CHARLOTTE, NC—Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) has secured a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a new certificate program focused on anti counterfeit printing and packaging technology.
CPCC will use the NSF Advanced Technological Education grant to support a number of project activities, including course development and adaptation leading to a new technician certificate program offered at the two year college, as well as a continuing education course for incumbent workers, faculty professional development, and cultivation of business and industry partnerships. The project will be led by Zachery Blackburn, instructor and chair of CPCC’s Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology program.
The college will conduct the grant project over three years, beginning fall 2016.
“By researching the evolving field of functional printing, we want to establish a multi disciplinary certificate program in anti counterfeit printing and packaging technology to address the need for technicians who understand security printing and brand protection measures,” Zachery explained. “By engaging university based researchers and other external partners, our goal is to design a transformational program that is unique to two year colleges.”
According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), counterfeiting is one of the fastest growing economic crimes of modern times; accounting for between 5 percent and 7 percent of world trade. Counterfeiting activity is worth an estimated $600 billion a year. This activity compromises the reputation of legitimate businesses of all sizes and, at its most sophisticated, has the capacity to threaten national economies, and even endanger safety and lives. While paper currency is the most common product counterfeited, the broad array of commercial goods subject to infringement continues to increase. Research conducted by the ICC’s Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau reveals that counterfeit goods range from pharmaceuticals to alcoholic beverages, to furniture and wall coverings.
“A highly skilled technician workforce with expertise in anti counterfeit processes and measures will help ensure products distributed locally and globally are more secure, reduce the risk associated with counterfeit products, and maintain the competitiveness of manufacturers based in the Charlotte region,” he added. “The project also will support the needs of regional and national employers, as CPCC will share results from the project with companies as they implement security measures that address brand protection and the integrity of their products.”
CPCC’s Graphics Arts and Imaging Technology program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in printing, publishing, packaging and related industries. Students receive hands on training in computer publishing, imaging technology, offset lithography, screen printing, flexography and emerging printing technologies.
Learn more about the Graphics Arts and Imaging Technology program, or call Zachery at 704-330-4427.