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Baltimore Students Paid to Print with City Program

Press release from the issuing company

Baltimore, MD-More than a dozen students in several Baltimore City schools were paid to print-or at least paid to learn printing-this year as part of the city's Work-Based Learning Program, a part of the school system's Career and Technology Education. The students, all of whom are enrolled in graphic communication programs at their schools, were placed as paid interns at local printing companies, where they were trained, supervised, and evaluated by the company owners.

The program creates a win-win situation for both student and industry, as students gain invaluable experience and skills, while the industry benefits from grooming future employees. Participating printers included Uptown Press (President, Jack Weber); BCP Digital Printing (President Paul Coates), and Time Printers, Inc. (President Al Maddox, Jr.), and were recruited for their mentoring roles by their local printers' organization, the Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA), a non-profit trade association for graphic communications businesses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and D.C.

"It is essential to offer hands-on training to students in order to ensure a qualified future workforce," says PGAMA Vice President Paul Foster, a former printing educator. "Programs of this nature generate excitement for careers in printing." Adds Al Maddox of Time Printers, "In this economy more than ever, it is vital that students are aware of the vast range of employment opportunities printing provides." According to PGAMA, printing establishments employ a million people nationally; and in Maryland, there are 660 printing firms employing approximately 20,000 people.

Students in the program continued to attend class, but worked approximately 15 hours each week, for which they were paid $7.00 per hour. Funding for their salaries came from the city of Baltimore. The professional mentors donated their time, but received the satisfaction of passing on the skills of their trade to a new generation. They were publicly recognized for their efforts earlier this month at a luncheon hosted by the Career and Technology Education Department.