Sappi North America Awarded 2016 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grant

Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, have received a $350,000 grant from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) to develop and implement a Knowledge Management and Training System at the Sappi mill in Cloquet, Minnesota.

The proposed Knowledge Management and Training System will house Sappi’s impressive knowledge base in a way that is accessible and actionable for all employees. The computerized, user-friendly system will be used to identify, document and transfer employees’ knowledge so that critical information can not only be shared for the betterment of all Sappi’s Minnesota employees, but unique, experiential information can be passed on from retiring generations of workers to new ones. It will provide self-directed training and assist in succession planning and job task certifications.

The grant won favor with the MJSP Board by aligning with its mission to strategically connect businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities, and keep high-quality jobs in the state. The MJSP provides training grants of up to $400,000 to educational institutions that partner with businesses to develop new-job training or retraining for existing employees. Once fully developed, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will have full rights to duplicate and customize the framework to fit the needs of other manufacturers and businesses in the community. Sappi will utilize Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s newly acquired digital recording studio’s cameras and editing equipment to ensure the new system is consistently updated and functioning properly.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the 2016 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grant. The new Knowledge Management and Training System will help ensure that our current and future employees in Minnesota have the opportunity to continually increase their knowledge and advance their careers using the hard-earned experience from our more seasoned employees,” said Mike Schultz, Managing Director, Sappi Cloquet Mill. “Our retiring workforce’s experiential knowledge is invaluable, and with the generous support of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, this solution will allow us to become an even bigger part of the Minnesota community. We look forward to continued growth and education opportunities in Cloquet.”

“We are pleased to have a partnership stake in the project,” said Larry Anderson, president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. “We have had several successful education and training partnerships between the college and Sappi in previous years, and I look forward to another positive result with this new project. This partnership and initiative is going to yield great things for Sappi and the communities we serve.”

The development of the program will begin with individual interviews with each of the Cloquet Mill’s 538 hourly employees. Located on the St. Louis River, the Cloquet Mill produces Sappi’s coated fine paper brands McCoy, Opus and Flo as well as Specialised Cellulose. For more information on the Cloquet Mill, please click here.

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