Dr. Andrew Hurley is a packaging industry veteran, spending his early career designing packaging for Fortune 500 companies before taking up the educator’s mantle as an assistant professor of packaging science at Clemson University. Nurturing those young minds through their first steps into the industry highlighted a problem that had been gnawing at Professor Hurley for some time: In an ever-evolving field, why wasn’t there a comprehensive platform to enlighten newcomers to the industry while allowing for seasoned professionals to expand their education?
The question didn’t have a simple answer. Traditionally, the only options available for packaging education were the handful of University programs that existed, industry associations, expositions, and conferences, or supplier-provided content. And each of these had their strengths and drawbacks. University programs are time-consuming, competitive, and not really full of the “demographic” of your average industry professional. Time during expositions and conferences is so limited, most attendees find it more valuable for networking than focusing on education. And while supplier-provided content is obviously valuable, it is, by design, biased and narrowly focused.
So what was the answer? Create a new way of teaching and disseminating innovations at scale.
Encouraged by Clemson University, (who have since officially licensed his program) Andrew spent the next couple of years defining his wants, the industry needs, and strategically building a team that would give rise to The Packaging School.
Along with his partner, Drew Felty, and Packaging School director, Sara Shumpert, Dr. Hurley launched The Packaging School in 2015, initially offering an online 12-course certificate covering the fundamentals of packaging, from substrates to supply chain. Each course is built from scratch by a creative team of packaging experts (with Dr. Hurley serving as the Chief Learning Officer) and parsed out in multiple “micro- lessons” that only take about 10 minutes or so apiece. The goal being to offer continuing education in segments that working professionals could easily incorporate into their increasingly hectic schedules.
But just as important as the content The Packaging School provides, it is also serving as a community forum. Students are sharing insight, information, and expertise across the vast wealth of experience that can only come from such a diverse group of industry professionals. From designers to logistics managers, and even executives, they all benefit from the collective intelligence amassed, and go on to share their new knowledge in their own businesses, making them more valuable assets and their companies more successful.
To find out how you can become involved with The Packaging School, contact us today – firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-412-5000.