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SkillsUSA Champ Preps for WorldSkills Competition

Friday, June 12, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga. -- Amela Mujkic has a giant in her corner. The Ferris State University (FSU) senior earned the title of National Champion in Printing Technology in the SkillsUSA competition last spring and is preparing to represent the United States at the biannual WorldSkills competition in Alberta, Canada this fall. Her participation marks the first time ever that a student from the U.S. will compete at the international level. This summer, Mujkic is completing an intensive, two-week Print Media Academy (PMA) training class at Heidelberg USA’s Print Media Demonstration Center (PMDC) in Kennesaw, Ga. to prepare herself for the upcoming competition.

Summer School with a Difference
With her eye on a career as a trainer or technical representative at a printing company, Mujkic’s competitive trajectory has landed her in the right place at precisely the right time. Heidelberg’s PMDC provides her not only with access to state-of-the-art Heidelberg expertise, but also with as much dedicated time as she needs to hone the skills on which she and fellow competitors will be tested. Students will be required to produce a 5-color job on a Heidelberg Speedmaster 52 press – 4 colors in one pass with a fifth on the second pass – while demonstrating proficiency with manual ink key, feeder and delivery settings, sheet pulls and being able to spot color variations to within 2 Delta E. Students also will compete on a SHOTS Sheetfed Offset Training Simulator. While plates for the jobs will be made for them, students also will be required to cut down their own paper from 28x40-inch to 14x20-inch sheets using a POLAR guillotine cutter. Pat Klarecki, printing and imaging technology management department chair at FSU, will serve as Mujkic’s coach throughout her training and during the WorldSkills competition.

“Heidelberg’s training staff is just amazing,” Mujkic said. “I truly felt that I was working with a team of experts. My instructors were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and I really enjoyed working with the entire staff of the Print Media Demonstration Center. Not only did I work on several different presses, but I was able to practice on folders and cutters, too. I learned a lot of new tips, techniques and terms in preparation for WorldSkills. After training there for this short period, it’s clear to me why Heidelberg is the best in the industry.”

Mujkic, whose interest in painting and graphic design led her to consider a career in printing, brings an artistic eye to her printing pursuits. “Once I saw the way just four basic colors could combine to make any other color,” she said, “I was hooked.” Her goal at Ferris is to earn a four-year degree in Print Management and New Media Printing and Publishing. She will be the first member of her family to pursue a career in the graphic arts.

The first year Amela competed in Skills USA she received a third place award at the state level, and the following year placed first at the national competition. She now judges graphic communications competitions for Skills USA, sharing her success story with students interested in printing and graphic communications.

“Keeping up with new technology improvements is a real challenge,” Mujkic said, acknowledging both the difficulty and the appeal implicit in choosing a career in the rapidly evolving graphic arts industry - but leaving no doubt it’s a challenge she relishes. “I am thrilled to have earned this opportunity to represent both Ferris State University and Heidelberg at the international level.”

Good luck, Amela!

Global network and knowledge forum for the print media industry
The Print Media Academy was founded in 2000 in Heidelberg and offers technical and management staff in the print media industry a comprehensive range of training courses tailored to the specific needs of the industry. High-profile speakers and trainers from the print media industry and business world impart information on the use of Heidelberg products, technological innovations, and successful management. The Print Media Academy portfolio includes one-off seminars, international management programs, advanced training, specialist congresses, and a range of publications.




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