CHICAGO — Even with a national worker certification system in place, officials with the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. said the industry shouldn't rest on its laurels.
``Before we can certify workers, we have to position plastics in industry with access to profitable careers and efficient training,'' SPI President Larry Thomas said at Plastics USA, held Oct. 6-8 in Chicago.
The three-day event was co-sponsored by Washington-based SPI and the Society of Plastics Engineers in Brookfield, Conn.
Of the 558 companies exhibiting at Plastics USA, 63 percent were expected to introduce new products, according to an SPI survey.
The show, held at McCormick Place's Lakeside Center, covered 128,000 square feet, an increase of 5 percent over the 1995 show.
SPI's National Certification in Plastics program, designed to certify plastics machine operators, was demonstrated at the show.
Separate versions of the exam have been developed for workers in injection molding, blow molding, extrusion and thermoforming.
SPI officials hope the program will address the need for qualified plastics workers by establishing a performance standard based on successful completion of a nationwide certification exam.
Since a pilot program earlier this summer, 535 workers have been NCP-certified.