Sun Chemical Program Benefits Students at CPCC

Sun Chemical has developed the Next Generation Customer program 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.

This past school year, Sun Chemical piloted the program at CPCC. After assessing the needs of the college, Sun Chemical donated its SunMatch computer software to help the college’s flexography students achieve success in the 2016 Phoenix Challenge College Competition, a year long, problem-solving team project which culminates in a formal presentation to a panel of industry judges. SunMatch helps students more accurately achieve the right brand color on a variety of substrates and understand how to achieve colors through scientific numbers.

Throughout the school year, Sun Chemical experts came to the college to teach and give hands-on experience to help students understand every aspect of the ink business in the flexographic printing process.

During the 2016 Flexographic Technical Association’s  INFO*FLEX show, students from CPCC presented their rebranded labels for the start-up Triple Whammy Sauces and won awards for the best execution and best design categories of the Phoenix Challenge.

To read more about this successful partnership, please read this Labels and Labeling article.

CPCC Employees Earn FTA Certifications

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) announced today that two of its instructors were recently certified by the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), the world’s leading professional society dedicated to the advancement of the flexographic printing process.

Zachery Blackburn, a Graphic Arts & Imaging Technology instructor, and Gareth Burns, program chair of the college’s Graphic Arts program, both completed their Level III certification in FIRST Press Operator, FIRST Prepress Operator and FIRST Implementation Specialist.

To earn these prominent FIRST Operator certifications, Burns and Blackburn had to pass rigorous and comprehensive examinations, designed specifically to test their knowledge and to prove they had advanced competency in their areas of expertise.

These certifications, awarded exclusively by FTA, will enable Burns and Blackburn to bring increased levels of proficiency to their day-to-day tasks, allowing them to provide high-quality service to their students and peers.

The FIRST Operator Certification is the flexographic industry’s premier endorsement for flexographic professionals. FIRST certifications are formed from a proven foundation of

knowledge and based on in-depth testing and ongoing professional development.

FTA currently offers three certifications that recognize expert proficiency within a specific area of the flexographic workflow. They are: FIRST Press Operator (POC), FIRST Prepress Operator (PPC) and FIRST Implementation Specialist (ISC).


To learn more about the FTA, please visit For more information on CPCC’s Graphic Arts & Imaging Technology program, please visit



Congratulations to CPCC Student Rebecca Booth

CPCC is pleased to announce that for the second consecutive year, a CPCC Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology + Flexography (GAIT) student has won a PICA (Printing Industry of the Carolinas) Award. Since its inception in 1966, the PICA Award has served as the premier symbol of excellence for the graphics industry in the Carolinas.
CPCC’s Rebecca Booth was recognized with the “Best of Show” PICA Award for her “Beatles” poster, a piece she created in the College’s Offset Press Operations class, during the 45th annual PICA Awards ceremony, held on March 3 at the Embassy Suites in Concord, N.C. For her efforts, Rebecca and CPCC were both awarded $500.
“I am extremely proud of Rebecca and her work,” said Stephen Gerhardt, Harper National Flexographic Center coordinator. “Her award demonstrates the quality of the graphic arts program at CPCC and the excellence our faculty strives to achieve each day as it educates tomorrow’s leading professionals in the graphics industry.”