OSU Institute of Technology and Weyerhaeuser celebrated the sponsorship of student, Arianna Rosales, with a signing ceremony at the Weyerhaeuser mill in Millport, Alabama in September.
Rosales, originally from Columbus, Mississippi, began at OSUIT in the Fall 2019 semester pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Engineering Technologies - Electrical/Electronics Technologies.
Although Rosales was not familiar with OSUIT prior to the sponsorship, she had been very familiar with Weyerhaeuser.
“Weyerhaeuser is a family employer, the company employs both my fiancé and father-in-law,” said Rosales. “When I first learned of Weyerhaeuser sponsoring me, I felt happiness and security in my future because I know that they will care for me, as well as my family."
Jason Farrell, Weyerhaeuser, Millport unit manager, said this sponsorship is a valuable component of their people development strategy.
“It is through programs such as this that we honor our commitment to our current and future associates, and to the industry in which we operate, through direct investments in the growth of America’s skilled labor force,” said Farrell. “For students, the OSUIT experience is unique in its expectation that skills are learned in as close to working conditions and timeframes as possible. This sets the expectations employers have of their associates into motion and smooths the transition into students’ permanent roles once their degrees are complete.”
Farrell said that one of the most frequent questions he gets is “How do you source your skilled workforce?”
“Given these resources are in high demand on the open market, we have taken the position that we must be as diligent about sustainably farming our talent as we are with our forests,” said Farrell. “To that end, OSUIT provides fertile ground where those we sponsor can learn to drive value back to the economy through employers such as Weyerhaeuser immediately upon graduation.”
“This sponsorship is one of my most important financial supports which enables me to better my education and work experience,” said Rosales.
She said that coming to Oklahoma has been an exciting and enlightening experience for her with the different culture and geography, but she’s enjoying life on campus.
“I love living on campus and being able to be fully involved in all of my classes and campus activities,” said Rosales.
Ina Agnew, vice president of Student Services, said that Farrell is very committed to this sponsorship program.
“Aside from Idabel, Oklahoma mill, the Millport mill is the only mill in the Gulf South and Mid-South regions to send a sponsored student for the second year in a row,” said Agnew.
Farrell said that Weyerhaeuser is proud of all of their sponsored students and of the mutual, long-term commitment they have with OSUIT.
“Weyerhaeuser is a solid company that I know I can in trust with my future,” said Rosales. “When working for Weyerhaeuser, there is nothing to limit me but myself.”