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FLEXO Magazine : November 2008
FTA TODAY In June, TEST updated Level I, II and III skills certification exams so as to align them with FIRST learning outcomes. Happy 1st Birthday, By Melinda Schroepfer M ore than one year ago, an idea was conceived. Preparations were being made for FTA’s 50th anniversary celebration. Memories of the past and thoughts of the future were on everyone’s mind. In particular, FTA/ FFTA leadership had begun the initial stages of determining how to meld the Association’s solid tradition of providing professional training for the industry with more modern, accessible, flexible and af- fordable training development and deliv- ery methods that would best benefit the industry as the FTA moved into the next 50 years. Not long after, TEST was born. On Nov. 1, 2008, TEST (Technical Education Services Team) celebrated its first birthday. And, as is the case with all one-year-olds, TEST has had a year filled with milestones. In lieu of presents, we would like to take some time to highlight the accomplishments of the past year and outline the direction we will be taking in the second year. SETTING THE GROUNDWORK While the management team and governing boards were mulling over the future of FTA’s educational offerings, the SPI (Strategic Planning Initiative) Councils were in the process of reviewing 1 0 F LEXO survey responses from the 2007 Forum. The emergent theme from the survey turned out to be industry’s desire for FTA/ FFTA to move back to a more technically focused education and training agenda. The result of the flexo industry voicing its needs and the organization looking toward the future of its educational offer- ings was the conception of TEST—a unit within FFTA that would be completely dedicated to revising, updating, main- taining, and delivering all education and training offerings. In order to ensure TEST’s ability to remain focused on education and train- ing services, FTA/FFTA president Mark Cisternino and his management team developed a business plan that identi- fied it as a separate business unit within FFTA, one in which tasks revolved around upgrading current training materials, in- tegrating applicable existing training ma- terials into more modern delivery media, and developing systems to ensure timely, accurate future education and training upgrades. As he and his staff began to clarify the scope of TEST’s goals, they also began to seek founding sponsors who would help ensure that the future of the FFTA’s educational offerings was secure. In August of 2007, a major milestone was NOVEMB E R 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g met when Ron and Katherine Harper translated their passion for flexographic education into a generous offering to- ward the initiative. BIRTH OF AN INITIATIVE Once the business plan was complete and the Harpers had dedicated the fi- nances to set TEST in motion, the next milestone came on Nov. 1, 2007 when Joe Tuccitto was hired as the director of education and TEST was officially estab- lished as a business unit within FFTA. In this role, Tuccitto’s first task was to use the business plan objectives as a guide for identifying both the viable education and training materials and methods FFTA currently offered, and the materials and methods it would need to offer in the future in order to provide the industry with the timely technical training it was looking for. The result of those efforts is the iden- tification of the following four primary categories of concentration: 1 Education, Training, and . Curriculum 2 The Virtual Campus . 3. Marketing, Branding, and Sponsorship 4 Accreditation and Certification. . The TEST Virtual Campus interface. !