This January, February and March, several pilot programs are being initiated at high schools throughout the Chicago area to determine if a local model to prepare students for careers in plant operations and maintenance can be created through a partnership with SkillsUSA. Over the past ten months, ICPF has worked in a joint effort with FBA and AICC in identifying and working with SkillsUSA chapters and corrugated packaging firms that are willing to dedicate the time and resources necessary to develop customized educational programs at select Illinois high schools.
Formerly the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), the SkillsUSA’s program of work is delivered through over 17,000 member sections (classrooms) in 4,000 public schools (chapters) in all 50 states. These schools are comprehensive high schools with career and technical curricula, regional career and technical education centers, and local two-year colleges.
Four ICPF Corporate Partners, that include KapStone, PCA, StandFast Packaging and WestRock, have committed the next two years to dedicate key personnel to provide plant tours, create curricula, mentor faculty and students, make class room presentations, create internships and take the additional steps necessary to establish an educational platform to serve corrugated packaging firms in the Chicago area. The prototype can then be potentially replicated by corrugated firms and SkillsUSA chapters throughout the nation.