A Change of Plans
Working for LP wasn’t on Chris Ellsworth’s radar when he moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan more than 20 years ago. Chris started out driving semis in the woods for another company, but the job didn’t pan out and he headed to the local unemployment office for assistance. “I walked in and 15 minutes later I had an interview with the HR director at LP,” he recalls. “After the interview, I bugged him for a full week to hire me. He did and I’ve hung around ever since.”
Chris works as the Maintenance Lead at the LP mill located in Newberry. His job responsibilities include overseeing the large team that manages building upkeep and improvements throughout the plant. This includes the constant
fabrication and maintenance of equipment used to produce LP products. “If we can build it and install it ourselves, we will,” says Chris. “We have an engineer that does drawings when a new machine needs to be fabricated, and we do all maintenance in-house.”Chris Ellsworth (left) and millwright Louie Parker discuss a project at the Newberry mill.
‘No Two Days Are the Same’
In his position in the maintenance department, Chris appreciates the opportunity to do something different every day. “No two days are the same,” he says. “There are different challenges that pop up, and I like that.” He also enjoys working with his bosses and coworkers, and notes that they all get along well.
When asked what he feels sets LP apart from other companies, Chris explains the biggest difference to him is a corporate culture that values employees. “LP takes care of its people,” he says. “They do a lot for us, and I know it’s not the same with all companies.”
Change for the Better
To Chris, LP’s implementation of safety programs over the past 20 years has been dramatic. “When I started this job, safety was talked about but not really enforced,” he explains. “Now it’s enforced and talked about, and it’s a culture. Some guys catch on slower than others, but at LP, you’ll eventually do it the safe way.”
In the future, Chris looks forward to finishing out his career with LP. “I like what I do and the people I work for,” he says. He also looks forward to seeing more improvements at the Newberry plant under the direction of the current plant management. “It’s nice to work for a company that is always making positive changes.”
LP gratefully acknowledges Chris Ellsworth and all of the dedicated employees that make our company exceptional. Happy 20th birthday, LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding! The future is looking bright.