Two industry trade groups are stepping up efforts to build mentoring and encourage involvement of students in their programs.
The Society of Plastics Engineers said Oct. 9 it's launching a new mentoring program to pair its members with qualified counterparts globally, while SPE and the Plastics Industry Association said Oct. 10 they will continue their partnership to provide college students free SPE membership.
SPE said its new mentoring program, called SPE-Inspiring Plastics Professionals, will match people based on professional and personal goals, and hopes the program can help "knowledge transfer between generations from established industry professionals to those who are just beginning their careers."
"I remember how hard it was for me to ask for guidance about my career after graduation," said Erin Keaney, chair of SPE's Next Generation Advisory Board. "I am really excited for the mentor program. It is going to break down the barrier of young professionals connecting with great people who can guide them in the industry."
SPE said participants can be both a mentor and a mentee at the same time. Sign up is at 4spe.org/mentor.
In the other development designed to aid young professionals, the two associations said they would extend their partnership of free SPE membership to students through September 2019, and give them the opportunity to join the Future Leaders in Plastics program. The effort has helped 2,000 students since it started in 2015.
"It's up to us as seasoned professionals in the industry to nurture future leaders in plastics by providing them the resources and educational opportunities they need to succeed," said Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association.