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Students get real-world experience at Maryland SkillsUSA contest

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Glen Burnie, Maryland - Travis Smith, a graphic communication student from the Center for Applied Technology North in Anne Arundel County, MD took first place in the 46th annual Maryland SkillsUSA Championship held March 27th, 2010 at the commercial printing plant of Printing Specialist Corporation in Glen Burnie, MD. For his efforts, Travis earned an Apple MacBook laptop, while second place finisher Richard Brewer (also from the Center for Applied Technology North) and third place finisher Derrick Martin (from Washington County Technical High School), both earned Flip Mino video recorders for their performance.

Students from across the state took part in the contest, and were evaluated on their technical abilities in print production. Holding the contest at an actual printing facility makes the competition more realistic and challenging, and provides real world training for participants. Printing Specialist was selected as the competition site for the second year in a row because of the type of printing press they use (a Heidelberg QM46-2), which is the same type of press used in the national level competition to be held in Kansas City June 21-25, 2010. The event was sponsored by Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA), a non-profit trade association for graphic communications businesses. A grant from PGAMA will enable Travis to travel to the national competition.

Over a four-and-a-half hour period, students competed in multiple aspects of graphic design including electronic file preparation, press, binding and finishing, production planning, and technical knowledge. They also participated in a job interview segment. Each competitor received individual marks in each area, given by judges who work in the printing industry. Volunteer judge Chris Saulter observed, "...the group of students at the competition are getting a very good education [in graphic communications], and I was really impressed with their ability to operate production equipment in a real-world setting." Saulter added, "...the training I received when I was a student in a high school printing program played a large part in where I am today. It's encouraging to see students enthusiastic about our industry."




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