Our experience working with the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was great. We have participated in internship programs with others in the past, and, by far, the mentoring provided to the intern—and for that matter, ourselves—was exceptional.
Nebraska MEP arranged for a student from the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to work with Firstar Fiber over the course of a summer as part of the Partners in Pollution Prevention (P3) internship program. The student conducted on-site visits to recycling centers in the targeted rural communities, visiting with personnel and assessing current operations to analyze process flows and make recommendations. He advised some centers to purchase automated sorting equipment to streamline the recycling processes, and the improvements generated cost savings by improving the capture rate for recycling and diverting waste from the landfill.
"The support and process the P3 program followed undoubtedly enhanced the fine work produced by the intern in such a relatively short amount of time,” explained Dale Gubbels, Firstar Fiber President/CEO. "His findings and the connections he made with the targeted communities have proven to be a solid foundation for ongoing improvements.” Firstar Fiber was enthusiastic about the results of the P3 program, and the company leveraged a grant to assist two communities with additional improvements to their recycling programs.