PIRC Director's Message
The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (PIRC) had the opportunity to participate in major industry conferences and trade shows during the fall. I was very pleased at the amount of national recognition that was given to Penn College and the PIRC. Our strategic plan challenges us to build the brand of the PIRC and its services to the US and international plastics industry. Our Centers of Excellence in rotomolding and thermoforming are unique and exclusive in the industry because we provide R&D and hands-on workforce development and training services not readily available from other sources.
At the SPE Blow Molding Conference in Chicago on October 7, an education panel was assembled to explore training resources for blow molders. The panel consisted of representatives from Calhoun Community College, Ferris State University, Paulson Training Programs, Penn State Erie - The Behrend College, and Pennsylvania College of Technology. The need for graduates from our hands-on plastics programs was stressed. Also, a major emphasis was put on employee incumbent training programs including certification programs to upgrade plastics worker qualifications and efficiencies. In response to this need, I identified a solution. The Global Standards for Plastics Certification (GSPC) program offered by Penn College features employee credentials and results in increased production efficiencies.
On March 18, 2015, the PIRC and its Thermoforming Center of Excellence at Penn College will be included on a tour of US manufacturing facilities by European companies. The SPE Thermoforming Board Executive Committee has voted to sponsor this tour of North American thermoforming plants for the SPE European Thermoforming Division members. We look forward to the tour as a means of international exposure to our highly valued programs and to drive more sponsorships for our organization.
Research conducted by plastics and polymer engineering technology students has been recognized by the Rotational Molding Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Larry Schneider, representing the board of directors of the SPE Rotational Molding Division, recently commemorated the students’ work by traveling to campus and presenting plaques to Julia I. Gilchrist, Thomas J. Ryder, Benjamin G. Robertson, and Taylor J. Smith.
We continue to value your input concerning our industry program offerings. Contact me with your suggestions and potential projects. Your participation and support continues to make us better.
C. Hank White