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FLEXO Magazine : January 2008
CPCC GRAPHIC ARTS GRA 154 Computer Graphics IV COE 112L Co-operative Work GRA 221 Graphic Arts II Experience II CURRICULUM WITH GRA 222 Graphic Arts III COE 132L Co-operative Work FLEXOGRAPHIC GRA 230 Substrates and Ink Experience III PRINTING GRA 245 Printing Sales/Service GRA 252 Imaging Techniques CERTIFICATION GRA 255 Image Manipulation I Courses Specific to the Flexographic GRA 256 Image Manipulation II Concentration: GRA 110 Graphic Arts Orientation GRA 280 Printing Management GRA 121 Graphic Arts I PRN 132 Flexography II GRA 140 Graphic Arts Imaging PRN 131 Flexography I PRN 231 Flexography III GRA 151 Computer Graphics I PRN 155 Screen Printing I PRN 232 Flexography IV GRA 152 Computer Graphics II PRN 156 Screen Printing II PRN 241 Flexo Applications I GRA 153 Computer Graphics III PRN 221 Offset Press Operations PRN 242 Flexo Applications II For example, if the plate is curling up, he might identify it as a stickyback problem, an ink starving issue, or a chip in the plate. Sometimes he has his own way of solving those issues." Gerhardt also mentioned an optional co-op program where students can earn class credit and get work experience. Burns stated, uWe give them a workbook, and the workplace supervi- sor and the teacher agree on certain learning objectives. This is to make sure that the student is learning something on the job and not just making copies and getting coffee." Gerhardt added, uMost people in the industry are good with both paying the stu- dents decent wages and working around their schedules." Blackburn noted that many who enter the graphic arts program at CPCC have a strong affinity for the prepress side of things, but often go into all different areas of the industry, from design to press operation. In truth, what draws many students to the flexog- raphy concentration is unique to each student. 'Tve been attending CPCC for about six semesters," said stu- dent Rachael Daniel Pearson. She entered the graphics program with a desire to see her own artwork in print. But the satisfaction of running the presses drew the 22-year-old toward a flexo con- centration. uI love to run presses, and I like to do hands-on work. I still enjoy the design end too, but my heart is on the press." Girvaud Justice, a former retiree, also changed her plans shortly after enrollment. uI came to this campus in the fall of 2005. Originally, I wanted to run an offset press. But now I have a con- centration in flexo." Justice said she aspires to own her own print shop. uI've worked most of my life for someone else, but it would be nice to have people work for me." With 17 years of experience running flexo presses, some might wonder whether Steven Toney was at CPCC to teach or learn. uI got out of the industry in 2000, and at that point I was in manage- ment, but not in the print industry. To get back into print man- agement, I decided to get retrained and get a degree. I'll be grad- uating in May 2008. When I do, I am looking more toward the prepress side. We do touch on management a bit in this degree." uThe beauty of this job is you can help a student graduate and get a job. Then, when we go out into the industry, we end up talk- ing to our own students," said Gerhardt. uIt happens a lot. All the students who graduated last year with flexo concentrations are now gainfully employed." - But some students at CPCC are already gainfully employed. The college offers a series of evening courses, including Flexography 1, Flexo ESL, and Flexo Concepts. uFlexo Concepts is a beginners' class that targets employees of companies that are involved in flexography, but who are not press operators," said Gerhardt. uS o we get people who work in security, inventory, etc. We teach them about the different presses, plates, dies, etc. Then we go through the process." The school also conducts indepen- dent research and development projects as well as customized industry training. TALKING TEST The educators at CPCC were quick to comment on FTA's new- est and most hyped initiative to date-the Technical Education Services Team (TEST), which seeks to create consistency in the way flexography is taught in North America. One of the ways this will be achieved is by offering a program whereby educational institutions at all levels can be declared uFIRST compliant," mean- ing students are learning to print flexography in accordance with FTA's FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances) manual. uA standard and consistent learning experi- ence from classroom to classroom will be a huge advantage for the industry," observed Gerhardt. uTEST is a great step in the right direction," proclaimed Blackburn. uEducators come from different schools of thought and experience. The incorporation of FIRST compliance will be a great boon to the educational experience, which will directly correlate to the student's later experience in the industry. These efforts will help the educators mold the more efficient employee the industry needs." Burns applauded the appointment of 22-year industry veteran Joe Tuccitto to the helm of the initiative. uWho better to step up the pedagogy of flexo education than Joe? I've always been in- spired by what he brings to education. TEST has the potential of being a tremendous resource to colleges such as CPCC" . JANUARY 2008 www.flexography.org FLEXO