Quebec's plastics industry has reached out to the public to help attract badly needed workers.
``We're trying to interest more young people and the unemployed to embrace the plastics and composites sector,'' said Pierre Guimont in an interview at Expoplast 2005, held Oct. 25-26 in Montreal. Guimont is director general of Plasticompetences, a Montreal-based sectoral committee charged with human-resource development for the industry.
Plastics and composites companies and related educational institutions in five regions of Quebec opened their doors to the public Oct. 28-29. In total, 28 companies and schools invited the curious onto their premises to learn more about what kinds of careers plastics can offer.
The program was advertised in local newspapers, retail stores, career and on job boards and banners draped across company premises. Companies and government agencies spent about C$125,000 (US$105,000) on publicity, Guimont estimated.
``We find people don't know plastics at all, how it is processed,'' Guimont said. ``You can talk about it, but they need to see how it's done and talk to the people who work there.''
In a Nov. 11 post-show interview, Guimont said the open-door program went well overall, although officials had yet to tally how many visitors passed through the plants and schools. Only a few participating companies said they were disappointed by the turnout, and that mainly was due to their poorly accessible locations, Guimont said in a telephone interview.
Participants will meet at the end of November to discuss the results and to decide whether they should repeat the event next year. Some companies said they will repeat it on their own if there is no general program, according to Guimont.
Some of the participating companies were composites producer CPF Dualam Inc. of Montreal; mold maker Groupe GLP Hi-Tech Inc. of St. Jean, Quebec; pipe extruder Ipex Inc. in L'Assomption, Quebec; Bell Helicoptere of Terrebonne, Quebec; and molder and mold maker Mouleurs de Beauce Inc. of St. Joseph, Quebec.
Plasticompetences was founded in 1996 with the support of Quebec's employment ministry. It draws on industry personnel, labor groups and government agencies to address the industry's employment needs.