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PGAMA Awards College Scholarships and Runs Teacher Conference

Press release from the issuing company

Columbia, Maryland-The Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA), a non-profit trade association for printing and graphic communications businesses, continued its history of cultivating a future workforce for the printing industry in two separate moves this summer. The Association awarded scholarships to college-bound printing students in Maryland through its Education Fund; and for the sixth consecutive year, organized the Printing Teachers Conference with support from the Maryland State Department of Education.

PGAMA's Education Fund was created in 1966, in part from a substantial donation by an Association member. Tax-deductible contributions from current members add to the balance, and earnings are invested in school and student activities related to graphic communications studies.  This year, four students were selected to receive $1,000.00 each, to be used toward their first semester of a college graphic communications program. The students can receive additional monies for their second semester if they maintain a GPA of 3.5. The scholarship winners were notified earlier this week, and include: Melanie Dyson and Tiffany Rose (both from St. Mary's county); Megan Thomas (Frederick County); and Jessica Wood (Baltimore County).

In addition to its support of students, PGAMA once again helped graphic communications educators this summer, by planning and co-hosting, along with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the annual Teachers Conference. PGAMA has partnered with MSDE since 2003 to help graphics and printing programs achieve accreditation through PrintED, a national accreditation program for graphic communications coursework.  The three-day meeting gives area educators the opportunity to discuss issues related to curriculum, and this year 26 teachers attended. Educator Rosemary Bitzel says, "PGAMA's partnership with MSDE has built a community of graphics communication learners and leaders. They [PGAMA] are the major influence for ensuring teachers' curriculum is grounded in industry standards." According to Katharine Oliver, Assistant State Superintendent, Division of Career Technology and Adult Learning, MSDE, "The industry certification is really the key to making continuous improvement happen.  PGAMA is a wonderful partner in helping achieve that goal."

PGAMA recognizes the importance of building a future workforce to sustain the printing industry, and these latest efforts are part of this mission.  PGAMA is a non-profit trade association serving graphic arts firms in Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.  In addition to offering education and training, the organization provides members with management information, advocacy, regulatory guidance, and cost saving programs such as group healthcare, retirement packages, and more.