The Arzignano Tannery District, amongst the most important in Italy and the world, has not had a school for leather goods craftsmanship for years. Finally, one was opened, two years ago, by the “Centro di Formazione Professionale Fontana” of Chiampo, an educational institution, dating back to the beginning of the 19 century and very important in the surrounding area.
The new three year professional course is suitable for students from secondary school, and is unique in Italy. Similar courses were previously intended for adults only.
Chiampo, in the North of Arzignano, in addition to being tannery, is a well-known marble production area. Its educational center had focused only on marble for decades.
The revival of leather craftsmanship in importance, after years of very low appeal, persuaded the managers of the Fontana institution to rethink their educational offer. The art of leather goods production is a natural progression and is currently achieving great success. Roberto Peripoli, institute director explains “It is just a small step from the tannery to leather fashion goods, with specialist skills and many job opportunities for young people”. After the first year, several enrollment applications were received. Mostly from girls, usually more interested in fashion. Boys on the other hand generally prefer tannery production end stages, like quality checking and refining. However, the course is suitable for both genders.
The leather goods production district is located in the area surrounding Vicenza. It has the benefit of well-known brand Bottega Veneta as a driving force. Nowadays, thanks to the Fontana educational institution, it also has young professionals and well prepared employees. In addition, the tannery industries can find employees specializing in the end stages of leather production.
This year enrollment applications exceeded availability. Unfortunately, due to economic reasons, the center cannot run a second course, so they will have to hold a selection process. Designing and creating leather bags, shoes and fashion accessories is a job allowing expression of a passion creativity and intelligence.
The Fontana educational institution aims to strengthen relationships with local tanneries that often help school with free hides and leathers. Moreover, some of them have new projects in leather goods manufacture which aim to integrate tannery activities. The school supplies them with enthusiastic, talented young professionals, able to create new, interesting markets for the tannery district. “Fashion leather goods, leather industrial clothing, saddles and tannery process stages: these are some of the many job areas available to our students after their three year course of study”, summarized with satisfaction by Mr. Peripoli.
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