While producing innovative, sustainable packaging solutions is core to our business, so too, is building a pipeline of highly trained and engaged professionals. These individuals bring to life the myriad of corrugated products that our customers and consumers use each day. To continue to build this next generation of packaging experts, Pratt Industries invests in programs that provide educational opportunities and work experience for both current and potential employees alike.
Talent Outreach on College Campuses
Throughout the year, our corrugated packaging experts visit college campuses and universities across the country to recruit talent and educate students on careers in the corrugated packaging industry. We do this through in-class seminars, packaging club presentations and networking events. We have established several relationships with well-known packaging programs including those at Clemson University, Virginia Tech and Michigan State.
By collaborating with faculty and students in these settings, students are introduced to what corrugated packaging is, how it is produced and why it is so broadly used across a variety of industries. During these interactions, students are encouraged to exchange ideas with Pratt professionals and gain insight into how the skills they acquire in college apply to real-life work scenarios. These interactions set the stage for students to consider an internship, co-op or even future career with Pratt Industries.
Bringing Classroom Lessons to Life
Pratt offers career development opportunities for active employees, through our Maintenance Apprenticeship and Tuition Reimbursement programs, and for students through our College Internship and Co-op programs. Each of these programs allows individuals to use the knowledge gained in the classroom and apply it to real life work situations.
Maintenance Apprenticeship Program
Open to current employees, Pratt’s maintenance technician apprenticeship program is a collaboration with local technical schools to provide a combination of classroom and on-the-job training tailored to the participant’s specific role. Each week, an employee spends a half day in the classroom followed by working their normal shift at one of our participating plants. During their shifts, the employees work closely with onsite coaches to apply the skills learned in the classroom to real life situations.
Participants successfully graduate from the 24-month program after completing their technical school classes and receiving a positive assessment of the mechanical, electrical and troubleshooting skills they have learned. This hybrid approach to training reinforces classroom learning with work experience. These experienced employees, in turn, are able to mentor and educate their fellow employees, enhancing the pipeline of knowledgeable workers and the next generation.
“The Maintenance Apprenticeship program was developed with a twin vision approach. First, to provide our employees and potential new hire candidates career options within Pratt Industries. Secondly, to ensure that our company can stay ahead of the labor demand with a pipeline of skilled technicians. The program provides our employees the advantage to keep pace with the latest industry advancements, machinery improvements and technology,” said Artie Louszko, Director; Pratt U., Pratt Industries.
College Internships and Co-ops
At Pratt, we value the new and innovative perspectives that college students bring to the organization through our internship and co-op programs. As part of these programs, interns receive hands-on experience within their fields of study. Working alongside experienced Pratt employees, students can apply the skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world scenarios. Opportunities are available throughout the country and across a wide-range of disciplines from packaging design and HR to finance and operations. Our internships typically take place during summer break months. Participants in our co-op program do so during the school year and work as a full time Pratt employee earning college credit. Participants in both programs gain insights into the corrugated packaging industry, learn about sustainable business practices and build professional relationships that can help them as they launch their careers.
“I learned about Pratt Industries when I participated in a college co-op program with one of their customers. The relationships that I developed during that experience helped me secure a job with Pratt upon graduation. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to coordinate aspects of Pratt’s internship program, which has been very rewarding. Our goal is to offer interns a structured, educational program with meaningful work and exposure to the entire organization. Our interns bring energy and a fresh perspective, while learning about our corporate culture and the type of work they could do post-graduation,” said Laurie Dyches, Director of Training and Development at Pratt.
Tuition Reimbursement Program
Sometimes employees realize that they desire to further their careers and personal goals by obtaining a degree. Many of our new employees begin on the production floor as high school graduates, unsure of what their career paths may be. Over time, they realize they want to pursue their college degree for personal reasons or to continue to grow their careers. Other employees desire to participate in a graduate program and further their education with a second or advanced degree.
Pratt encourages employees to complete their college or graduate degrees while they work with the help of our tuition reimbursement program. As part of the program, Pratt covers a portion of an employee’s tuition as long as the course selection meets certain eligibility requirements.
One of Pratt’s key principles is to look after our best people. Our numerous talent outreach and development programs allow us to build a pipeline of highly trained and engaged professionals and to continue to invest in our employees throughout their career with Pratt, helping them to achieve both personal and professional aspirations.