Identifying the importance of cultivating a student’s knowledge of paper-based packaging, the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) created a University Outreach Program to connect with packaging design students before they embark on key positions in the packaging industry. An early understanding of the design versatility and sustainable nature of paperboard promotes greater awareness among the younger demographic and a heightened appreciation for paperboard’s unique qualities.
The program provides both PPC members and non-members with a range of opportunities, including information on the PPA Student Design Challenge and customizable presentation materials. PPC encourages industry leaders to take time out of their schedules to make presentations to university packaging programs, in order to highlight the key benefits of paperboard and describe what it is like to work in the folding carton industry. By doing so, students will be inspired to use paperboard in their design projects, both during school and throughout their careers. Presentations by industry leaders also provide Millennials with a closer connection to the folding carton and rigid box industries, so that they are more apt to desire careers—and apply for jobs—in the industry.
The program also encourages companies to hire packaging students as seasonal interns. Interns bring new ideas, specialized strengths, and a fresh set of eyes to packaging design projects. Interns can also assist with day-to-day tasks so as to free up key staff to work on higher-level projects. Most importantly, internships provide a company with the opportunity to test drive future talent. PPC’s library of internship programs and contacts was developed to help plant managers kick-start this crucial step.
The Outreach Program also encourages members to sponsor a student so that they can attend a PPC conference. Packaging designers who attended industry workshops as students form a lasting bond with their sponsor company and are more likely to develop a deep appreciation for paperboard. Sponsored students who are exposed early on in their career to the challenges that the industry faces, as well as its achievements, are also more likely to become industry advocates and are better prepared for a career that views paperboard in a positive light.
By building relationships with leading packaging colleges and programs, PPC’s University Outreach Program aims to inspire students to pursue careers in the folding carton industry… and select paperboard when designing packaging for clients or employers. Building a strong bond with the next generation of packaging professionals will ensure that paperboard becomes known the world over as the sustainable substrate of choice for packaging.
To learn more, visit paperbox.org/school.