Additional Focus to Grow the Industry’s Labor Force

The manufacturing skills gap in the United States could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030, according to a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. This is not news to our industry. I’ve heard growing concerns from leaders the past few years on the challenges regarding workforce development. And, as the newly appointed president of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF), I’m here to tell you that I’m listening and ready to work with you to address those challenges.

ICPF has worked for the last 30 years to advance student and faculty knowledge of the corrugated packaging industry. This important task is just one of many the ICPF board has targeted for the coming years.

Co-sponsored by AICC – The Independent Packaging Association and Fibre Box Association (FBA), the ICPF board is comprised of members from both organizations. They’ve worked hard this year to refocus ICPF’s mission and objectives to better align with the needs of the industry.

My role will be to strengthen the existing programs and services offered by ICPF that have served the industry well, while expanding the foundation’s work to address other critical needs.

This will include creating a social media presence, building partnerships with the education community, expanding student and faculty knowledge at trade schools and community colleges, establishing relationships with local governments and apprenticeship programs and developing marketing/communications tools to promote the many benefits of choosing a career in corrugated packaging.

I’ll also be looking to collaborate with other organizations, to capitalize on their strengths and resources where it makes sense to ensure we are getting the most value for our efforts. Our industry has provided generous support and funding to ICPF over the years, and I will make sure those contributions are used in meaningful ways.

I hope to see a renewed interest in supporting the foundation and I am always open to feedback and opportunities to connect. Please reach out – growing the industry’s labor force is a collective effort and I’m here to contribute and aid in any way I can.