Heidelberg Distinguishes Itself Through Multi-Faceted Support for Industry Education
Friday, April 26, 2013
Press release from the issuing company
Kennesaw, GA – Heidelberg remains as passionate as ever about advancing the cause of graphic arts education. More important, Heidelberg backs up its commitment with donations of facilities, equipment, money and expertise to create exciting opportunities for students poised to become the next generation of industry leadership. All evidence points to the certainty that Heidelberg is on the right track in seeking to motivate the next generation of graphic arts employees while they are still in school.
On March 22, for example, Heidelberg USA hosted the annual Georgia SkillsUSA competition in Advertising Design and Graphic Communications at its North American Print and Packaging Technology Center (NAPPTC) in Kennesaw, GA.
Skills USA is the national organization for high school students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupation education. It conducts the annual SkillsUSA Championships to recognize the achievements of vocational students and encourage them to excel.
“For the sixth year in a row, Heidelberg USA was privileged to host the Georgia SkillsUSA graphic communications and advertising design competitions,” said Susan Nofi, Senior Vice President, Heidelberg USA. “It’s inspiring to see high school students demonstrate their remarkable talent, and to see such strong interest in a graphic arts career.”
Winners of the 2013 graphic communications competition were: first place: Grayson Anthony, Johnson High School, Gainesville, GA; second place: Mason Pike, Troup County Comp High School, Lagrange, GA; and third place: Rhett Hamm, Lowndes High School, Valdosta, GA.
Winners of the advertising design competition were: first place: Veronika Zwicke, McIntosh High School, Peachtree City, GA; second place: Carlisle Vidourek, Sandy Creek High School, Tyrone, GA.; and third place: Tiauna Smith, Albany High School in Albany, GA.
Through a grant from Printing Industries Association of Georgia (PIAG)’s Educational Foundation, first place Georgia contestants and their advisors will advance to the national SkillsUSA Championship competition in Kansas City in June. Heidelberg gives scholarships to the first, second and third place winners of this competition. Championship winners go on to the WorldSkills International competition, held each fall in different locations around the globe.
“A shortage of knowledgeable operators with appropriate technical skills, a dearth of industry support for graphic arts programs, combined with a lack of funding and career guidance for students, have created a looming crisis in the printing industry,” Paul Cavanaugh, Service Skill Development Manager, Heidelberg USA. “Events like SkillsUSA are invaluable in helping to raise the profile of the printing professions and prepare our next generation workforce.”
Build It and They Will Come
Designed to function as both a demonstration center and print media resource for the industry, Heidelberg’s state-of-the-art, multi-use Technology Center is a magnet for students bound for careers in the graphic arts. Three times each year, for example, Heidelberg invites 30-50 students from the Graphic Communications program at Clemson University to tour the Technology Center in Kennesaw. The students are members of the University’s advanced Graphic Communications “440 class,” which focuses on commercial printing with an emphasis on sheetfed offset technology. The purpose of the field trips is to give students the opportunity to experience a live production environment complete with integrated workflow and the latest printing technology.
To personalize the experience for students, Clemson and Heidelberg structure the field trip around the production of an 8-page, 4-color book, a student project that is a major requirement of the 440 curriculum. Students follow a selected book project from prepress to the bindery, getting a first-hand look at the processes involved in its transformation from digital file to saddle-stitched book. Along the way, students hear from Heidelberg prepress, press and postpress experts, as well as from specialists in MIS and packaging.
Interns and Opportunities
Heidelberg’s dedication to career awareness informs other areas of its business. The company takes on a series of student interns in its Marketing Communications and Creative Services Departments every year. Since 2001, 72 student interns have gained valuable insight and practical experience by working closely with Heidelberg technical experts, product managers and other personnel to learn the ropes of the business from the inside out. Although Heidelberg internships are open to matriculating students at colleges and universities nationwide, about 90 percent of Heidelberg interns are enrolled in Clemson University’s Graphic Communications program.
Heidelberg USA’s broad support of U.S. graphic communications industry education also includes an annual donation to a general fund administered by the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF); and donations in kind to Graphic Communication departments at universities and high schools nationwide. Heidelberg executives are proud to devote their time and resources to the Board of the PGSF and the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications, as well as other universities across the country.
“Even in challenging times, Heidelberg extends its resources to students and educators in the graphic arts community to ensure an adequate supply of skilled management, production, technical and sales employees is available to us in the future,” Nofi said. “A lack of educational and training opportunities should never be the reason a bright, interested student is denied an opportunity to make a contribution to our industry.”
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