When talking with executives at processors and mold makers all over the country, they always point to one major problem facing the industry: a lack of younger workers entering the industry.
Yet when I walk into factories and facilities, it seems I always get introduced to people like Tyler Johnson at Precise Mold & Plate in Columbus, Ind.
Johnson joined the company straight out of high school and is learning from the veterans at Precise. From his mentor to top company leadership, they all spoke highly of him. He asks questions, works hard and likes the work.
The future of the industry rests on the backs of the Tyler Johnsons out there. And fortunately, we are in good hands. I believe there are thousands of Tyler Johnsons out there finding a career in plastics to be rewarding.
This is why I love our annual look at talented younger people in the industry. The Plastics News Rising Stars highlights those 35 and under who are on the path to becoming the industry's leaders.
Those picked this year will be profiled in our Aug. 7 print edition.
This is our fourth year profiling Rising Stars at Plastics News, and every year I'm immensely impressed with the crop of candidates we get. Frankly, seeing what they accomplish at such a young age often makes me feel bad about myself.
In just the last couple of years, we've seen CEOs, engineers pushing boundaries, safety experts, business development directors and many more — all of them in their 20s and early 30s. Every time, it's a remarkable group. And inevitability we see names from our Rising Stars pop up again later somewhere else in our paper: People on the Move, being promoted.
Carroll is the assistant managing editor and video editor of Plastics News. Follow him on Twitter @jeremyscarroll.
Find profiles of Rising Stars for 2017 listed here. This list will be updated throughout the week of Aug. 7-11.