The Plastics Institute of America Inc. not only will get a new executive director Feb. 1, but instead of asking new leader AldoCrugnola to move to its headquarters, PIA will move to Crug-nola in Lowell, Mass. Crugnola recently retired as dean of engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He will take over for retiring William Sacks as PIA's executive director. In a telephone interview, Crugnola said his plans include advocating ``artisan-level'' training in the plastics industry.
``We'll have to look to the [vocational-technical] area. We need to interest students at the grade-school level to consider careers in plastics,'' he said.
``We're losing competition to other parts of the world, due to the lack of people prepared at that level.''
One of his first plans is to hold a conference for the plastics industry ``to have people enunciate their needs for programs and continuing education. We'll try to match their needs with what's available today,'' he said.
Crugnola has been on the UMass faculty since 1968. In the mid-1970s, he was chairman of the school's plastics engineering department.
Before that, Crugnola was a researcher at the Institute for Industrial Chemistry in Milan, Italy, and a research physicist for the U.S. Army laboratories in Natick, Mass.
John L. Hull, vice chairman of Hull Corp. of Hatboro, Pa., and chairman of PIA's board of trustees, said the 34-year-old plastics group will leave its headquarters in Fairfield, N.J., for new offices in the same building as the Institute for Plastics Innovation on the UMass campus.
Crugnola's philosophy matches PIA's ``mission of ensuring that its activities and grants produce trained technicians and professionals critical to the ongoing growth of our industry,'' Hull said.
Sacks will continue to teach and consult in the industry.