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Cal Poly Graphic Communication Graduates Lead College in Finding Jobs

Press release from the issuing company

May 13, 2003 -- SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department placed 86 percent of its 2002 graduates in the work force, leading the other 14 departments in the College of Liberal Arts in job placement, according to just-released figures. Harvey Levenson, Graphic Communication department head, said, “These are phenomenal out-the-door figures in these recessionary times of cutting back employees and curtailing hiring.” Graphic communication companies from across the nation continue to visit the campus to interview graphic communication students. Most are printing and publishing companies and vendors of equipment, paper and software, according to Levenson. He attributes the high degree of job placement to “a very focused curriculum that prepares our students for where the jobs are.” “The graphics programs in many schools have an emphasis on Web-page development and graphic software applications for preparing images on a screen,” Levenson said. “Cal Poly teaches new digital-imaging technologies in printing while also giving students a heavy dose of non-print imaging education involving Web authoring, Internet publishing and multimedia.” “Year after year, we hear about the demise of print, how print is going away, how there will be no jobs in print,” Levenson said. “However, it’s the printing industry and its vendors that keep coming back for more of our graduates. What a lot of the industry prognosticators are missing is that print is not dead nor is it dying. What is happening is that the way print is produced and what it looks like is changing. “The focus of much of the graphic communication industry is on short-run color, on-demand, and variable data printing. Printing technology being developed today allows varying the image in words and pictures on every sheet coming off of the printing press,” Levenson said. “Someday we’ll be able to alter the image on a printed sheet the way we do today on a computer monitor.” Those are some of the areas that Cal Poly is preparing its students for. Others include the high-end, high-volume segments of the industry including web offset, flexography and gravure printing. “Some traditional printed products such as business forms and directories are moving from print to the Web,” Levenson said. “However, direct mail advertising, as one example, is growing by about six percent a year. And package printing is not affected by the Internet.” A recent study, soon to be released by the Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly, shows that while 96 percent of the respondents receive e-mail, approximately 75 percent noted that they prefer receiving advertising in print. “Hence,” Levenson said, “we remain focused in our curriculum on where the opportunities lie, the industry responds and our students are the winners.” Companies that have recruited Cal Poly graphic communication students over the past year include AdMail Express; American Lithographers; Anderson Lithograph; Banta Catalog Group; Berlin Industries; Bowne; Brown Printing Co.; ColorGraphics; Consolidated Graphics; Crestec; Dow Jones; Emerald Packaging, G-3 Enterprises Label Division; George Lithograph; and GPA, America's Label Expert. Also, Grand Street Printing Technologies; Graphic Arts Center; the Internal Revenue Service;, InterPrint, LLC; Internal Revenue Service; Kirk Paper; Packaging, and Graphics; MAN Roland; Moore; Pace Lithograph; Quad/Graphics; QuebecorWorld; R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Financial; R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Magazine Group; San Luis Obispo Tribune; Spectrum Label;, Spicers Paper; Suburban Graphics; The Ligature; Tulip Graphics; the U.S. Government Printing Office; and Wallace. Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department was founded in 1946 and has grown to one of the largest and best-known programs of its kind in the nation. The major includes concentrations in printing and imaging management, electronic publishing and imaging, design reproduction technology, and individualized study. The program is heavily supported by industry with equipment, supplies and software for the department’s more than 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories. Through cash gifts from industry, the program has one of the largest endowments of any individual department at Cal Poly.