International Paper supports SGTC Foundation’s TechForce 2023 Drive

Published 3:57 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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By Su Ann Bird


OGLETHORPE, GA – The International Paper Flint River Mill presented the South Georgia Technical College Foundation with a $5,000 grant in support of TechForce 2023, the annual drive seeking resources to help fund life-changing benefits provided by South Georgia Technical College.

John Nixon, International Paper Flint River Mill Manager, and Caleb Mims, International Paper Flint River Mill Communications Coordinator, presented South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford and SGTC Foundation Executive Director and Vice President of Institutional Advancement Su Ann Bird with the $5,000 check recently.

“The need for post-secondary education, hands on skills, industry specific training and continuing education are vital for any individual, business or industry to succeed today,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford.  “South Georgia Technical College has been providing our communities with the workforce education needed for 75 years and we appreciate International Paper recognizing these efforts and partnering with us in our effort to educate today’s workforce.”

Nixon and Mims both expressed their appreciation to President Watford and South Georgia Technical College for their support of business and industry and for the role the college plays in educating and training individuals for productive careers.  SGTC offers over 200 associate degree, diploma, and technical certificate of credit academic programs associated with high demand career opportunities.

The South Georgia Technical College Foundation will utilize the International Paper grant and other contributions to provide scholarships to academically deserving and financially disadvantaged students, purchase textbooks for students to use at no cost, purchase equipment for the SGTC Diesel Technology program, and assist with renovations to the James S. Peters gymnasium to expand the front lobby area, construct multipurpose class rooms for programs and community use and update technology.  All TechForce 2023 donations will be matched dollar for dollar through federal, state, and local grants and the Technical College system of Georgia.

South Georgia Technical College has been recognized as the top community college in Georgia for the past four years by two different organizations.  The college is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary and is one of the oldest technical colleges in Georgia.  It is one of only two technical colleges in Georgia with on-campus housing and it is nationally recognized for its outstanding academics, student activities, and intercollegiate athletics program.  It provides students with the “complete college experience.”

“With the help of our community partners, the SGTC Foundation’s TechForce drive has made a significant impact on the lives of our students and the college,” said President Watford.  “Since the program began 22 years ago, our college has received over $6.5 million in community support.  And that support has benefited thousands of individuals and businesses and industries throughout the state and nation.”

The International Paper Foundation makes sustainable investments to address critical needs in the communities where its employees live and work.  The signature causes supported by International Paper include:  education, hunger, health & wellness, and disaster relief.  Funding also is available to address environmental initiatives, employee involvement and other critical community needs.

International Paper is a leading global supplier of renewable fiber-based products.  It produces corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable worldwide commerce, and pulp for diapers, tissue, and other personal care products that promote health and wellness.  International Paper employs approximately 38,000 colleagues globally.

The International Paper Foundation is one of the ways International Paper strives to reach its vision to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world.  Started in 1952, the Foundation provides grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to address critical needs in the communities where IP employees live and work.