PACK EXPO owner and producer PMMI announces B&R Industrial Automation (Booth 5111) will be the exclusive sponsor of the Education Pavilion at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and, with it, the PMMI Education Foundation's 2011 Student Packaging Solutions Contest. PACK EXPO Las Vegas will take place Sept. 26-28, 2011, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Located in the Central hall (adjacent to the Association Pavilion) the Education Pavilion will be home to 16 technical schools, colleges and universities with two- or four-year packaging education programs. B&R will have staff on hand to talk with students, recent graduates, educators and hiring managers about opportunities in automation such as mechanical, electrical, computer science and mechatronics engineering.
"The schools represented in the Education Pavilion are a primary source for new talent in the industry," says Maria Ferrante, vp, education and workforce development, PMMI.
"We face an education imperative"
B&R president Marc Ostertag contends packaging is experiencing a skills gap—between rapidly-expanding automation and information technologies and the engineers and technicians who must design and maintain ever-more productive and sustainable packaging machinery.
"This is why our company runs a 12-week, hands-on engineering ‘boot camp' for our new hires," Ostertag says. "The packaging community faces an education imperative, and we all need to step up to the plate. This is about investing in the future of packaging innovation."
Student contest focuses on powder filling solutions
As part of the pavilion sponsorship, B&R is also sponsoring PMMI's Education & Training Foundation Student Packaging Solutions Contest.
"Between the student contest and pavilion, we have a great vehicle here to introduce bright young minds to packaging, as well as machine builders and users to the talent pool," Ostertag says.
The contest challenges student teams to find a packaging solution for a fictional contract packaging company working with rigid plastic packages of corn starch.
Ferrante adds, "The contest gives students a chance for ‘on-the-job' experience and it gives them the opportunity to interact with PACK EXPO exhibitors while learning valuable skills. We're very pleased B&R is sponsoring the contest and the pavilion—it's an excellent fit."
For more information and to register for PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011, visit www.packexpo.com. Admission to the exposition costs $30 through Sept. 7, and $60 thereafter.