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PIAG Names Georgia SkillsUSA Graphic Communications Winners

Press release from the issuing company

(Atlanta, Ga., April 28, 2008)– The Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia (PIAG) announced today the winners in the Georgia SkillsUSA graphic communications and advertising design competitions held at the Print Media Demonstration Center at Heidelberg USA in Kennesaw, Ga. Through a grant from PIAG Educational Foundation the first place contestants and their advisors will travel to Kansas City in June to compete in the national SkillsUSA competition. In addition, the Foundation awarded scholarships to the winners totally $4,500.

Winners in the graphic communications competition include: first place: Alyssa Ailion, a senior at Walton High School in Marietta, Ga.; second place: Victoria Gunnin, a senior at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga.; and third place: Bryan Shipes, a junior at Appling County High School in Baxley, Ga.

Winners in the advertising design competition include: first place: Kyle Colburn, a senior at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga.; second place: Yea Jee Bae, a freshman at Dalton High School; and third place: Quinn Hicks, a senior at North Clayton High School in College Park, Ga.

The advertising design competitors were given three hours to compose an advertisement for Oreo cookies. AIGA, the professional design association judged the entries. The graphic communications category consisted of five competencies: pre-press work, offset press, finishing, a written exam and job interview. Winners received above average scores in all five categories.

 "Congratulations to the winners! We were happy to have hosted this year's state competition," said Larry Kroll, vice president, PMA, Heidelberg USA. "Heidelberg is committed to industry education through our Print Media Academy. We strongly believe that a lack of educational and training opportunities should never be the excuse why a student does not choose the graphic arts industry. It is great to see these students show such a strong interest in a career at an early age. It's my hope that they continue down this path."

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. In a research report titled Staffing the Future – Human Resources Needs in the Printing Industry 2006 – 2010, the Printing Industries of America reported the printing industry will hire around 286,000 employees over the next five years to replace employees leaving for other jobs, retiring and for all other reasons. In Georgia there are 832 printing facilities making printing and imaging one of Georgia's largest manufacturing industries. These companies employ 24,326 people and generate more than $3.9 billion in shipments.

"Finding and keeping skilled management, production, technical and sales employees is the second most significant issue facing printers today," said David Canady, president IMedia Group and immediate past chairman of the PIAG Educational Foundation, sponsors of the contest.  "Participation in SkillsUSA is a win for everyone. Students get valuable job training and industry ensures a skilled pipeline of future talent."

Employment Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5.6 percent growth in printing production jobs from 2004 – 2014, with 9.6 percent growth in supervisors/managers, 8.1 percent growth in job printers, and 14.2 percent growth in bindery workers.