Engaging with the Next Generation Workforce to Transform the Packaging Industry

Posted on 
May 16, 2023
Danielle Goad
Specright Network Manager, Specright

From the start, Specrigt has been committed to bringing technology to the next-generation workforce. That’s why we partner with the top academia programs in North America (and globally). Matthew Wright, our Founder & CEO, has always believed that if we can bring technology to academia, all of the industry will benefit. The younger generation workforce will spend less time chasing data and more time innovating–bringing true value to the companies that hire them...

Through our partnership with academia, the Specright team and I have had the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from students and professors at events throughout the year.

Traveling to Universities to Engage with Students & Professors

Just this past March, Specright had the opportunity to attend and present at California Polytechnic State University's (Cal Poly) Poly Pack Symposium, where important discussions around sustainability and the packaging industry were explored.

Interacting with different touchpoints in academia has been an exciting journey for Specright and has allowed our team to introduce and teach students that there is a different - and better - way to manage data. 

As Specright continues to attend events, such as the Poly Pack Symposium, our hope is to continue to spread this awareness and knowledge about the value of Specification Management, so that students can carry this knowledge into the workforce. 

Whether it's learning about the latest packaging trends or testing out the best technological advancements in the field, events are where it's at. 

That is why our team was excited to have the opportunity to be a Bronze Sponsor at this year's Pack Jam.

Held at Clemson University, in South Carolina, this student-led event brings together multiple academia programs and industry leaders to learn and discuss all things packaging. Devon Rambharose, Enterprise Sales Executive at Specright, got the opportunity to work with students and educators from universities while on-site.

The opportunity to attend and sponsor an event like Pack Jam allowed our team to not only share expertise and knowledge with attendees but also learn from knowledgeable students and educators about the current environment around packaging. 

Just like the credo states, one of our goals here at Specright is to be active learners, and that is what makes engaging in academia and university-led events that much more valuable.

As a part of the event, attendees had the opportunity to visit the Pregis Performance Flexibles Anderson facility where Clemson holds their technologically advanced extrusion facility. 

The 168,500-square-foot facility is filled with the most advanced technology and a space where students can go to discover the next greatest packaging solutions for the food, CPG, and medical device industries.

And, it was an even more exciting for Specright because Pregis is a customer of Specright.    

Universities such as Clemson represent the future of packaging and show students and industry professionals that there should be no limits when it comes to creating the next greatest thing.

Sharing a Spec-First Approach at Club Meetings

With a diverse range of industry professionals and knowledge on our team here at Specright is specially equipped to help enable the next-generation workforce. 

This year alone Specright has already traveled to and worked with some of the most prestigious packaging programs, such as Michigan State University, Food Science, RIT, UW Stout, Clemson, San Jose State University, Indiana State University, and Virginia Tech. 

In collaboration with student-led university clubs, Specright has been given the opportunity to present on topics related to sustainability and profitability - two themes that both customers and industry leaders spoke about at the 2023 Specification Management Summit. 

Not only do these presentations allow our team here at Specright to spread knowledge to students, but it also enables us to get feedback and gather new findings from a different perspective of people - a win-win for both parties.

Just recently, Specright got the opportunity to host California Polytechnic State University’s (Cal Poly) Poly Pack at our headquarters in Tustin, CA.

Specright Founder & CEO, Matthew Wright, shared insights on driving sustainability and profitability with a spec-first approach, and Product Manager, Katie Exum shares her insights on the routes you can take with a packaging degree, even untraditional paths, which the students enjoyed hearing about.

Additionally, Specright customers, Johnson & Johnson and Dermalogica spoke - giving first-hand accounts of their experience with Specright and the value it serves their teams. 

As we continue to collaborate with academia, through events, the Specright team will keep growing the Specright academia network, striving for continual improvement. The future of academia is bright and we look forward to the connections we can make through these collaborations. 

Bringing Together Technology & Academia

With all these goals in mind, Specright is excited about its future involvement and partnership with Michigan State University (MSU) School of Packaging. 

Together, Specright and leaders at MSU’s School of Packaging are developing an industry course that focuses on the importance of digitized specifications and how to best leverage data to achieve actionable business outcomes. 

Available later this Fall to executives working within the packaging and supply chain industries, the short course helps packaging professionals better understand how they can leverage specification data through analytics and digital tools to create actionable business outcomes.

Additionally in 2022,  Specright committed to a $500,000 donation to MSU’s School of Packaging enabling the upgrade of the school’s current computer lab. This donation allowed for the new implementation of hands-on technology and training for MSU’s packaging students. The computer lab was reopened in spring 2023 to students, and it was amazing to see the transformation in person. We know providing students with a modern environment will only help drive their passion for packaging innovation. 

Here at Specright, our goal is to go beyond just creating the perfect product for our customers.

As it says in our credo, we positively engage with those who need us.

The next generation workforce is one of those groups.

Specright’s current partnerships with academia have led to so many valuable learnings and new connections, and we look to only grow these partnerships in the future.

To learn more about the events and academic partnerships Specright’s currently involved with, click here


Danielle Goad

Danielle Goad is the Manager of Specright Network, a Spec-First Marketplace that enables true end-to-end traceability for all supply chain partners. Danielle has held roles across departments at Specright including Project Manager on the Customer Success team and Strategic Program Manager/Academia Manager on the Partnerships team. She leverages her diverse Specright experience to guide the product roadmap, head the Network Beta Program, and manage the Spec Assist & Spec Squad teams. Prior to Specright, Danielle graduated from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo with her undergraduate in Industrial Technology and Packaging - focused on supply chain.

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