The Akron Polymer Training Center at the University of Akron has been awarded a $9,500 grant from the Department of Commerce to conduct training for trade officials at NPE 2003 in Chicago.
Between 20 and 25 people from various countries will attend a course titled ``Discovering Plastics.'' The attendees will be trade specialists from the United States, Chile, Russia, Germany, Colombia, South Korea, Argentina, Thailand and France who are employed by the U.S. Commercial Service, a division of the Department of Commerce.
``These are people with no technical background,'' said Tayba Tahir, associate director of APTC. ``The class is geared to help them understand polymers and processes and apply it to industry in their countries.''
The hands-on, one-day course will be taught by Melanie Stewart, a former staff member of APTC and current coordinator of secondary-student learning for the Elmbrook City School District near Milwaukee. The attendees will gain an understanding of the differences between thermosets and thermoplastics, with a focus on applications. The participants also will walk the floors at McCormick Place on June 26 and view the exhibits.
``We want to explain the processes and machines where we can,'' Tahir added.
Currently, 66 international and 23 domestic commercial and trade specialists educate and assist clients with decisions involving plastics production, one of the United States' largest manufacturing sectors.