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Officials Praise PrintED Accredited Prison Program

Monday, October 16, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

RESTON, VA, October 13, 2006 -- Inmates in Maryland's correctional system are learning valuable skills in printing and graphic communications through the national PrintED accreditation and certification program. Offered through the state's Occupational Skills Training Center (OSTC), this is Maryland's second printing program to receive PrintED accreditation and is emerging as a model for similar programs in other correctional settings. Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele visited the facility earlier this summer, along with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Karen Czarnecki. Both visitors were impressed by the range and quality of training at the center, along with the degree to which the printing industry works with OSTC staff to find jobs for qualified graduates. "As we work to help our economy continue to grow, we recognize the importance of strengthening all segments of our work force and the remarkable role that the Occupational Skills Training Center plays in helping inmates learn skills to find and keep good-paying jobs," said Lt. Governor Steele. OSTC students develop hands-on skills in specific printing and graphics tasks, like digital file preparation and output, press operations, binding and finishing, as well as receiving training in life skills in preparation for the transition back to the community. "PrintED really means something when our students go out on job interviews," said OSTC graphic communications instructor Charlie Benjamin. "These are ex-offenders who have a strike against them and therefore need to have verifiable credentials," he explains. Thanks to PrintED, he adds, "employers know they're hiring skilled workers." Ken Weeden, OSTC principal, praised the center's graphic communications program. "The business of printing is a time-honored profession that offers an array of employment opportunities that extends to those incarcerated adults who are offered the appropriate training and education. The industry deserves a pat on the back for giving our students a reason to look forward, rather than back."




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