PITTSBURG, Ks. – COVID-19 has cost a lot of people their jobs but the experts at PSU say that’s not the case in the plastics industry.
“During this time of COVID and all this, the plastics industry is really actually booming because of valuable necessity of the plastic products,” said PSU plastics professor Rebeca Book.
Pitt State and the Kansas Department of Commerce would like to see 4-Staters down on their luck from the pandemic grab a well paying plastics job that can pay anywhere from $42,000 to $68,000 a year. That’s why the Kansas Department of Commerce has awarded PSU’s plastics engineering technology program with a $146,000 grant which the college will use to buy new equipment and create some focused 2-to-5-daylong workshops that will help displaced workers receive college credit towards a plastics degree.
“If you think about it, if you look around, plastic products are everywhere. Somebody has to be able to design and produce those plastic products. We’re fortunate that we’re one of a handful of programs in the United States that actually has a plastics engineering technology program,” said PSU’s Chair of Engineering Technology, Greg Murray.
Faculty and staff at PSU’s Kansas Technology Center are especially excited about the grant because the new equipment purchased by it will help multiple groups of people.
“Usually it’s students. We’re trying to help them get through a 4 year process to get good, high paying jobs. In this case, it’s nice to know we have the ability to make an immediate impact with somebody who’s lost their job,” said Murray.
Murray also says he hopes the plastics workshops will be up and running some time in early 2021.