By Jacob Barron

On Manufacturing Day 2015, at least 35 plastics facilities hosted tours and educational events across the country. At seven facilities alone (The Rodon GroupAMA PlasticsParkinson Technologies, Inc.Toshiba MachineYushin AmericaWittmann-Battenfeld and MR Mold) more than 600 people attended events, tours and information sessions focused on the great career opportunities that plastics manufacturing offers young job seekers.

All this to say that this year’s Manufacturing Day was the most plastics-centric ever, and it’s safe to say that these events succeeded in changing attendees’ perceptions of both plastics and manufacturing.

A new study shows that 90 percent of the students who attended Manufacturing Day events, like those hosted by plastics manufacturers across the country, found the activities or tours interesting and engaging. Furthermore, 62 percent of students came away more motivated to pursue a career in manufacturing.

The plastics industry faces both a coming labor shortage and a perception gap.  By opening our doors and inviting people in, we help to educate and spark interest in an exciting and solid career path.