Our Future Workforce

Schools and Companies Tout Training Programs at PACK EXPO International

Even before the pandemic and its aftermath, finding workers has been a struggle. Unemployment rates continue to hover at or near historic lows, even as economists increasingly predict an economic downturn. Workforce training, recruitment, and retention issues remain top concerns for companies nationwide, including those in the flexible packaging industry.

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Flexpack Crash Course

New Workers Network During Daylong Seminar

This course aims to help the flexible packaging industry maintain, grow, and attract new talent through connections and collaboration.

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What Now?

Advocacy Experts Discuss New Congress

As 2023 begins, federal legislators will be putting the final touches on reorganizing the House and Senate committees and subcommittees of the 118th Congress based on the results of the November election. But even before the election, advocates for the packaging and flexible packaging industries were preparing for what they know will be a busy year on Capitol Hill.

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What Most Concerns You for the Future?

Thought Leader Survey Highlights Legislation, Other Issues

This year, the respondents to the “Packaging Thought Leader Survey 2032” included 165 experts, including leadership from the Flexible Packaging Association. The questions include deep looks into key tech­nologies and trends that will impact packaging by 2032.

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Beyond the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Some Companies Create Alternative Routes to Circularity Goals

As they take steps toward creating a circu­lar economy for their products, flexible packaging companies continue to face calls for reducing or eliminating the use of plastic entirely.

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FPA Recognizes Members Celebrating Milestones

Companies Offer Insights into Challenges, Opportunities

In 2022, as companies in the flexible packaging realm reach mile­stone years in their FPA memberships, some shared how they continue to innovate, embrace sustainability, and maximize FPA resources to stay strong and meet the challenges ahead.

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Automation Takes Hold

Using Technology to Hire, Train, and Schedule Workers

More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional methods of training workers, flexible packaging companies continue fine-tuning their approaches that rely on technology to limit face-to-face contact.

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Inside the Student Design Challenge

Judges and Students Reflect on 2022 Contest

Four members of FPA’s Emerging Leadership Council, volunteered one afternoon in May to judge the association’s annual Student Flexible Packaging Design Challenge.

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Expanding Recycling in Upper Midwest

CNG, General Mills, and Others Invest in Mechanical Recycling Plant

A coalition of Minnesota-based CEOs in the agriculture and consumer packaged goods industries wanted to do more to ensure a circular economy, especially when it came to flexible packaging. Business leaders set out to create a regional ecosystem serving the Upper Midwest.

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Investors Enter Recycling Arena

Private-Equity Firms See Potential for Circular Economy

Private investors want to turn one of the largest curbside recy­clers in the U.S. into a test bed for building up infrastructure that will be vital to the success of the circular economy.

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Aluminum Foil Shortage Intensifies

War in Ukraine, Tariffs, Trade Policies Frustrate Supplies

Flexible packaging companies may have been hoping this year would bring relief to a stubborn shortage of aluminum foil. However, relief does not appear likely anytime soon.

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Digital Exclusive

Cyberthieves Target Manufacturers

Experts Discuss Trends, Offer Tips

Cybersecurity trends have led FPA to offer its mem­bers a cyber risk mitigation and insurance package program, developed by NAM, to help prevent cyberattacks.

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E-Commerce Evolves

As Pandemic Wanes, Deeper Trends Emerge

The explosion of e-commerce over the last two years fueled a burst of creativity that will leave a lasting mark on flexible packaging, even if online sales retreat from their pandemic-era highs.

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Connecting Sustainability With Consumers

Challenges with Messages Can Hinder Goals

Sustainability is more than a buzzword for flex­ible packaging companies. It is spurring a rush to create products that are reusable, recyclable, made entirely from recycled materials, or all of the above. But for many consumers, sustainability is an abstract concept that fails to resonate.

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At the Judges’ Table

Experts Acknowledge Fresh Looks and Designs

Innovators showcased their top packages at the 66th Annual Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition.

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Mergers Accelerate

Deals Remain Robust for Flexible Packaging Industry

Like so much else in the economy, corporate deal-making roared back to life in 2021 as COVID-19 vaccines blunted the worst effects of the pandemic and companies adapted to the risks that remained.

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Plastics on Tap

Shell Plant in Pennsylvania Going on Line

This year, flexible packaging companies will have a new source of polyethylene: A major petrochemical plant erected by Shell along the banks of the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania—about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The plant is expected to produce 1.6 million tons of polyethylene per year.

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Packaging Challenges Plague Women’s Bakery

African Company Seeks Help with Solutions

The Women’s Bakery in Rwanda, Africa, represents a microcosm of the packaging industry’s drive for continuous innovation in sustainability and the universal challenge of keeping pace with recycling mandates.

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Filling the Gaps

Filling the Gaps

Employers Use Creative Measures to Fill Jobs

To fill job gaps, manufacturers are seeking employees from nontraditional or largely untapped fields. Veterans, women, re-entrants, and refugees constitute a rich supply of motivated, reliable workers.

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Vaccine Mandates Stir Debate

Vaccine Mandates Stir Debate

Business Group Expresses Concern About Long-Term Precedents

As the pandemic entered its 18th month in September, the federal government prepared new rules that would require businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure workers were vaccinated. For some observers, the process underway indicated an overreach that raised flags about whether precedents were being set that would undermine the autonomy of businesses for years.

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