PMMI Skills Fund: For Your Future Workforce

PMMI Skills FundCase Study #1 – Morrison Container Handling Solutions and Purdue Northwest


  • Morrison Container Handling Solutions (MCHS) saw the advantage of having workers with mechatronics skills to grow their business and meet their customers growing demands.
  • The increasing sophistication of their custom machinery required trained controls engineers with an understanding of mechanical equipment. These workers were difficult to find.


  • Nick Wilson, President of Morrison Container Handling Solutions, talked with a professor from a local university (Purdue Northwest) who had been a consultant for Morrison for years and described the need for more controls engineers with mechanical skills, not just at Morrison, but within the packaging industry.
  • Wilson recognized that it was one thing to tell him about the need, and another for him to see the opportunity for his students.
  • Morrison sponsored two professors from Purdue Northwest – to attend PACK EXPO Las Vegas and see the industry first-hand and talk with machinery builders.
  • Professors saw the opportunity, were excited about the possibilities and brought the excitement back to their school.
  • Wilson then enlisted PMMI to help expose the University’s Administration – Dean, Provost and Chancellor to witness the opportunity for their students in the packaging industry - which ensured support for the program at the university.
  • Morrison worked with Purdue Northwest to develop the curriculum, get PMMI staff and other PMMI members involved to consult on the curriculum, arranged visits with member companies so they could better understand their needs, donated funds and equipment, and offered internships to students.


  • The program started in fall of 2008 and first 7 students graduated in 2010.  Currently there are 56 students enrolled in mechatronics.  
  • Morrison has hired over 20 interns and graduates from Purdue and has been able to grow their business as a result.
  • Other PMMI members have hired Purdue Northwest graduates as well.
  • They have matriculation agreements with several two-year technical schools, and program graduates are also prepared to take the PMMI Mechatronics Certification tests.

What Can You Do:

You too can have these types of results for your company with the help of the PMMI Skills Fund.

  • 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 regional education programs of your choice.
  • Whether you partner with a school to help strengthen an industry related program or create a course, 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, education, PMMI at [email protected] or 571.266.4406.  For case study information contact Nick Wilson at Morrison Container Handling Solutions, 708.756.6660.