The plastics industry is mature enough to have tens of thousands of “pioneers”, people with 20+ years of experience in various segments of the plastics industry. Both working and retired plastics industry experts represent a huge knowledge base. These Plastics Pioneers can take on many of the challenges that our industry faces.
Improving Plastics Education
One long-standing opportunity is improving education. Since I joined the plastics industry full time in 1970 there have been numerous efforts to promote plastics education in universities, community colleges, trade schools, and high schools – with some but not dramatic results.
Currently, there are two organizations, Western Plastics Pioneers (WPP), https://www.westernplasticspioneers.org, and Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA), http://plasticspioneers.org. WPP and PPA plastics organizations make education and scholarships a priority targeting awareness at all the levels of plastics education.
WPP and PPA are working to augment the efforts of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and other engineering organizations. As a plastics group, we have a tremendous knowledge base of members to assist plastics educational institutions and to promote plastics careers in the plastics industry.
Plastics Education Scholarships
In 2019, at least 17 plastics centric scholarships of $2,000 to $3,000 are available from WPP and PPA. Plus there are grants from plastic industry companies too!
Are you ready to get involved? Have ideas? Want input or have questions? Contact us today!
Western Plastics Pioneers and Plastics Pioneers Association are looking to change how we find and educate the future plastics workers by focusing on the opportunities for young people in the plastics industry and help them grow the future in plastics.
Sunday, October 14th, 2018
Los Coyotes Country Club
8888 Los Coytoes Drive
Buena Park, CA
11:00AM Champagne Reception
$50.00 per person
Choice of NY Steak, Roasted Chicken, or Salmon, Vegetables, Rolls, Sorbet, and Beverage.
Mail Reservations to:
6 Rimani Drive
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Huntington Beach – The Western Plastics Pioneers Hall of Fame selection for 2018 is Ed Laird, founder and owner of Laird Coatings Corporation. Ed is currently the Secretary of the Western Plastics Pioneers. Ed ex-pressed shock and surprise when in-formed of his selection. His hard work on industry issues and solutions make him an excellent selection for this award.
Ed Laird’s career in polymers began early, when he was hired for a summer job working in the coatings lab for Chrysler in Michigan. He went on to earn a degree in polymer science from RM Technical Institute in Michigan.
Ed recognized the opportunities that the plastics industry presented while he was a chemist work-ing for the Andrew Brown Company during the 1960s. When Mr. Andrew Brown was asked to develop a coat-ing for plastic for the aerospace industry he gave the challenge to Ed Laird. Ed, working as the chief coatings chemist, welcomed the opportunity, an opportunity that would open the door to his future. Mr. Brown told Ed, ‘Our company is not interested in developing coatings for plastics, but if you are, we will sup-port your efforts.’
The goal was to achieve adhesion to plastics like ABS, Lexan ®, Styrene, Polypropylene, Cellulous Acetate Butyrate and others. And, that was the beginning of a comp-any that moved three times in forty years as it grew into a multi-million coatings company creating compatible coatings to protect plastic parts for companies like Boeing, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Mattel (Barbie’s Lips), Plastics Dress-Up (Trophies), Sony TV bezels, and Oakley lenses.
Early on he recognized the importance of working with plastics suppliers like General Electric, Kodak, Borg Warner, etc. recognizing that there was a need for coatings that would adhere to plastics without causing part failure. It was that close contact with those suppliers that set the stage for a growing company, with ever expanding markets, and untapped potential. He developed coatings for trophies, air-plane windows and canopies, computer housings, keyboards, toys, and vacuum metalized plastics.
Truly, Laird Coatings helped to drive industry applications and growth through his pioneering development of coatings . These new coatings could enhance the appearance and/or performance of plastic substrates.. Plastics now could intrude on the markets previously dominated by glass, wood and metal where weather ability, chemical resistance, or color stability presented performance issues for plastics .
In 1982 Ed was elected President of the SPE driving several initiatives including unifying 5 separate divisions creating the largest SPE section by membership numbers. He worked to change minds, attitudes, and rules working closely with agencies like the Los Angeles Air Pollution District, later known as the Air Pollution Control District in Southern California. That agency set air quality standards for the entire region. He chaired the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) Political Action Committee from 1996 to 2000.
Ed laird is not just a visionary plastics pioneer. He is a community activist. He is an active Executive with the Boy Scouts of America, and has been the chairman of several other community organizations including the American Cancer Society of Orange County, Orange County Cancer and Education Foundation, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Kiwanis, and The Lincoln Training Center for the Developmentally Disabled to name just a few. He has been honored by more than 20 different community organizations for his work to better the lives of others.
Ed’s contributions and industry influence have set a high standard for a Western Plastics Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductee. He is forward thinking, honest, influential, trusted, confident, respected and respectful. As a communicator, an activist, influential change agent, a risk taker, and a motivator, Ed has a long track record of performance and service.
Joe La Fountain took on the task of the annual luncheon raffle as a challenge to improve participation and increase the contribution to the Western Plastics Pioneers Scholarship Fund. Over the past four years, Joe as a major contributor, has set the bar high and encouraged others to participate by donating prizes and prize money to our luncheon raffle. Joe believes that everyone should leave the luncheon with a prize and a memory. He revised the ticket offering to encourage more participation. He increased the prize money as well as the number of prizes available. Joe hawks the tickets and encourages
attendees to buy more.
The results of the 2017 raffle indicate that Joe is on the right track. This year the raffle netted more than $2800 for the scholarship fund. Thanks to those who participated in the raffle the scholarship fund is on solid ground.
More importantly, the Board of Directors of the Western Plastics Pioneers wishes to thank all of those who donated prizes, prize money, and their time to accumulate, shop and assemble the raffle prizes. All too often we forget to say thanks for a job well done. Thanks to Joe and his crew of staff participants for all that you have done to make the raffle such a special part of the event.
Scholarship winners may not know of the effort that has been made to generate the funds that they receive, but they appreciate the source of those funds. The Western Plastics Pioneers can be proud of their charitable donations and the goodwill created.
Chuck Brewer III, often referred to as “CB3”. Is a third generation Plastics industry “Pioneer” mentored by a family of mold makers. The Western Plastics Pioneers welcome his years of experience and knowledge to the leadership of the Board of Directors.
Chuck grew up in the molding business doing odd jobs in his grandfather’s tool and die shop; CAB Tool in Bell Gardens. During his early years, he was mentored and apprenticed in mold making, molding and business operations by his father who launched C. Brewer Co. in 1966.
CB3 attended California State University at Fuller-ton while apprenticing as a mold maker at C. Brewer Co. in the afternoon after classes. Upon earning a Bachelor of Arts in Business he joined the C. Brewer Co. sales team. It was 1975 when Chuck shed his shop coat for a sports coat and began his career selling the full line services of the C. Brewer Co. During his early career he also man-aged Customer Care, Marketing, and Project Teams for the rapidly growing company.
In 1981 Chuck joined the Society of Plastics Engineers as a member of the Board of Directors and eventually served as president of that organization . He chaired the RETEC Conference in Irvine, was Vice Chairman of the ANTEC Conference in Los Angeles and was recognized as SPE’s “Man of the Year” in 2003.
Like so many successful molding operations, the C. Brewer Company continued to grow and expand their influence after CB3 and his brother Michael Brewer bought the business from their father Chuck Brewer jr. in 1997. The brothers altered the business philosophy emphasizing scientific molding processes while focusing on the medical market and engineering plastics.
Meanwhile, Chuck Brewer jr. came out of retirement and purchased KRK in Irvine. He relaunched the company as Brevet Industries. After successfully managing the development and growth of that enterprise, Chuck Brewer jr. decided to retire again. So, CB3 and Michael Brewer acquired that operation as well as Care-Fusion’s molding operations in Ontario, California.
A few years later, a surprise offer in 2012 from Balda, AG resulted in the sale of the C. Brewer Company and all of its holdings. By then, the company had grown significantly, employing 500 people , at three geographic locations, and operating more than 100 molding ma-chines.
The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) formally became the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics) in December of 2017. The new organization is all encompassing of the plastics industry. It is a purpose driven organization here to support the entire plastics supply chain.
Since 1937. we have been providing education and advocacy to our members. Our committees and events such as our signature global trade show NPE® , bring the boldest and brightest innovators, influencers and new technology together to create connections and showcase our industry.
The Plastics Industry Association believes in work-ing to make our members and the industry more globally competitive. We believe in advancing sustainability and being a good steward of resources. We believe in promoting plastics manufacturing. From the technological advancements we enable, to the possibilities we create, we are dedicated to helping our members shape the future and make a positive impact every day.
To access the “Plastics” news letter go to: www.plasticsindustry.org/about us
PLASTICS, Better Industry, Better World
The SoCal section is here to help promote plastics education in our geographic region. The section is comprised of a volunteer group of members who believe through education and maintaining a localized network we can build and maintain a strong plastics economy for the future. Please use this site as your tool to stay informed of local plastics related educational opportunities and as your source for suppliers that focus on serving Southern California’s plastics industries.