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Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen a transformational shift in how we view our education and workforce systems. The pandemic has changed the nature of work, how we view skills, and put a spotlight on a dire workforce shortage and the need to re-think how we recruit and hire. There are currently more than 10 million open jobs, yet only 7.4 million unemployed people.
Plastics Manufacturing
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As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s fellow leading their work in sustainable plastics innovation, I had the honor of judging the Plastic Industry Association’s ReFocus Sustainability Innovation Awards. This year, the association received a landmark 52 entrants across three categories: Design, Materials, and End-of-Life. Here are a few of the innovations that were featured.
Plastics
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The U.S. Chamber Foundation is pleased to announce a new sustainable plastics initiative to help us harness the full potential of plastics while ensuring we plan for their end-of-life management. This initiative will explore innovations across the plastics value chain, all the way from material science to end-of-life reuse and repurposing.

Beyond 34

We launched “Beyond 34: Scaling Circularity for a Sustainable Economy” five years ago to understand the barriers and opportunities in recycling and recovery optimization in U.S. cities, and what role the private sector is playing to increase collection and materials reuse at regional and national levels. Today, we are excited to announce that we are not only bringing Beyond 34 to new regions, but also offering a crowdsourced Recycling and Recovery Resources Hub so more stakeholders across the nation can access critical resources to prepare their communities for a sustainable future.

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