ORLANDO, FLA. — This week's partnership between NPE organizer the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the Society of Plastics Engineers is continuing well beyond the show with a new agreement on student memberships for both groups.
SPI will cover a portion of the dues for student members of SPE and package their SPE membership with an SPI electronic membership that plugs plastics students and future industry leaders into the biggest industry trade associations, right at the start of their careers.
Student membership dues will be waived and SPI and SPE would share the membership cost for each student taking advantage of this offer.
“By allowing students on the brink of entering the plastics industry workforce, we can get them involved with all of SPI's outreach, advocacy and educational opportunities, priming them for success in plastics and strengthening our industry starting at its roots,” said SPI President and CEO Bill Carteaux.
By offsetting the cost of membership, both SPI and SPE hope to make it easier for students to take advantage of each organization's educational and networking opportunities, while expanding opportunities for plastics students and young professionals who, due to financial hardship, are reluctant to join an association or have to choose between the two.
“Membership had been going down for some time, and while it had stabilized in the last couple of years we felt more need to be done to attract people,” said SPE CEO Willem De Vos.
SPE hopes to attract 2,000 new student members with the deal, De Vos said, and to keep them around after they are no longer students.
“We also need to persuade student members to remain with us when they enter the world of work. Currently 98 percent of our student members let their membership lapse when they start work,” he said. “We need to bridge this gap.”
SPI and SPE also plan to work more closely on projects and programming around the world.
“We will be doing a lot joint activities,” De Vos said. “Some of our activities overlap and where they do why spend twice the resource?”
PRW Editor Hamish Champ contributed to this report.