Earth Day's going to bring a lot of discussions about challenges in recycling.
But to wrap up today's Kickstart newsletter, let's shift from second chance plastic to a new focus by a manufacturing group on what it's calling "second chance hiring."
The Manufacturing Institute yesterday unveiled a plan to encourage manufacturing companies to see Americans with criminal records as a good, untapped source of potential workers.
At Plastics News, we hear a lot about the skills gap and the trouble that manufacturing companies have in finding enough workers, even today.
The MI, which is part of the National Association of Manufacturers, pointed to more than a half-million open jobs in manufacturing now, and it noted projections of 4 million positions to fill over the next decade.
"One-in-three Americans possess a criminal record," MI wrote. "Without second chance opportunities, many in this sizable talent pool are excluded from the workforce, needlessly leaving them on the sidelines as employer search for candidates who can fill skills gaps."
Washington-based MI said it will be working with the Charles Koch Institute to develop tools like pilot programs and original research tailored to manufacturing, along with webinars and events to spread the word.
We've taken some looks at this in the plastics industry.
One of the more memorable reporting trips I've done for PN in recent years was to a North Carolina company, Carolina Color, for some articles on how it staffs most of its factory floor workforce from people in prison work release, who then stay on and have built careers and stable lives.
As one of the employees told me: "Society doesn't see the success stories." To hear firsthand some of those stories, check out this podcast as well.