Pieface was actually an Eskimo, a fact later writers clumsily tried to use to explain away his horribly racist nickname. This, of course, only made things worse:
Secret Origins #36 (1989)
"White, huh? The only white people I've met have been insensitive and hurtful. I'll call you ... 'Sir,' I guess. This sucks."
The only thing the "Eskimo pie" explanation accomplished was establishing that Hal was definitely the one who came up with the nickname, and also that he was a shithead.
Anyway, Pieface was Hal's mechanic in his secret identity as a test pilot. After Pieface finds out his boss is also Green Lantern, Hal asks him to become his sidekick ... despite Pie being a teenager with no superpowers and no combat training. The poor kid was probably too scared to lose his job if he said no -- the same issue establishes that he's responsible for supporting his entire village in Alaska.
Green Lantern #2 (1960)
Alaska: Primary exports include fishhooks, pies and whimsy.