The color matching program at Terra State Community College received a huge boost when it was featured recently on page one of a national publication.
Plastics News, a weekly newspaper based in Akron, carried an extensive piece on the one-of-a-kind plastics program in its August 6 issue.
“This article really showcases what we have been doing here at Terra for more than 20 years – providing trained people for the coloring of plastics industry,” said Terra professor Jamie Przybylski. “It’s an industry which is somewhat obscure, but definitely important.”
Terra grad Anthony Artino, who now works for Revere
Plastics, stopped in at the college’s plastics lab recently
to evaluate some color samples.
The article, written by Bill Bregar, chronicled the history of the Terra program dating back to 1988. It also contained first-hand accounts by several of the college’s 200 color matching graduates who are working in the field.
Steve Esker, a 1994 graduate who is technical sales manager at Paramount Colors Inc. in Elk Grove Village, Ill., said that others in industry could benefit by taking online color matching courses.
“You have shift supervisors who know nothing about color,” he said. “I think if you give them basic knowledge there can be a lot less rework.”
Dustin Bowersox, who graduated from Terra in 1998 and is now a senior manager of color at retailer Target Corporation, said people need to be willing to relocate from the Fremont area. “If somebody, on their resume, had a color background of any sort, they would have a huge advantage,” he said.
Mark Tyler is a 1992 graduate who is a color technologist at Ticona Engineering Polymers in Florence, Ky., said,
“Sometimes you have people dealing with color who don’t know anything about it. You see this color all around you; you don’t think about it.”
Steve Foos, a 1994 graduate, is one of eight Terra alums who works at American Colors Inc. in Sandusky. “There’s one thing about the color industry – it is still not widely understood,” he said. “Terra graduates people who speak the language and understands the industry.”
“The comments of our graduates give some great insight to what they have learned at Terra and how it applies to what they do now,” Przybylski said. “Unfortunately, most people locally are completely unaware of what we do. I think we are better known nationally throughout the industry than we are here at home.”
The Society of Plastics Engineers and its Color and Appearance Division have historically been a major supporter to the program, both in equipment and scholarship funds. The organization continues to assist in a variety of ways today.
Enrollment in the color matching program has tapered off in recent years, however, in addition to recruiting students from area high schools and adult career centers, Terra is offering three introductory classes online. Students from as far away as Portugal, Italy and New Zealand have taken these courses, which can lead to a certificate.
Publicity about the program, such as the article in Plastics News, also helps.
“Hopefully, this article and the buzz surrounding it will encourage local students, as well as students from across the country, to enroll in our program and graduate into a fulfilling and lucrative career,” Przybylski said.
For more information on the color matching program at Terra, call Przybylski at 419-559-2459.
To view the entire article in Plastics News, visit www.plasticsnews.com/headlines2.html?id=26185.