PLASTICS Hosts Local Students on Final Day of NPE2018
More than 120 Orange County high school students are spending their school day touring the show floor and learning about the industry from a variety of professionals and exhibitors. Special stops on the tour include visits to the NPE Network, a “This Is Plastics” experience, and a trip to the recycling center.
Today, about 130 high school students from Orange County Public Schools are visiting NPE to learn more about the plastics technology industry, hosted by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). This is the first time PLASTICS has hosted and organized a formal student program at NPE.
Three area high schools—Edgewater High School, Dr. Phillips High School, and Timber Creek High School—are sending students who are enrolled in the NAF Academy of Engineering, a program that teaches students the principles of engineering and gives them career-focused activities like today’s NPE visit.
The program is a half-day event that includes presentations, a tour of the show floor led by members of NPE staff, and special visits to various exhibitors.
Speakers include William R. Carteaux, PLASTICS president and CEO; Phil Wilson, business intelligence and pricing strategy manager at BASF; Steve Petrakis, v.p. industry affairs, equipment council at PLASTICS; Ashley Hood-Morley, director of sustainability at PLASTICS; and Patrick Krieger, assistant director of regulatory & technical affairs at PLASTICS. The presentations are designed to introduce the students to the plastics technology industry overall as well as teach them about more specific topics like sustainability and bioplastics.
Ten groups of 12 to 13 students are visiting host exhibitors throughout the morning, where volunteers from each exhibit are presenting what their company does and the various career opportunities available. Students will hear not only from engineers but professionals in all facets of the plastics technology industry—including salespeople, communications professionals and those working in the sustainability and regulatory sides of the industry. At each booth, students also have the chance to see the machines and products on display up close.
Special stops on the tour include visits to the NPE Studio, a “This Is Plastics” experience, and a trip to the recycling center. BASF is sponsoring lunch for the students, as well.
According to Susan Krys, vice president of trade shows and marketing at PLASTICS, “The leadership and officers at PLASTICS often talk about the need to recruit young professionals to enter our workforce, and early exposure to careers in the plastics industry can help students consider a path they might not have otherwise explored. With a global show this size taking place in Orlando triennially, it’s imperative to work with the local community to get them involved and interested in plastics and what the industry has to offer.