Pittsburgh, Pa., August 9, 2001 - National Council (NC) for Skill Standards in Graphic Communications reports that Brian S. May, pressroom and bindery supervisor for the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), is the first and currently the only operator to be nationally certified in both web and sheetfed operations.
Since 1997, the NC has been designing national certification exams for the printing industry and partnering with schools to administer the tests locally. The NC offers certification in sheetfed and web operations and will soon offer certification in prepress and postpress areas. Using study guides and relying on experience, May passed the sheetfed exam two years ago and recently passed the web exam this spring. For each exam he passed, May received a certificate valid for five years and an embroidered insignia for his uniform.
"I’m very proud to have an official acknowledgment of time and knowledge accumulated on both types of printing equipment. But more importantly I’m proud to be a part of a movement to bring a professional status to our industry," said May. "The printing industry is currently lacking skilled workers which may stem from a lack of young people being drawn into our industry. The NC is not only helping people in our industry prove their skill, but raising the bar to create new respect and awareness of printing."
May manages a staff of printers and directs the activities of GATF’s pressroom, which includes the operation of sheetfed presses, a web press, and bindery equipment. In addition he serves as the lead instructor for training programs that focus on sheetfed and web offset press operations. He participates in several other workshops as well. May worked in the printing industry for five years prior to joining the GATF staff in 1979. He is a graduate of New York City Community College.
George Ryan, president of GATF, echoes May’s remarks, "In the United States today, baseball players, truck drivers, secretaries, and many other groups call themselves professionals. Professionals have a special set of skills based on science and acquire these skills through training. They join trade associations and read trade publications. And most importantly professionals have standards and rely on feedback about how well they are performing their job according to these standards, rather than solely relying on the feedback of their supervisors."
Ryan continued, "An occupation achieves professional status when a majority of its practitioners qualify as professionals. We are proud of Brian’s accomplishments and encourage others to apply for the NC’s certification exams."
Press operators interested in participating in the examination should contact William H. Smith, managing director, National Council for Skill Standards, 208 Lafayette Center, Kennebunk, Maine 04043; telephone 207/985-9898; fax 207/983-6347; or email [email protected]
; or visit www.ncssgc.org.