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FLEXO Magazine : March 2008
www.flexography.org MARCH 2008 FLEXO 9 FTA TODAY Millersville University Starts Flexo Program The Foundation of the Flexographic Technical Association (FFTA) recently ap- proved a grant to assist the Department of Industry and Technology at Millersville University (Millersville, PA) in purchas- ing a 10-inch, four-color Mark Andy 2200 press and launching a hands-on flexo curriculum. FFTA's Flexo in Education pro- gram was originally established in 1993 and is intended to form a partnership be- tween education and the flexographic in- dustry to fill the need for trained workers. The program requires financial and intel- lectual collaboration between the school, the FFTA and industry supporters. A $10,000 donation by the Northeast Label Manufacturers Association (NELMA) also helped complete the proposal. Press manufacturer Mark Andy donated a sig- nificant portion of the purchase price of the press, but the grant project's budget was still short until NELMA filled the gap, says Millersville Professor Mark Snyder. "They really saved the day," said Snyder. The NELMA donation capped off two years of fundraising and logistics and al- lowed Millersville University to secure the matching funds from FFTA. NELMA president Steve Miller says supporting the Millersville program was a natural fit for the regional association. "NELMA's charter states that we are here to further our industry through educa- tion and sharing information," Miller points out. "This was a no-brainer for our board---we could help the university get its curriculum together, train these stu- dents, graduate them and get them into the industry. We've completed the circle of life!" The Graphic Communication program in Millersville's Department of Industry and Technology boasts 30 to 40 students from across Pennsylvania and nearby states. The new press brings web printing and flexo technology to the students. The contributions from FTA, NELMA, Mark Andy, and other companies and Fort Mill Makes Headlines FTA's Flexo in Education program and Fort Mill High School (Fort Mill, SC) were featured in a recent edition of the local Fort Mill Times. The article talks about how flexography has filled a void left by local mills jobs, and that the school's graphic arts program does an excellent job of preparing graduates for those jobs. "The major goal of the class is awareness, so many of the kids are coming in without a clue that they will actually have to work (once they get out of school)," Jerry Howell, graphics communications teacher at Fort Mill, is quoted as saying. "They are at an age now where you can decide what you want to do for a career." The article claims that flexography has grown 15 to 20 percent annually, and also acknowledges the increase in quality and quality expectations within the packaging and label industry.