Cultivating the Future of Plastics Professionals

September 21, 2018 • Posted in Culture

M. Holland recognizes that the future of the plastics industry relies on tomorrow’s graduates. Through several company initiatives, such as our summer internship program, our participation in the annual Plastics Pioneers Association scholarship, our Commercial Development Program, and M. Holland University, we work to provide education and continued learning for everyone.

Access to quality education and skill-building opportunities are critical for the next generation of plastics industry professionals. Since 1985, the Education Fund of the Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA) has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to students at select colleges and universities with plastics-focused courses. As a contributing member of the PPA’s Education Fund since 2016, M. Holland awards a scholarship each year to an undergraduate student studying plastics engineering, plastics engineering technology, or polymer science.

This year’s recipient was Jackson Spurling, a materials and polymer science major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This school year, Spurling will have the opportunity to conduct polymer research and work on developing structural additives to make 3D printing thermoset plastics possible at room temperature. His work will contribute to helping the greater plastics community resolve challenges and advance material and polymer science. “To me, materials science’s greatest mission is to seek ways to make a more sustainable world,” said Spurling. “I want to make this my lifelong mission and join the greater community of material science researchers to use plastics and composites to tackle some of modern engineering’s greatest challenges.”

In addition to collegiate education, M. Holland prioritizes continuing education and learning as part of M. Holland University (MHU) and our Commercial Development Program (CDP). These programs, launched in 2017, were designed to provide Mployees and recently-hired college graduates with more opportunities for personal and professional growth. MHU currently offers more than 340 online and self-taught courses, 35 of which are in Spanish, covering a range of subjects including leadership essentials, information technology, recruiting, and accounting. Meanwhile, the CDP is designed to prepare college recruits and current Mployees for commercial career paths within the company.

“The CDP has come a long way in the last two years,” said M. Holland’s Talent Acquisition Manager, Greg Watkins. “The class of 2018 created innovative digital tools and content which will aid in the development of future program participants. They set the bar high when it comes to building relationships and being responsible stewards of applying knowledge.”

To date, six individuals have graduated from the CDP, with two more expected through 2019. One of our current CDP Sales Associates, Mack Drummond, was an M. Holland intern who spent two summers doing research for our Business Development unit, specifically for the automotive and 3D printing markets. From intern to Mployee, he continues to make a real and lasting impact on our business.

At M. Holland, we remain dedicated to investing in future plastics industry professionals. Whether it’s a student in the classroom, someone seeking real-world experience, or our Mployees, we see these investments as crucial to shaping the health and future of our industry and business. For more information on becoming an M. Holland commercial development candidate or Mployee, please visit our careers page.

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