It's a cliche, but in this case it's true - getting involved can make a difference.
As our package of stories on site selection in this week's issue shows, local and state plastics groups across the country have influenced politicians and helped industry causes, such as getting more money for worker-training programs.
Groups in Connecticut and Florida, for example, have played a role in convincing their states to designate plastics as an important industry for economic development. That helps the industry compete for limited state dollars and clears the way for more support for industry initiatives.
The friendliness, or unfriendliness, of governments can be an added factor to consider in site selection decisions.
Of course, it's not always easy to sustain local industry groups, perhaps in part because they're so volunteer-intensive, and at times very dependent on state funding. Look at the recent troubles in Iowa's group, and the state of flux that Ohio's group just now is emerging from. But the stories from Connecticut and Florida (and other places, including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) also serve to point out the importance of healthy local industry groups.
Sure, getting involved takes time. But it really will pay off, with tangible benefits to your company like a better-trained work force - plus intangibles too numerous to mention.