Closing the Workforce Skills Gap
At the annual SkillsUSA National Championships held this year from June 22-26 in Louisville, Kentucky, graphic communications students from across the United States competed in a contest that replicated a fully functioning printing company to include offset presses, digital presses, a Mac lab, folding and cutting equipment, and an interview area. This was all made possible by a dedicated group of volunteers, and the generosity of Xerox, RR Donnelley, Ricoh, Quad/Graphics, Printing Industries of America, Print Craft Supply, Heidelberg USA, GAERF and Baumfolder donating the use of staff and equipment.
For the first time ever, Education Main Street at GRAPH EXPO 15 will showcase, in Booth 570—The Hiring Hub: Closing the Skills Gap, a recreation of the championship challenge and supporting teamwork required by our industry to ensure a quality future workforce. Here, show visitors will get a firsthand look at this unique display and interact with representatives from companies who have discovered a key to reaching skilled potential hires.
"It's an exciting time in the print industry as we foster new innovations and technologies that continue to help print win. We're thrilled to be joining SkillsUSA and other print professionals on Education Main Street at this year's GRAPH EXPO where we'll celebrate the value of print and interact with the future minds of the industry. At Xerox, we're passionate about helping shape the next generation of print professionals—by providing the future workforce with the fundamental tools to succeed, they are better prepared to jumpstart their careers and thrive well into the future." — Bruce Collier, vice president, Marketing, Xerox
"At Ricoh, we wholeheartedly believe that the opportunity to educate students on the latest trends, technologies and industry demands in production print is invaluable. As such, deciding to continue our participation with SkillsUSA via the first ever 'The Hiring Hub: Closing the Skills Gap!' booth at GRAPH EXPO was easy. With interest from our youth in graphics arts continuing to grow, it's vital to the future of our industry to help educate them on ways to foster strong business practices for the new world of work. We're excited to participate in this inaugural milestone at GRAPH EXPO." — John Fulena, vice president, Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas
"Heidelberg is very pleased that GRAPH EXPO 15 is supporting the vital issue of training the potential future workforce of our industry. Those vendors who support SkillsUSA aim to capture and develop interest in graphic arts during a period in school life where career decisions start to be formulated, and any insight we can provide collectively can only be of benefit to the industry in the medium and long term." — Andy Rae, senior vice president, Heidelberg USA
"Baumfolder Corporation is a proud and long-time supporter of SkillsUSA by providing personnel and resources annually at local, state and national level competitions for Graphic Communications. The support provided by Baumfolder is due to our commitment to the future of the industry and to the young people who desire to be the best in Graphic Communications. I can speak from experience as a former SkillsUSA contestant in the engineering design program during my junior and senior years of high school. I appreciated the support of people in industry that supported SkillsUSA and made an investment in my future. Now, we are honored to be able to provide the same support to the next generation." — Mark Pellman, manager, New Business Development, Baumfolder Corp.
"SkillsUSA's state and national competitions, supported by Printing Industries of America and many other organizations, provide a showcase for talented graphic communications students. These and other initiatives like it are crucial if companies are going to have the employees necessary to thrive in the future." — James Workman, assistant vice president, Center for Technology and Research, Printing Industries of America
"RR Donnelley is excited to partner with the SkillsUSA Graphic Communications program. We recognize the tremendous value that this industry supported educational program brings to our nation's workforce. Helping to ensure students have the necessary technical and professional skills to excel in this, or any other industry, just makes sense. Our industry and customers are evolving. Educators and industry are partnered to address the skills gap. This is essential to building and maintaining a strong workforce for today and beyond. We are proud of our employees and their contribution to these programs." — Tom Carroll, executive vice president, External and Postal Affairs; chief human resources officer, RR Donnelley
"Quad/Graphics is pleased to support this very important partnership between students, schools and industry. We enjoy sharing new technology and helping students develop expertise. The students competing in SkillsUSA represent the future of American manufacturing and commerce. In fact, our company has gained a number of outstanding workers who participated in SkillsUSA in high school or college. Their expertise helps our company thrive and grow." — Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO, Quad/Graphics
"Print Craft Supply, LLC, a division of Carton Craft Supply, Inc., is always excited to be a part of SkillsUSA and honored that one member of our team has been a part of SkillsUSA since its inception. We recognize that the young people involved in this competition are the future of the industry. We strive to provide innovation and education in the area of in-line print finishing, including, die-cutting, creasing and perforating." — Mark Soxtader, president/owner, Print Craft Supply
"GAERF is committed to supporting programs that prepare our future workforce. SkillsUSA is an important resource for identifying bright and talented students to recruit as possible hires for one of the many exciting career opportunities the graphic communications industry has to offer. In this spirit, we are delighted to provide industry partners with the opportunity to showcase on Education Main Street their involvement with SkillsUSA and its potential to address the skills gap that exists in our industry." — Ralph Nappi, president, Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation
SkillsUSA is a not-for-profit association that serves more than 300,000 member high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in trade, technical and skilled service instructional programs. SkillsUSA partners educators and students with business and industry to help ensure the United States has a well-prepared rising skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 600 companies, trade associations and labor unions at the national level. In the time since its 1965 founding as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, annual membership figures have totaled more than 11.9 million. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety.
The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation, the education arm of the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC), was created in 1983 by Epicomm (formerly the National Association for Printing Leadership), NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and the Printing Industries of America. These three national associations jointly own GASC. GAERF was created to channel a portion of the revenues earned by GASC-managed shows into projects supporting a strong future for the industry.