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Local Teachers Updated By GATF on Technology to Help Future Work Force

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, Pa., August 8, 2001 — Seventeen high school and post-secondary teachers from throughout the country were selected from 215 applications to attend a week-long training workshop on new technologies in the print and graphics industry. "What these teachers do on a daily basis is vital to the survival and growth of our industry as well as the production of everything from newspapers, credit cards, food labels, and every other item that is printed upon," said George Ryan, president of the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF). A nonprofit, international research and education foundation for the graphic communications community, GATF hosted the teacher event at its headquarters outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. "Printing is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the United States—employing over 1,213,000 people in almost 50,000 establishments, and selling over $163 billion of products in 2000. It affects everyone." In recent times, one might suspect the number one problem facing the graphic arts industry is the economy, sales, energy issues, healthcare, digital printing, or the Internet’s effect on printing. But it is none of these issues. According to a survey by the Economics and Research Department of Printing Industries of America (Alexandria, Va.), the leading obstacle for printers is finding talented employees. As many as 33% to 38% of respondents, quarter after quarter for the past two years, have expressed difficulty in filling all positions—from press operators to presidents. Ryan continued, "With industry sales growth of 6.7% as recently as 2000, these teachers are our best hope for finding future qualified employees in an already small pool of skilled workers." Hosted by GATF and financed by the Graphic Arts Show Company, Inc. (Reston, Va.), the 2001 GASC/GATF Teacher’s Update provided teachers with an understanding of new technologies for education, training, and retraining needs for tomorrow’s work force. The one-week program, held July 23–27, focused on current trends and new technologies for printing presses, direct imaging and toner-based printing, and working with digital photography, among other subjects.