Esko has underlined its commitment to future generations of packaging industry workers with a multi-million dollar in-kind donation to support college and university students in their packaging engineering and technology studies.

The global developer of integrated software and hardware solutions for the packaging, label, and wide format sectors has extended its no-charge donation of software licenses to leading educational institutions across the U.S. The investment comes ahead of the commencement of the new school year and includes its market leading structural design and production software platforms.

Esko Senior Director of Inside Sales and Marketing Melissa Plemen.

Esko Senior Director of Inside Sales and Marketing Melissa Plemen said the company was thrilled to continue supporting the education of the next generation of packaging employees with the donation. “We strongly believe in investing in the future of our industry and have supported schools across the country in this way for a number of years now,” she said. “We’re delighted to be able to continue that with this latest significant donation in kind.”

Among the more-than-forty schools utilizing Esko software are Clemson University, Cal Poly University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Ryerson University, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Dunwoody College of Technology, Michigan State University, and Indiana State University.

“It’s widely accepted that our sector has an aging workforce and a skills gap continues to become more and more apparent,” explained Plemen. “As technological advances lead to changes within the sector, it’s vitally important that the industry supports the education and training of young people as we drive to develop and inspire the packaging experts of the future.

“Our commitment ensures today’s students are familiar with the latest Esko software utilized around the world to manage packaging and print processes, enabling them to be truly ready for work and have the skills required to enter the sector.”

Through this donation, packaging course tutors can now use the same software that develops nine out of ten retail packages for major brands today and the breadth of software available enables them to teach a wide range of skillsets. Students will be able to design and create packaging systems from ideation through to virtual and physical prototypes, preparing them for future roles in what is a diverse and fast-paced packaging industry.

“The global pandemic has underlined the important role technology already plays in keeping the packaging supply chain moving,” said Plemen. “As the future of the industry will inevitably involve further digitization, automation and connectivity, it is crucial that the workforce of tomorrow is as skilled and knowledgeable as possible before they embark on their career.

“We see this donation as part of our contribution to ensuring that vision becomes a reality, investing in not just the future of these young students, but also of our industry as a whole.”

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