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Marietta Teen Takes Silver in National SkillsUSA Competition

Press release from the issuing company

(Atlanta, Ga., July 7, 2008) – Alyssa Ailion, a 2008 graduate of Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. placed second in the National SkillsUSA Graphic Communications Championship, held June 23 – 27, in Kansas City, Missouri. The gold medal went to John Litwinowicz, Royal Oak High School in Royal Oak, MI and the bronze to Chloe Grace, Autry Technology Center, Enid, OK. The competition was part of the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference where more than 5,000 outstanding career and technical education students joined in the excitement of hands-on competition in 91 different trade, technical, and leadership fields.

In addition to family and friends, Alyssa had members of the Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia cheering for her. PIAG’s Educational Foundation hosted the state competition in April at the Print Media Demonstration Center at Heidelberg USA in Kennesaw, Ga. Between the state and national competition, she received personalized training from industry representatives and completed an internship at American Color Graphics. To follow her training, visit http://skillsusa-anadvisorsperspective.blogspot.com/.

 “The competition was difficult; I had to use everything I had learned not only in the past month during my training with members of PIAG and my internship at American Color Graphics, but in my whole career in graphic arts,”  said silver medalist Alyssa Ailion. “Some things were completely new and I had to figure them out using prior knowledge.”

Contestants earned the opportunity to compete at the national event by placing first in regional then state competitions. Thirty-three contestants from around the country participated in the seven part graphic communications contest which included: Digital Workflow; Electronic Prepress (prepare a file with either QuarkXPress or InDesign on an Apple computer); Finishing (prepare table top folder for various folding exercises and a short written test); Offset Press Operations (prepare press, install plate, make ready to print, two color on a preprinted two color sheet); Oral Professional Assessment (participate in an interview exercise); Production Planning (solve production problems relating to paper, ink and production); and, Technical Knowledge Test (complete general technical knowledge test).

“This is the first year PIAG sponsored the SkillsUSA competition,” said David Canady, PIAG SkillsUSA chairman. “Taking second place in the nation shows the tremendous talent available in Georgia and the amazing results that can happen when industry takes an active part in student training.”

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

The contests are planned by technical committees made up of representatives of labor and management and are designed to test the skills needed for a successful entry level performance in given occupational fields. Safety practices and procedures - an area of great concern to labor and management alike - are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score.