Georgia-Pacific has a long history of manufacturing; in fact, we recently celebrated our 88th year in business. A lot has changed in manufacturing since our founding as a small lumberyard in 1927.

From being a top lumber supplier to the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, to entering the pulp and paper business in the late 50s, we’ve transformed our company time and time again. Over the years, we continued to grow and bought several companies and hired talented employees that allowed us to innovate and expand into the different paper, tissue and related products we make and sell today. 

Any manufacturer with a long history like Georgia-Pacific’s has also seen a transformation in the ways people work and what skills are required for today’s manufacturing jobs. 

One of the biggest impacts has been the advent of technology, which has dramatically shifted the skills once needed for mostly manual work. Today, automated production lines demand more technical skills and logic-based thinking.

Perhaps more surprising, though, is the increased demand for “soft” skills, like communication, problem-solving and working collaboratively. Also, most of today’s 12 million Americans in manufacturing jobs are likely to have a high school diploma, and more and more are earning two-, or even four-year degrees.

Click here for a “then and now” infographic to learn more about how much manufacturing work has changed over the years.