The competition brings together high school student teams from across the United States to demonstrate their skills in the flexographic process. They spend two of the two-and-a-half-day team event competing in five skill-related tests. They take a math test, the FTA FIRST Level One Operator examination, and a prepress skills test. For the hands-on portion, they are tested in plate making and a 90-minute two-color flexo press run judged by industry expert volunteers. There are other educational events and a plant tour for the students as well. There are expected to be 30-40 students competing in teams.
In addition to being a purple level sponsor for the competition, Harper Corporation of America encourages its employees to help as volunteers and pressroom judges. The first-place student team will receive medals and scholarships as well as a plaque and the coveted “Harper Cup” to display at their school for one year.
Harper Corporation of America is a strong supporter of education and both sponsors and participates in various initiatives throughout the year to raise funds for educational programs, scholarships, and other causes. The company, starting with Ron and Katherine Harper who were instrumental in the establishment of the Phoenix Challenge, continues in its commitment to helping build future generations of flexographic professionals.
The 22nd Annual Phoenix Challenge High School Skills Competition will be held March 20-22, 2019, at the Harper Campus of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina.