How do you get a monorail designed? Ask high school students to help — and in return, empower them to thrive in the workforce of tomorrow.

That’s what Georgia-Pacific did when it needed a monorail for its pulp and paper mill in Palatka, Florida. Mill engineers, led by Palatka Mill engineering and reliability manager Bill Kane, teamed up with Palatka High School through a partnership with Project Lead the Way.

Project Lead the Way (PTLW) provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers across the United States. Among other STEM courses, PTLW offers engineering courses that engage students in interdisciplinary activities like working with a client to design a project — in this case, a monorail capable of unloading large motors weighing up to 21,000 pounds.

Real-world learning experiences like these help students develop in-demand knowledge and skills, including vocational skills that will allow them to enter a heavy manufacturing environment.

Helping local students develop these core competencies “will go a long way for them and for this company,” said Kevin Curry, VP of operations at the mill.

Watch the video to hear more about Georgia-Pacific’s PTLW project and see the budding engineers in action.

To learn about careers at Georgia-Pacific go to