Sun Chemical has developed a program, called Sun Chemical Next Generation Customer, designed to help students obtain the tools they need and hands-on training required to understand every aspect of the ink business in the flexographic printing process.

The idea for the program started through a partnership with the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the growth of the flexographic printing process in the educational system throughout North America. The Phoenix College was created to develop a competition between flexography students at a variety of different colleges and high schools throughout the United States that teach prepress, platemaking, printing skills and basic theory. The college competition begins every year during the Flexographic Technical Association’s Info Flex show.

“The Phoenix Challenge is a great way for Sun Chemical to help train our future customers in the flexo industry with the tools they need to understand the color process and science that goes into ink,” says Charles Murray, president of Sun Chemical’s North American inks. “The experience gives students a realistic interaction with professionals in the industry. We’re grateful to Central Piedmont Community College for the opportunity to interact with these students, and it’s our hope to build on our experience here and expand our Next Generation Customer program to other colleges with flexographic programs.”

This past school year, Sun Chemical piloted its NGC program at Charlotte, North Carolina-based Central Piedmont Community College. After assessing the needs of the college, Sun Chemical donated its SunMatch computer software, which helps students more accurately achieve the right brand color on a variety of substrates and understand how to achieve colors through scientific numbers.

During the 2016 FTA Info Flex show, students from Central Piedmont presented their rebranded labels for the startup Triple Whammy Sauces and won awards for the “best execution” and “best design” categories of the Phoenix Challenge.

“We’re so grateful for all that Sun Chemical has done to help make our students successful in our flexography program,” says Kathy Rummage, executive director of communications at Central Piedmont Community College. “Seeing our students achieve success in the Phoenix Challenge and learning the skills they need to flourish in their future careers has always been our goal.”

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