College Receives $200K Grant to Create Program that Combats Counterfeit Printing and Packaging
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — March 29, 2016 — 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,” Blackburn 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 5-7 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,” Blackburn adds. “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.
For more information about the Graphics Arts and Imaging Technology program, see the program webpage, or call Blackburn at (704) 330-4427.
Central Piedmont Community College is one of the largest community colleges in the Carolinas, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. CPCC is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County. CPCC responds to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational and training strategies. Established in 1963, CPCC has provided more than 50 years of service to Mecklenburg County residents, business and industry.