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Emerging Professionals Program

Northeast Recycling Council's (NERC) Emerging Professionals Program seeks to build an inclusive community that fosters collaboration and actively supports the professional growth of emerging professionals in the field of sustainable materials management (SMM).  The Program provides those who are just starting their careers in SMM with the opportunity to participate in NERC’s conferences and other events where they gain exposure to discussions about current trends, challenges, and innovations in the industry, as well as access to resources and individuals to support their professional growth. 

How does it work? 

An organization sponsors an emerging professional (EP) from their organization to attend in-person NERC events. The organization must be a NERC State or Advisory Member to be eligible to participate, and must be responsible for the following: 

  • Selecting an EP to participate in the program. The EP should demonstrate a genuine interest in recycling, sustainability, and environmental stewardship and be eager to learn, network, and actively contribute to the SMM community. This can include employees or interns. 
  • Identifying an employee representative to serve as a mentor and guide for the selected EP. The representative must accompany the EP to the in-person event and help to facilitate their learning and networking. 
  • Covering all costs associated with the EP attending the in-person event (registration, travel, meals, accommodations, etc.) The EP is able to attend at the discounted rate. 

Benefits for Emerging Professionals: 

  1. Knowledge Enhancement: Gained exposure to trends and innovations in SMM and an expanded understanding of this dynamic field.
  2. Conference Access at a Discounted Rate: Exclusive entry to conference sessions and insightful discussions.
  3. Roundtable Discussion: Participation in an open forum to interact with industry experts, share ideas, and gain insights to aid in their career paths and growth. 
  4. Professional Development: Access to resources and guidance for professional growth and to effectively contribute to the SMM community. 
  5. 1-on-1 Mentoring Session: One personalized mentoring session with an industry professional from a NERC member organization that provides tailored guidance to support career goals.

Benefits for the Sponsoring Organization: 

  1. Building internal talent, strengthening the overall capacity within your organization. 
  2. Engaging in social responsibility activities by providing emerging professionals with the opportunity to cultivate new skills and gain access to informative discussions. 
  3. Recognition as an Emerging Professional Program Supporter on NERC's website, social media, and at its in-person events where the EP is sponsored to attend. 

Interested organizations should contact Mariane Medeiros at