GP’s Sweetwater gypsum mill just made a sweet deal with the independent school district (ISD) of Sweetwater, Texas. They’re investing $200k into their career and technology education (CTE) program. The donation is intended to give students the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the workforce.
The investment allows Sweetwater educators to redesign their existing curriculum and learning spaces for students as young as Pre-K all the way to the high school level, where students will receive OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration) training and exposure to safe operating procedures. There are 265 students currently enrolled in the CTE program and they will have the opportunity under this partnership to be certified in OSHA along with understanding general operation and safety procedures in industrial settings.
“Under this program, three teachers will be trained to teach and certify students in general OSHA standards,” said Dr. Jared Duncum, Chief Academic Officer for Sweetwater ISD. “Georgia-Pacific’s funding gives us the ability to embed this certification into the CTE pathways of Animal Science, Applied Agricultural Engineering, Food Science & Technology, and Law Enforcement.”
“It has always been our mission to ensure that every student is successful in all aspects of their learning for life,” said Dr. Drew Howard, Sweetwater ISD Superintendent. “By expanding our career and technology program to include industrial worksite education, we are giving students the tools they need to find a job—and at the same time—be confident in their ability to perform it well.”
GP recognizes that the gift of education lasts a lifetime, the mutual benefit of a partnership like this is invaluable and that the future begins with the next generation.
“As one of the larger industries in Nolan County, we understand the importance of creating long-term value for the communities we call home,” said Brent Paugh, President, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum. “We see education as an area where Georgia-Pacific can truly make an impact within our community by helping narrow the opportunity gap and providing equal access to quality education. It is critical that we invest in our future leaders and give them the resources that will provide a foundation to build upon, and hopefully come work with us one day.”
The news of the Sweetwater ISD and Georgia-Pacific partnership comes on the heels of the company’s announcement to build a $300 million dollar wallboard plant in Nolan County. The new facility will be located next to GP’s existing gypsum plant and will incorporate state-of-the-art production processes. The two operations combined will be capable of supplying customers and distribution partners with more than 1 billion square footage of gypsum products each year.
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