Forever #Print

We have consistently found pockets around the US where there is a shortage of skilled professionals to fill qualified jobs within the printing industry. From bindery to press operators to sales, print providers frequently struggle filling open positions. What makes this problem even more daunting is the fact there is high unemployment, throughout the economy.

Historically, the printing industry has faced this dilemma. Though a huge industry that still ranks among the largest manufacturing segments within the US, it is made of up of many small companies dispersed thought the country. Because of boom and bust trends and rapid changes in technology, no print provider can afford to be complacent.

Since few print providers can provide the resources to conduct basic training for print professionals, the industry has relied on trade schools and industry provided training. Both of these sources of training have been under strong pressure economically. Consequently it is now of great concern how will print providers, industry suppliers and the educational community step in and provide the leadership required to support the industry over the next 10 years.

Recently, we spoke to Eileen Cassidy at the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAEFR) about the problem. This group is closely monitoring the situation and calling for support.

Eileen reminded us about a program called, GAERF 2013 Student Design Competition. I love this idea. The theme is “Forever Print”. The overall principle is print is here to stay. High school and post high school students are challenge to create creative print jobs for submission and an opportunity to win cash prizes. Also the winning student—and their teacher—will spend two days in Chicago, all expenses paid, to explore PRINT 13. Go to for more details or contact Eileen at

What better way to ensure a strong printing industry then to encourage young students and their teachers.