QUINNESEC, Mich. (WLUC) – Two high school seniors no longer have to stress about finding a job right after graduation, plus they get to earn their associate’s degree for free.
On Friday high school seniors Tyler Novak and Riley Juneau were each awarded a $12,000 scholarship by the Billerud Quinnesec Mill to earn their associate’s degrees from Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids.
“It allows me to stay local. I know it is a big industry, it’s going to be around for a while, and it gives me a good opportunity going forward,” said Tyler Novak, Scholarship Recipient & Florence senior.
Novak and Juneau were chosen from a pool of five applicants. The program has been going on for four years.
The scholarship provides students with an associate’s degree and the students agree to work at the Mill for at least three years after school.
“There are three that work here full-time, two that are graduating this year that will be starting next week, two that are still in school, and we have the two successful candidates that we recognized today,” said Dennis Perpich, Billerud Quinnesec MillManager.
Dick Holmstrom is a former scholarship winner who has worked at the mill for nine months. I have visited with the new winners to share advice.
“More stuff will apply than you think working here. Absorb everything you can,” Holmstrom said.
Holmstrom said a lot of his job is troubleshooting. Students signed the scholarship and contract with their families, which guarantees full-time work with no student debt.
“I really liked how it was always something new. You never knew what was going to happen the next day. It always interested me, each and every day,” said Riley Juneau, Scholarship Recipient & Kingsford Senior.
Juneau and Novak will graduate high school soon and will begin their careers in the trades this summer. The scholarship also guarantees summer work at the Mill between school years.
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