SkillsUSA pilot showing success

A new partnership has been launched to test the potential for corrugated packaging plants, working with local SkillsUSA chapters, to prepare area high school students for plant floor operations and maintenance. Over the past year, the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) has been working in conjunction with FBA and AICC to explore the potential for a prototype that may possibly be duplicated around the country.

Three pilots were launched in the Chicago area this year to test the creation of local educational programs to assist in recruiting new high school graduates for plant floor operations. StandFast Packaging is working with the Elk Grove High School SkillsUSA chapter and Packaging Corporation of America’s Chicago Container Plant is working with the York Community High School chapter and the WestRock New Lenox plant is working with the Grundy Area Vocational Center SkillsUSA chapter.

The plant management teams are very excited about the potential of the pilot. Brian Eggleston, WestRock’s New Lenox General Manager, said, “Speaking for WestRock, even in its early stages we are excited about this very promising program. WestRock, SkillsUSA, ICPF, FBA and AICC all hope this pilot program will result in recruiting in the second or third year. We also hope and believe that it may lead to a program platform that can be used by other corrugated plants across the country in meeting this critical employee need.”

The WestRock New Lenox plant tour included a briefing from General Manager Brian Eggleston and a “Pizza Box Challenge.”

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