Pittsburgh, PA - Printing Industries of America contributed to a successful national graphic communications contest at the SkillsUSA Championships held June 20–23 in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to helping conduct the national competition, Printing Industries of America sponsored a breakfast for competitors and took them on a tour of a local print facility.
The graphic communications contest required students to evaluate and create digital files, solve production planning scenarios, print on digital presses, diecut on sheetfed offset presses, fold work to specifications, participate in an oral interview, and take an online test to assess their overall graphic communications knowledge.
“The student competitors, all of whom won their state contest, epitomize the skilled and enthusiastic entry-level employees that our industry desperately needs,” said Jim Workman, vice president of the Center of Technology and Research at PIA. “To help our members solve their staffing challenges, we must continue to support graphic communications educators and events like this one.”
Remarkably, the contest area was larger than some printing establishments, featuring four digital presses, three sheetfed offset presses, two folders, 10 computer workstations, and interview and testing areas. The competitors were joined by judges, committee members, and a gallery of anxious parents and advisors.
The competition committee was co-chaired by Dan Wheeler of DK Wheeler Training and Consulting Services and Mike Stinnett, a retired educator. Funding, staff, and equipment were provided by Atlas Die, Baumfolder, EFI, Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation, Heidelberg USA, LSC Communications, Print Craft Supply, Printing Industries of America, R.R. Donnelley, Quad/Graphics, and Xerox.
The 2017 high school medalists in graphic communications:
- Gold—Haylee Cooper, Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School (Fall River, MA)
- Silver—Cody Brown, Johnson High School (Gainesville, GA)
- Bronze—Lexi Hengeveld, Carroll County Career & Tech Center (Westminster, MD)
The college/postsecondary medalists:
- Gold—Brittany Whitestone, Carroll County Career & Tech Center (Westminster, MD)
- Silver—Cheyanne Kasmierski, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology (Lancaster, PA)
- Bronze—Daniel Long, Riverside Community College (Riverside, CA)
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit association representing students and advisors in trade, industrial, technical, and health occupational education. The annual Championships recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupation. The 2018 Championships will return to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville on June 19–22.