Dedication to Education
In the state of Wisconsin, there are many middle schools, high schools, technical colleges, and universities that are providing courses in plastics. Each year growing numbers of individuals at various age levels are instructed in many aspects of this expanding industry:
- Mold and part design
- Mold construction and maintenance
- Material composition and properties
- Available processes for molding
- Testing and evaluation methods
- Material handling and mold set-up
- Molding machine operation and maintenance
- Recycling of plastics
- 3D Printing
The plastics industry in Wisconsin is a significant player in our economy. The plastics industry is one of the top 5 employers in the state of Wisconsin. We represent a significant part of the Wisconsin work force across the State. The cost to educate plastics professionals at all levels continues to increase. These factors affect both instructors and students alike.
This means that, for lack of funds, tomorrow’s best talent in plastics may never even get a chance to go to school. While those who do may not get the high quality education they need to prepare and keep pace with the industry’s rapid technological advances. If healthy growth of this industry is to continue, support must be given to all affected parties financial support.
It was with this in mind that a group of dedicated individuals emerged from a well known and well represented professional organization located in Wisconsin. The Education Foundation of the Milwaukee Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) came into being in 1983 as a response to the plastics industry’s constant need for eager, well-trained people to become the next generation of designers, mold makers, technicians and engineers.
The Education Foundation’s commitment is to encourage, foster, enhance and improve the quality of plastics education in our schools. Its members recognized from the very start that assistance could be offered to the education systems in many ways, including:
- Supplying better technology in the form of up-to-date part and tool design resources, molding, processing and testing equipment for processes such as injection, blow and extrusion molding.
- Locating and distributing the latest in training materials on plastic resins, molding processes and related equipment and operations.
- Conducting programs throughout the year to keep educators informed of new developments in plastics for their own curricula.
- By working in concert with the Milwaukee Section’s Education Committee and leading Wisconsin educators and employers to communicate each other’s requirements and available services, to make the perfect match of qualified professional and employment opportunity a reality.
- Supporting Project Lead the Way
- Supporting STEM Programs (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics)
To perform these highly important tasks, the Education Foundation provides grants, scholarships and matching funds to deserving students and educational institutions engaged in the study of plastics and associated fields. Funds for these distributions are received from:
- Interest and dividends accumulated through the investment of contributions to the Foundation from Milwaukee Section of SPE, The Education Foundations materials auction, corporations, organizations and individuals for educational purposes.
- Contributions by the aforementioned outside parties designated for current general or specific educational purposes.
It all comes down to a matter of self-preservation. Who we hire in the future depends upon whose interest we stimulate and whose education we promote.