The Flexographic Technical Association has signed on as the inaugural sponsor for Clemson University’s new virtual print training platform developed by the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics.
The Sonoco Institute’s virtual print platform features a highly immersive print lab where users can operate a press and utilize all of the tools and measurement devices found in a traditional pressroom, according to a news release. An initial phase of the platform was unveiled earlier this year at the association’s INFOFLEX 2019 exhibition in New Orleans.
“Attracting and developing tomorrow’s flexographic workforce is something we take very seriously and we are excited to sign on as the inaugural sponsor of this state-of-the-art virtual training platform,” Joe Tuccitto, the association’s director of education, said in a news release.
In the past 10 years, the print industry has seen a 25 percent decrease in employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The initial phase is modeled after the institute’s own print lab and flexographic press, though the ultimate goal is to develop an all-encompassing print environment for scalable training experiences and industry recruitment. This inaugural gift from the association will allow the Sonoco Institute to begin development of phase two, the release said.
“We’re ready to move beyond the concept and develop this into something that will be useful at high schools, career centers and our supporting companies’ facilities,” Bobby Congdon, Sonoco Institute assistant director, said in the release.