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What ‘back to school’ means for manufacturers looking for skilled employees

Clare Goldsberry

August 13, 2016

2 Min Read
What ‘back to school’ means for manufacturers looking for skilled employees

I received a press release from Currier Plastics, a molder in Auburn, NY, the other day emphasizing how strongly that company and its President, John Currier, support the local academic community. Currier Plastics has received numerous commendations from local education groups and was recognized earlier this year as the driving force behind the development of the plastics degree program at Cayuga Community College.

This past June, Partners for Education and Business presented the Sector Strategy Award to Currier Plastics during its annual luncheon at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. The award was presented as a follow up to the Manufacturing Career Day held in October of last year, which was co-hosted by Currier Plastics and Lockheed Martin. Nearly 70% of the 359 students that were surveyed said they would consider a career in manufacturing.

Currier Plastics has also been recognized by the Cooperative Education Program Appreciation Award presented by the Auburn Enlarged City School District. Through the program, Currier Plastics employed high school senior Ryann Gable who performed administrative and accounting tasks at Currier Plastics. At the ceremony held in June, Gable gave a presentation on the history of Currier Plastics, the products it manufactures and her intern experience. Lindsay Cronkright, Accounting Manager for Currier Plastics, attended the event so that she could congratulate Ryann and accept the award for “contributions toward the continued success of the Auburn High School Cooperative Education Program and the students it serves.”

As students across the country get ready to begin the new school year, it’s a good time to remind you, as owners of manufacturing businesses that need skilled employees, to connect with your local educational community from elementary school through community college. Like Currier Plastics, you have the opportunity to introduce students to the plastics industry and to the opportunities in manufacturing, and help your local high schools and community colleges to develop programs that will ultimately benefit the manufacturing community in your area.

Sitting around and complaining about the lack of skilled employees does nothing to help the situation. Instead, make a determination to get involved with your local schools, talk to science teachers and ask if you can make a presentation on the science of plastics. Talk to guidance counselors about establishing an intern program. Check with your local community colleges and ask if you can help gear one of their trade programs toward plastics processing or mold making.

Currier Plastics is a good example of a company that is proactively working in its community to develop and grow the next generation of skilled employees. As John Currier remarked, “It is important to fulfill my father Ray Currier’s legacy of leading and supporting local manufacturing.”

What legacy will you leave in your manufacturing community?

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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