PPC’s University Outreach Program: Fostering Connections with the Next Generation

7/24/2014

A look into a converting plant or folding carton manufacturer reveals a workforce in flux: as older generations move on to explore new life paths during retirement, younger generations are poised to succeed them. Recognizing the importance of cultivating those who will one day take the reigns, we have developed a  University Outreach Program that bridges the gap between current and future leaders by fostering connections with packaging design students before they embark upon their careers.

One of the tenets of the program is to encourage industry leaders such as you to give presentations to students at local packaging design programs. Speaking points may focus on, for example, the benefits of paperboard, your role in the industry, or tips for breaking into the industry. Alerting students to the  sustainable benefits of paperboard and its  versatility for design will inspire them to use paperboard not only in their school design projects but also throughout their careers. Providing engaging personal anecdotes about the successes you have had working with paperboard packaging will also connect a friendly face to the paperboard packaging industry.

Of course, you don't have to travel to a local university in order to foster relationships with the coming generations; students can also come directly to your facility as seasonal interns. Our comprehensive library of internship programs is updated regularly and is designed to help you make these crucial connections. Indeed, internship programs are a win-win for everyone involved––students get “real world” experience and gain invaluable industry insights while your seasoned staff receives assistance with day-to-day tasks and benefits from a fresh, new perspective. Most importantly, internships provide you with the opportunity to test-drive future talent.

The Outreach Program also provides other opportunities, such as free, downloadable presentation materials that can be customized to your own needs or voice. Or if you prefer, you can sponsor a college student to attend a PPC conference or workshop, providing your company with valuable publicity while exposing the coming generation of packaging industry leaders to educational information that they would not otherwise receive in a traditional classroom setting.

Building a strong bond with packaging professionals early on in their careers will help instill a life-long appreciation for paperboard that will ensure that this renewable, recyclable, sustainable substrate becomes the material of choice the world over… for decades to come. 

To learn more, visit paperbox.org/school.

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