforce Development Committee Mission

The mission of this committee is to foster a broader understanding of the workforce development issues facing most Mills in the Pulp & Paper Industry in North America and by extension the Industry as a whole. These issues include employee selection, onboarding, training, and leadership development.  Additionally, we will be a clearing house for sharing practical approaches to address each of these issues.


Mill Workforce Development Committee Goal


The goal of this Committee is to make sure that all members and their counterparts are fully aware of the serious resource issue facing the Industry given the significant number of top operators and skilled maintenance technicians retiring over the next 10 years, and the competition for these resources with other industries. Additionally, Committee Members must understand the critical need to develop Front Line and Middle Level Leaders to lead this changing workforce.

Committee tactics to accomplish this Goal are as follows:

  • Defining and communicating the scope of the issue, providing a clear picture of the changing demographic of top operators and maintenance techs. Additionally we would work to help Committee Members and the Industry understand the competition that all will increasingly face with other industries for these same resources.
  • The Committee will be a forum for discussing a number of strategies to consider regarding training and address the issue of knowledge or task based training versus knowledge and task based training. We will work to present Members with takeaways for skills needed for mill workers, particularly for maintenance techs, with focus on what other industries are doing to address this critical resource area.
  • The Committee will sponsor leadership development initiatives for mill front line leaders to help them learn to lead effectively lead in this changing environment. (
  • The Committee will be a forum to discuss the actions that company’s/mills are currently taking to address this issue?
  • The Committee will sponsor webinars and PaperCon programs to address/discuss these issues

Best Regards,
Steve Farmer
WFD Committee Chair