PMMI U Skills Fund

JLS Donates Equipment to Penn State York College…and Hires New Talent


Like many packaging and processing companies, JLS was having a difficult time finding various levels of skilled labor while simultaneously hiring at a high rate. In addition, JLS was seeking interns with the hope they would be good candidates for full-time jobs.

JLS president and CEO Craig Souser partnered with a Penn State York College professor who was in need of a lathe for the school’s packaging machinery program. Souser realized that not only was this an opportunity to help Penn State’s program, but JLS could find the promising talent they needed through their students.



With PMMI’s support through its Skills Fund and equipment donation program, JLS donated one of its lathes to Penn State.

Souser (pictured, left) recently visited the York Campus to check out first-hand how students are learning to operate the machinery.


As a result of the partnership with Penn State, of the eight Interns that JLS hired in the last three years, four of them ended up with full-time jobs at the company.

“JLS Automation is one of York College’s best connected industry partners. They invest time and resources in our engineering program to help train the next generation of talented engineers. JLS provides co-op jobs that allow our students to gain practical experience solving real-world engineering problems. They get to know our students personally by volunteering to help prepare them for their first co-op experience. York College engineering students have an edge in the job market because of the time JLS spends with them. JLS benefits with a pipeline of highly qualified engineering graduates ready to be recruited for full-time positions.”

- Joanne Wilkes, Engineering Co-op Program Director

What Can You Do:

The PMMI U Skills Fund supported JLS’ initiative, and any PMMI member can have these types of results for your local schools.

Created by PMMI, the PMMI U Skills Fund is a resource intended to help you form meaningful partnerships with regional two- to four-year colleges, universities, and/or technical/vocational schools, as well as other educational programs in your area.

The PMMI U Skills Fund will match your company’s contributions up to $50,000 per year to fund regional education programs of your choice.

Whether you partner with a school to help strengthen an industry-related program, join forces with a STEM summer camp, coordinate a group of students to bring to PACK EXPO, or choose to invest in the future workforce in multiple ways throughout the year, the PMMI U Skills Fund is here to assist you with the financial obligations that come from these types of initiatives.

For more information and to apply, contact Kate Fiorianti, senior manager, workforce development, PMMI at [email protected] or 571.266.4406.

Donate Your Equipment:

Universities, colleges, and high schools are continually trying to deliver quality training with limited budgets. As a result, essential equipment for educational curriculum is often too costly and inaccessible to the schools and organizations that need it most. By donating your used equipment, you are also contributing to the education and training of a more prepared entry-level workforce. With your help, students will learn on equipment currently used in the industry – just like JLS’ success at Penn State!

For more information, visit