Columbia, MD - The Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2011 Maryland State SkillsUSA Graphic Communication competition. Jennifer Jones, from Calvert Career & Technology Academy in Calvert County took first place and earned an Apple iPad 2 for her efforts at the event, which was held March 26th at PGAMA member company Printing Specialist Corporation in Glen Burnie, MD. Jennifer will represent Maryland at the national graphic communications competition, to be held the week of June 19 in Kansas City.
The second place finisher was Richard Brewer from the Center of Applied Technology North in Anne Arundel County who earned an iPod Touch; and the third place finisher was Tasha Robinson from the Carroll County Career & Technology Center who earned an iPod Nano.
Industry members served as volunteer judges and evaluated students on their abilities in print production workflow during the four-and-a-half hour competition. Students were tested in multiple aspects of production including production planning, electronic prepress, press operations, and folding. Students also participated in a job interview segment and took the Graphic Communications Skills Assessment---a 50-question exam measuring their general knowledge of the industry. “Holding the contest at an actual printing facility, on actual production equipment, makes the competition more authentic and challenging and provides a real world experience for participants,” observed competition chairperson Keith Roberts of Standard Graphics Mid-Atlantic.
“We continue to raise the bar on the competition year after year,” offered PGAMA Vice President Paul Foster. This year, the production planning part of the contest was based on an actual scenario involving a client that wanted 250, 8.5” x 11” 192-page booklets printed digitally, 3-up using a Xerox iGen 4. A follow-up quantity of 5,000 booklets run as 16-page signatures on a 6-color Heidelberg was the second part of the problem. Students had to calculate the cost per booklet for each process and make decisions about additional quantities requested by the client.
PGAMA sponsors the SkillsUSA contest each year as part of its goal to build a future workforce to sustain the printing industry. A partner with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), PGAMA also helps to develop curriculum and assist graphics and printing programs achieve accreditation through PrintED, a national accreditation program for graphic communications coursework. Learn more about PrintED at www.GAERF.org/printed.
PGAMA is a non-profit trade association serving graphic arts firms in Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.