BY CAITLIN SALAVERRIA
It has been a busy year for ICPF as we focused on strengthening and expanding ICPF’s foundational programs and services, while re-establishing relationships with key stakeholders.
Education & Student Outreach: We’ve rebuilt our partnerships with the education community, regularly participating in Packaging Program Council meetings (a council consisting of the nine largest university packaging programs in the country), sending monthly newsletters to University Partners, re-establishing the University Awards Program, serving as ambassadors for students at industry events, and providing sponsorships to increase student exposure to the industry. We held a webinar to share how the industry prioritizes sustainability and released Phase 1 of an updated Corrugated Industry Curricula to educate students about the industry. In the coming year, we will promote that Curricula to establish relationships with trade schools and community colleges. In addition to outreach to packaging programs, we also connected with career services and other relevant academic departments at our partner institutions to make them aware of the many different career paths available within the corrugated packaging industry.
Corporate Partner Outreach: We’ve focused on providing transparent and consistent communication with our Corporate Partners through emails and monthly newsletters. We also created a Talent Acquisition Committee with corporate partner representatives to share best practices, discuss trends and develop resources to aid in recruitment efforts. The Holiday Weekend in New York event was also reinvigorated with a new hotel partnership and trending reception locations.
Rebranding ICPF: This year, we worked to rebrand and redefine our mission to better serve the needs of the industry. ICPF launched a new tagline and established a social media presence to share marketing and promotional tools with a range of audiences. We also created video testimonials from industry employees, as well as an industry-wide culture document to share the value of a career in corrugated packaging. We will continue to expand this arsenal of resources and make them easily accessible on our soon-to-be updated website.
Partnership Opportunities: ICPF has also been examining opportunities to collaborate with other organizations and associations, to capitalize on their strengths and resources to ensure we get the most value for our efforts. We’ve begun conversations and re-established relationships with many related organizations such as the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), PMMI, TAPPI, and the Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association (CCCA). We also attended the Manufacturing Institute’s second annual Workforce Summit and made corporate partners aware of national resources that can help them find solutions to their hiring needs.
Our work in 2023-2024 is dedicated to developing effective strategies to strengthen existing programs, initiate outreach, increase industry exposure, and evaluate impactful partnerships. Future years will include ongoing and new short-term objectives as we implement a variety of new strategies and evaluate performance.
Stay tuned in 2024 and beyond, as we continue to expand the foundation’s work to address other critical industry needs. I am humbled by the outreach and support that I have received since taking on the president role. There are so many individuals dedicated to the corrugated packaging industry, and more specifically, dedicated to growing the industry’s workforce. Together, we will make a difference.
To read the ICPF’s annual report, visit icpfbox.org.
Caitlin Salaverria is the President of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation.