Plastic injection has truly blessed me through my career and friendships I have built. It was not an easy path for me though. Financial strains in the beginning made school difficult to pay for. I had to choose paying my way over a fast track through education. 34 years later, it is my hope to make that simpler for the next generation of plastics professionals.
When I became a process engineer, I started the website Plastic411 in hopes to give people who had a passion for plastics an avenue to learn through articles I was writing. Over the years, those articles were shared with Plastics Today, Plastics Technology and Mold Making Technology magazines. In 2019 I was inducted into the Plastics Pioneers Association. PPA provides scholarships to students currently studying plastics. My company, Plastic411 Services Incorporated donated $3000.00 to the organization last year.. but it felt like it wasn't enough.
I finally made the decision to start a non profit, "Plastic411 Education Fund". The purpose of the organization is to help students with scholarships through the PPA, and to help high schools form basic plastics programs to help students earlier in life. This will help them excel in a plastics career of their choice as they leave high school and enter college. Some may decide to go straight into a plastics job, and they can do so easier with some basic plastics knowledge learned in high school.
I graduated from Hastings High School in 1984. The school is located in Hastings, Michigan and is merely a hop, skip and a jump from Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State. I chose Hastings as my first school to work with. They already have a pretty solid trade program, and adding a plastics program will surely compliment what they already have in place. I will be working with department head Edward Domke to develop the plastics program at HHS.
I am asking for help from all my plastics friends and contacts to help make this a reality. The school needs a 50-100T press, a thermolator, a starter mold and material. I will be donating my training time to the school to help them get the program off of the ground. I am also asking for donations for scholarships and machine rigging, set up, etc. Checks will be made to: Plastic411 Scholarship Fund.
I do not intend for this to be a one school program. My goal is to make this a school by school program. Anyone interested in helping me to make this happen is welcomed. If you have questions, I can be reached at: 404-793-9834, or email: [email protected]. Thanks in advance for your help!