The University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation has received the 2020 Education at Work for Maine Award from the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) in recognition of their role in revitalizing Maine's forest products industry.
The mission of the foundation is to sustain a critical pipeline of talented engineers by recruiting, training and providing financial support for future leaders in the pulp and paper industry.
Foundation initiatives such as Consider Engineering, an immersive residential program designed to introduce high school juniors to UMaine and to varied engineering disciplines, and the annual Paper Days networking event, which draws more than 350 national and international guests, strategically connect students with the university, the foundation, and engineering professionals from academia, government and private industry to build the engineering workforce.
The foundation's scholarship program currently provides over 120 scholarships annually to students seeking a career in the pulp and paper industry. With support from corporate donors, individual sponsors and alumni, that number will increase to 150 over the next four years.
Pulp and Paper Foundation President Carrie Enos is thrilled with this acknowledgment of the foundation's work.
"We are grateful to our partners at the University of Maine, to our corporate and individual donors, to our students, and to our volunteers," said Enos. "It is an honor to make it possible for our students to receive a world-class engineering education and graduate in just four years with two semesters of co-op work experience and highly rewarding careers. Many of our students graduate with little to zero student loan debt, and they remain members of our family for a lifetime."
The Pulp and Paper Foundation was nominated for the FAME award by Blue Keim, Operations Manager at ND Paper in Rumford. Keim also serves on the foundation's board of directors.
In a press release, FAME's Chief Executive Officer Bruce Wagner expressed regret that the annual awards celebration, Showcase Maine, was cancelled due to the pandemic. But he stressed the need to share good news, particularly now.
"We are pleased to honor our partners who help to make Maine's economic and educational futures brighter, especially during these challenging times."