Trending Content

ICPF Vocational, Technical, and Trade College Initiative

By AICC Staff

November 11, 2021

Over the past decade, opportunities for recruiting new graduates into the corrugated packaging industry through ICPF have expanded dramatically. During this time, ICPF developed new formal partnerships with an additional 20 university partners; used its educational partnerships and social media to expand its outreach beyond packaging engineering and packaging design college students to include majors and minors in marketing and sales, business, supply chain management, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, process engineering, mechanical engineering, and related disciplines; and grew its existing programming to engage 1,000 or more students annually.

As a result, ICPF annually recruits and maintains up to 1,100 current college students in its corrugated packaging career network who specifically are interested in a corrugated packaging career. Each year, there are many more students and new graduates in this network who are seeking entry-level positions or student internships than related openings in the industry. ICPF’s Corporate Partners continually use ICPF’s Career Portal and Résumé Bank, its Student/Executive Dialogue Dinners and Teleconferences, and other resources to successfully recruit. Through these ICPF resources, over 120 students with diverse educational backgrounds are recruited annually for production, operations, sales, and design.

With this success in creating and maintaining an ongoing pipeline for the corrugated paper industry’s future managers and executives, ICPF is now additionally focusing on needs for the plant floor. It is currently developing a database of local vocational and technical colleges (listing administrators and career college counselors) for key metropolitan areas. The database will be posted on ICPF’s website to assist firms in recruiting for the plant floor. In 2022, ICPF also will identify entry-level plant floor position needs and position descriptions through a survey of ICPF Corporate Partners that it can use in working with two-year vocational colleges in launching a regional pilot program. The pilot will provide steps that ICPF and partner corporations can replicate across the country. ICPF Corporate Partners that are interested in participating in ICPF’s pilot program in the Chicago or Atlanta areas can contact

width=115Richard Flaherty is president of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation.