I recently had the honor of being a judge for the PIA of MidAmerica print awards held in Dallas. These types of regional competitions showcase examples of print that are in a word, extraordinary. They reward those printers who produce printed pieces that are flawless and celebrate the craft of the printing industry.
What made this year’s competition so special was where it was held. The judging took place at the Dubiski Career High School in Grand Prairie, Texas which is near Dallas.
We hear a lot about how young people aren’t interested in the printing industry today…how it’s old, boring and lacks the glamour of other high tech occupations. The students that we encountered at Dubiski were genuinely enthusiastic and very engaged about their future in the print industry. It was incredibly refreshing to see students busy creating pages on their computers, printing their projects on a digital press and running a booklet maker. All with a determination to produce the best work they possibly could! The students in the graphic communications program are outstanding examples of the future of our industry.
Dubiski is a member of SkillsUSA (www.skillsusa.com) which provides help for both students and teachers. Its an organization that is aligned with the PrintED (www.gaerf.org/PrintED) program, which offers accreditation for schools that offer graphic communication courses. The graphic arts students were so proud of the awards they received from SkillsUSA. When I asked one of the students about the SkillsUSA pins she was wearing, she gushed excitement about what each of them meant to her and how she won them.
In addition to the graphic arts programs, Dubiski also has other programs such as engineering and architecture. While we were there judging the PIA print awards, the culinary students prepared and served us breakfast and lunch. It was awesome! They are well on their way to successful careers.