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FLEXO Magazine : March 2009
FTA TODAY Learning for Success :': TEST Initiatives at Forum 2009 · : Emphasize Flexo Education S ince the very beginning, FFTA's Annual Forum has been considered the top educational resource for the flexographic printing and converting industry. The event has always focused on bringing together the top minds in the industry and delivering critical informa- tion necessary for flexographers of all skill levels in any all roles within an organiza- tion to succeed. In 2007, FTA launched its TEST (Technical Education Services Team) with the goal of changing the face of flexographic print education. This mission cannot be accomplished without impact- ing the Forum. May 3-5, visitors to the 2009 event in Lake Buena Vista, FL will see many changes as a direct result of this. Forum Chair Colleen Larkin Twomey and Co-chair Jean Engelke embraced the spirit of TEST when devising the Forum agenda and Forum theme-Navigating the Future of Flexo: Innovate. Educate. Communicate. "Education is heavily tied to our industry," said Twomey. "Flexo and packaging have more than 100 years of history. For much of that time, it was con- sidered an art or craft. Now it is science based. We've seen the evolution in the first 50 years of FTA. It is important that FTA fosters technology development through its membership which includes printers, suppliers and educators." - FLEXO MARCH By Christian R. Bonawandt FORUM 2009 Navigating the Future of Flexo Innovate. Educate. Communicate. "The goal is to continue the evolution of flexo and keep it a quality and com- petitive print process," added Engelke. "Unfortunately, 'printing' and 'packaging' are not common curricula for students. They are not often introduced to the tech- nology in secondary or high schools any more." Throughout the event, flexo education will be brought to the forefront through several new innovative offerings: 1. The Education Pavilion. Located on the INFO*FLEX show floor, the Pavilion will bring enhanced visibili- ty to numerous schools offering de- grees in flexo and package printing. It gives visitors to the exhibition the chance to meet teachers, students and discuss curricula all in one place. A Harper College Booth of the Year was also created to recog- nize the schools' efforts to promote themselves and their offerings. 2. The Education Reception. A social event giving students a chance to 2009 www.flexography.org network with potential employers and other future industry contacts in a relaxed and casual environment. 3. Phoenix Challenge College Competition. FFTA will give added visibility to the second annual College-level Phoenix Challenge. The competition will take place the Saturday prior to Forum 2009 (May 2). Display of each college/universi- ty's Challenge solution is part of the Harper College Booth of the Year judging criteria. The future of flexography, according to Twomey, is highly dependent on the abil- ity of students currently enrolled in flexo degree programs to get their feet planted in the industry upon graduation. "Student attendance at Forum will introduce them to our world. The Education Pavilion will enable the FTA membership to see what printing schools are available, what curricu- la they have to offer and meet the students that are enrolled today. The amount of schools offering flexo education has grown tremendously over the years. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of the FTA member- ship does not have an understanding of just how many schools are out there," she said. Engelke concurred, saying, "The FTA membership should be taking advantage
Sustainable Winter 2009