NPE2018 Show Daily - Friday

NPE is truly ‘Breaking the Mold’ as a multifaceted experience, with activities, discoveries and opportunities to satisfy the needs of anyone who works in the plastics industry or has a need to know about plastics

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continued on page 96 NPE 2018 WEST HALL 2600 Next Generation Plastics Workforce By Tony Deligio Plastics Technology After years of closely monitoring an increas- ingly worrisome labor shortage, the Plastics Industry Association's (PLASTICS) warnings about the widening gap between the sector's need for skilled workers and the supply of such employees have shifted to full alarm. As stated in PLASTICS's 2017 Size & Impact Study, "While the skills gap and the decline of a qualified manufacturing workforce have been discussed for many years now, the na- tion has reached the point where their im- pacts will begin to be felt more acutely." In that report, released in December 2017, PLASTICS forecasts that employment in plas- tics manufacturing will expand 0.9 percent, 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent from 2017 to 2019—rates slower than in the three prior years and in five of the last six going back to 2011. Total employment in 2019 is forecast to reach 735,000, not including captive oper- ations. It stands at 719,000 today. "Employ- ment growth slows as the supply of labor starts to dry up," is how PLASTICS describes the impending scenario in the report. Plastics is not alone in its search for work- ers. According to the Manufacturing Institute, 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next decade, but 2 million of those will remain vacant, as economic expan- sion and the retirement of Baby Boomers stoke a self-sustaining fire. According to the Institute's most recent survey, 35 percent of respondents believe a shortage of skilled workers will be the top impediment to growth next year. In its report, PLASTICS calls for a "collabo- rative response across all levels of govern- ment and all manufacturing sectors," includ- ing a shift in how new employees are created. "The U.S. must do a better job of training workers to fill the jobs that are available to- day and will be available tomorrow, rather than training workers for the jobs America formerly possessed," the report states. The plastics industry has responded at the university level with shifting curricula and new learning formats, including online educa- tion and at the processor level with unique programs that target everyone from engi- neers who had no introduction to plastics while in school to people who've had no in- troduction to engineering or plastics, period. of NPE2018. Today, about 130 high school students from Orange County Public Schools are visiting NPE to learn more about the plastics tech- nology industry, hosted by the Plastics Indus- try Association (PLASTICS). 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 engineer- By Tom Beard Plastics Technology NPE2018, which is wrapping up today, is cer- tainly the largest ever, with more than 2,100 exhibitors and 1.2 million square feet of ex- hibit space. But more than just numbers, the show opened with high aspirations in other ways. As Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) President and CEO William R. Carteaux put it, "this week you'll see the inno- vations, technologies, design, science and people behind the material that transforms, improves and saves lives." How has it gone? We spoke with Carteaux yesterday for his assessment of the week. The displays on the show floor have not disappointed. All over the halls of NPE, visi- tors are seeing an array of technologies—such as a variety of automation, 3D and the emerg- ing 4D printing, sustainability in the design and use of materials, and the biggest story this year, Industry 4.0—that are not only for- ward looking, but are deployable right now. Carteaux also points to the first ever Bottle Zone, which speaks to "really cool new tech- nology never seen before." Even by the pound, the show is up, with some 2 million more lbs. continued on page 93 M AY 17, 2 0 18 MAY 11TH, 2018 SHOW DAILY FRIDAY PRODUCED BY OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER THE OFFICIAL SHOW DAILY FOR NPE2018: THE PLASTICS SHOW PLASTICS Hosts Local High School Students on Final Day of NPE2018 Students are touring the show floor and visiting various exhibitors on the last day ing and gives them career-focused activities like today's NPE visit. The program is a half-day event that in- cludes 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. indus- try affairs, equipment council at PLASTICS; Ashley Hood-Morley, director of sustainabili- ty at PLASTICS; and Patrick Krieger, assistant director of regulatory and technical affairs at PLASTICS. The presentations are designed to introduce the students to the plastics tech- nology industry overall and teach them about more specific topics like sustainability and bioplastics. Ten groups of 12 to 13 students are visit- ing host exhibitors throughout the morning, where volunteers from each exhibit are pre- senting on what their company does and the various career opportunities available. Stu- dents will hear not only from engineers but professionals in all facets of the plastics tech- nology industry—including sales people, 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" experi- ence, and a trip to the recycling center. According to PLASTICS, this student pro - gram is an opportunity to welcome tomor- row's industry professionals into NPE and introduce them to the leaders, machines, companies and careers available in this growing field. Strong NPE Bodes Well for the Future Visit us at NPE2018 Booth W1845

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