When Lynzie Nebel was attending Biomed Boston in May 2015, a sales representative at Jade Group International approached her and shared the possibility of a new nonprofit organization in the plastics industry.
"I had kind of been interested in starting something to get women into plastics. Obviously, there's a lot of stuff to get women into engineering, but [they] almost always skip over plastics," said Nebel, who is project engineer and account manager at Jade. "When he said that, I was like, 'That is what I am trying to do right now, but I just don't really know where to take the first step.'"
Nebel was handed the phone number of Jennifer Snodgrass, who was developing an organization that seeks to raise awareness and opportunities in the industry.
Snodgrass, who has only been involved in the industry for the last three years, came from a nonprofit and education background. Her idea began in 2014 while assisting Jade with outreach to students and universities in the United States. After learning about the manufacturing skills gap, she joined forces with Patrick Smith, president of Jade, and Nebel to form Advocates for Plastics Careers in America.
"The basic mission of Advocates is to raise awareness throughout the entire community of the United States … about all opportunities for careers in plastics, which range from jobs you can get right out of high school and maybe you go into an apprenticeship program, some jobs where you might start with a couple of years at a local community college trade school and then be able to jump in, then all the way through major Ph.D. programs," said Snodgrass, who earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., and is working on her MBA from San Diego State University.