A Growing Plastics Industry

The plastics industry is the third largest manufacturing segment in the US, employing 1.4 million people and contributing $456 billion to the economy. Despite the size and value of the industry, educational programs for employees in plastics can be hard to locate and may often feel disjointed. They can range from travelling trainers who visit production facilities to four-year degree programs. High-level injection molding classes exist, but may only address molding and not safety, statistical process controls (SPC) or lean manufacturing.  

Since the industry is technically driven and equipment can be expensive and delicate, businesses are continually looking for skilled employees who have expertise using these tools and machines and who have training in quality as well as in safety.  

Introducing the MPP Certificate Program

The Manager of Plastics Processing (MPP) certificate is the only program of its kind in the United States. NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and the Polymers Center of Excellence (PCE) have developed a unique, flexible program accessible to all injection molding technicians, engineers, operators and managers seeking to acquire the highest quality of industry knowledge and recognition. The MPP certificate establishes a standard for technical expertise in injection molding and helps advance both core and advanced competencies in the field. The program is divided into two parts: the Injection Molding Manager of Plastics Processing (IM-MPP) and the Advanced Injection Molding Manager of Plastics Processing (AIM-MPP).

Injection Molding Manager of Plastics Processing Certificate Program

The IM-MPP certificate is a self-paced, well-rounded program aimed directly at the issues affecting molding operations. Participants complete the required 126 hours of coursework and projects at their own pace, and may take up to five years to finish the program.

Advanced Injection Molding Manager of Plastics Processing Certificate Program

Participants can earn an AIM-MPP certificate by completing two extra courses consisting of 100 additional hours. The AIM-MPP certificate training is intensive, hands-on instruction designed to provide top-tier knowledge immediately applicable in a production setting. On average, an applicant may complete the advanced certificate program in an additional three years, but not to exceed four years.

What advantages exist in pursuing an MPP certificate?

An MPP certificate is designed to assure an employer that the certificate holder has the right mix of knowledge, skills and experience to improve quality and enhance safety in the workplace. It also demonstrates the employee’s commitment to the field. In pursuing an MPP certificate, a student may:

  • Eliminate inapplicable courses. The MPP certificate program is designed to address only injection molding operations, not general plastics processing, saving the student time and money.
  • Earn credit for past classes. The MPP certificate program consolidates past, approved training so students receive credit for previously taken classes relevant to the certificate program.
  • Improve knowledge and skills. The program is designed to expand the student’s knowledge in the science of injection molding, lean manufacturing and safety.

Why should an employer support this program?

For employers looking to grow and develop in-house experts this unique program addresses those needs. With MPP certificate holders working in a business, employers may experience:

    • Reduced production errors, resulting in lower manufacturing costs
    • Increased productivity, resulting in faster time to market and sustainable higher profits
    • Improved quality, resulting in greater customer satisfaction
    • Increased safety, contributing to a lower EMR and resulting in reduced insurance rates
    • Decreased risk of damage to machinery, reducing repair costs or capital expenditures


What classes make up the MPP certificate program?

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Learn more about the MPP certificate program