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Industry Insight

With Heidelberg’s Help, Ferris State University Student Will Carry Flag for U.S. in WorldSkills Printing Competition

Let’s all root for Amela Mujkic,

By Patrick Henry
Published: June 12, 2009

mujkic Let’s all root for Amela Mujkic, a Ferris State University (FSU) senior who will represent the U.S. in Printing Technology at the biannual WorldSkills competition in Calgary, Alberta, in September. It’s the first time ever that a student from the U.S. will compete in printing at the international level. Mujkic, who earned the title of National Champion in Printing Technology in the SkillsUSA competition last spring, is training for the event with the help of Heidelberg, a staunch supporter of SkillsUSA and of print education in general. To prepare for the world-class event, Mujkic is completing an intensive, two-week Print Media Academy (PMA) training class at Heidelberg’s Print Media Demonstration Center (PMDC) in Kennesaw, GA. There’s a lot to prepare for. Among other things, the student contestants will be required to produce a five-color job on a Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 52 press—four colors in one pass with a fifth in the second pass—while demonstrating proficiency with manual ink keys, feeder and delivery settings, and sheet pulls. They also must able to spot color variations to within 2 Delta E and cut their own paper from 28" x 40" to 14" x 20" sheets on a POLAR guillotine cutter. At the PMDC, Mujkic has received dedicated, hands-on training in all the areas in which she’ll be tested. At Ferris, she’s pursuing a bachelor of science degree in print management and new media printing and publishing. Her goal is to become a trainer or technical representative at a printing company. Bravo and the best of luck to Amela, and a tip of the hat to Heidelberg for all it has done to gird her for this historic competition.

Patrick Henry, Executive Editor for WhatTheyThink.com is also the director of Liberty or Death Communications, a consultancy specializing in research, education, promotional, and editorial support services for the printing and publishing industries.

Patrick Henry is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us here.

Please offer your feedback to Patrick. He can be reached at patrick.henry@whattheythink.com.



By Michael J on Jun 12, 2009

Patrick, I want to test an idea. If Heidelberg has the ability to judge the quality of a press person, wouldn't it be cool if those standards and processes could be widely distributed so that on job press people could be judged on their expertise? If press people who got higher grades got higher comp, I be lots of the "educating" the press people problem would disappear very quickly. If Xerox or HP did the same for digital AND the owners would give more comp for better skills, I'm pretty sure that the industry would be able to train the skilled operators they need very quickly. It would also save the globals a lot of money in "educating" and support programs. I keep turning this around and can't see why it wouldn't work. Of course the problem is the more comp for expertise part. But maybe the globals could kick in to get this started.


By Patrick Henry on Jun 12, 2009

Michael, it’s a fine and worthy ambition. The standards and resources already exist, and they’re abundant. Heidelberg’s Print Media Academy operates in five North American cities. Other manufacturers, such as Goss and MAN Roland, have training centers of their own. Trade associations offer training for operators and technicians. Colleges and universities with graphic communications programs retrain workers for new roles using new technologies. The problem is one of coordination. Who decides what the universal benchmarks for skills will be? If Heidelberg, Xerox, et. al. are to be involved, how do we overcome the competitive issues? Where are the oversight and the direction supposed to come from? It’s true that the industry has an organization for job skills certification, The National Council for Skill Standards in Graphic Communications (http://www.ncssgc.org). But its activities are limited, and it doesn’t appear capable of operating on the large scale that you propose. I have no idea how to persuade printers to offer more compensation for better skills, particularly in these tough times. But I suspect that even if the money were there, the will to create a body of broadly accepted skill standards wouldn’t be. I fear that the industry just isn’t very good at pulling in the same direction when it comes to job training.


By Brian Regan on Jun 12, 2009

A HUGE WELL DONE to Amela and big thanks to Heidelberg for being such a strong supporter of these types of programs.


By Michael J on Jun 12, 2009

Patrick, What if printers were given the choice of which standards to follow. I would think all of them are well thought out. The idea of adopting one standard just isn't going to fit the American way. no doubt in my mind about that. Do you think there might be a possibility that the globals might put together some benefit program? Recognition is often a good substitute until the money comes back into the system. I can imagine that a 2 week vacation to Germany would be a great benefit for Heidelberg first class press people. Given the natural competition in a press room, a trip plus bragging rights might be just the thing. Every one I've ever met that is a good press person, either the main press person to the paper handler is driven by pride as much as money.


By Greg on Jun 16, 2009

Go Bulldogs!!!!!!!!!!!


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