- The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has created a new program called MentorMatch, available through the MySWANA online forum, to help encourage the careers of young professionals in the industry.
- SWANA members can sign up as mentors or mentees. Once paired up, they will enter into a six-month relationship to talk about career progression, industry advice and other areas.
- "Many of SWANA’s rapidly growing membership are Young Professionals or others who are still learning about the industry; at the same time, many members have decades of solid waste experience," said SWANA CEO David Biderman in a press release. "MentorMatch provides a terrific way for the younger and newer members to learn more about this great industry, make new connections, and enhance their expertise."
SWANA is touting this as the latest offering for its membership of 9,000 and counting. Other new additions include the organization's Affinity Program for discounted access to various services, updated safety resources and free student membership. The organization has also announced multiple partnerships in recent months around needlestick safety, emerging technologies and food waste education.
While recent surveys have shown increased levels of interest in recycling and sustainability among millennials, many of them still aren't aware of career options in the industry. Though more companies are looking for ways to attract them by highlighting their work on emissions reduction, "green" job creation and other areas. As more millennials age into leadership positions in other industries, they will also become future customers and could be more apt to relate to like-minded peers at recycling companies when approached for their business.
Regardless of age, any new opportunities for engagement among industry professionals with varying experience levels are often welcomed. Because the business is so local it can be common for executives, academics or government officials to be encountering similar trends in different states but never meet one another. Expanding communication within the industry can in turn make professionals better-equipped to represent it to members of the public that still have limited awareness of how it all works.