Virginia Department of Education updates Graphic Communications skill competencies


Frank Kanonik, managing director of Intellective Solutions recently participated in a workshop to update the Commonwealth of Virginia’s graphic communications skill competencies. The courses being taught in the Commonwealth are now aligned to the new PrintED skill competencies.

The Virginia Department of Education conducts periodic reviews of the technical knowledge required by potential employers. Bringing together educators and industry representation confirms that the graphic communications courses being taught throughout Virginia will lead to students being prepared for todays high skill, high demand and high wage careers in the print industry.

It was extremely encouraging to work with such a dedicated group of teachers that equips their students with the skills required to be successful in the printing industry. What students need to know is different from even a few years ago. Courses being taught today must reflect the newer technologies being used.

During the workshop, each skill competency, also known as a Task Statement was discussed to ensure that it was both measurable and expressed a specific action that was being learned. Also developed was a description of each task to help the educator and questions to help encourage critical thinking and discussion.

An example of a Task Statement is the following:

#72 Explain the purpose of Imposition


Explanation should state that the purpose of imposition is the positioning of pages in a way so that the pages in the finished format document come out in the proper printed sequence and should include step-and-repeat, work and turn or tumble, and signature.

Process/Skill Questions:

  • What are the consequences of incorrect use of imposition on a document?

  • How has digital printing technology affected imposition?

  • How would a work-and-Turn imposition differ from a work-and-tumble imposition?

  • How does imposition for saddle stitch binding differ from imposition for perfect binding?

The recently updated PrintED Skill Competencies were researched and managed by Intellective Solutions. Interviews were conducted with numerous educators, printing companies and vendors to validate their completeness and accuracy. To download a free copy of the Skill Competencies, visit:

To learn more about the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Career and Technical Education department’s efforts and success stories, visit

PrintED offers assistance and accreditation for schools that offer graphic communication courses.

For information on the Intellective Solutions newly available Introduction to Graphic Communications curriculum visit:

Printing students win medals at SkillsUSA National Competition


During the week of June 25 over 16,000 students, teachers and business partners gathered in Louisville Kentucky for the 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference. More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students, all state contest winners, competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting, culinary arts and graphic communications. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations.



Graphic Communications students started the week with a general assessment based on the Graphic Communications Skill Competencies provided by PrintED, and the SkillsUSA Career Essentials Assessments provided by SkillsUSA. Intellective Solutions is proud to have been involved in the research and authoring of both.

Later in the week, each student competed by estimating projects, completing prepress work and printing and binding jobs. Each student was assessed by an industry expert. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded to High School and College winners. Of special note is that Brittany Whitestone is going on to Russia to represent Graphic Communications at the WorldSkills Competition.


It was both invigorating and reassuring to see students preparing for their future in our industry. It was obvious that the schools they attended had prepared them well for the testing in Louisville. They knew how to estimate projects and were well versed on the business side of the printing industry. They had genuine excitement about starting their careers and bringing new ideas and innovations to our industry.

SkillsUSA ( is a national membership association serving high school, college and middle school students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

PrintED, administered by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF®) is a national accreditation program, based on industry standards, appropriate for secondary and post-secondary schools offering graphic communications curricula (

Production Digital Printing Education Thriving in New Jersey

Congratulations to Hudson Community Enterprises (HCE) ( for successfully launching their new Digital Printing Career Pathways program.  All the students in the pilot program have been placed in jobs within New Jersey. This year HCE plans to make the program available to 50 job ready candidates. We at Intellective Solutions were very pleased to support their efforts.


The program was established to respond to growing need for skilled workers in the very large Printing Industry. Printing is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country. Many thousands of skilled workers will be needed to staff open positions in the next few years. As the industry continues to transition to digital technology and emerging industrial printing applications, a strong workforce is required.

Our company, Intellective Solutions along with Xerox helped HCE to develop a course using the proprietary Xerox® Digital Career Pathways Program Curriculum (// Students are trained at the HCE’s fully operational print shop. Within this facility, students have an opportunity to learn and develop the key skills necessary to work in a graphic communications organization. The emphasis is to give students the necessary knowledge and hands on experience that would be welcomed by any employer looking for job ready entry level workers.

Here is a summary of the program

·       12-week Intensive Digital Printing Curriculum

·       Career Development Classes

·       4 week paid internships

·       Job Placement and Higher Education Referral Services

·       Nationally recognized accreditation upon successful completion

·       Open to people with and without disabilities

The HCE Jersey City-based program is led by printing industry pro Brian Opitz, VP Digital Printing Services. Some the areas that the students are trained include pre-press, production, printing workflow and personalized printing. In addition to an industry expert instructor, graphic designer Alex Rivera works with students to help them to properly receive, proof, fix common errors and prepare files for printing.

HCE is a non-profit organization that has been based in Jersey City, New Jersey since 1957. Since the organization’s inception, the primary mission has remained consistent – creating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment while providing valuable services to the business community.

Intellective Solutions ( works with vocational and STEM organizations to provide resources and support for printing industry training programs.

For perspective participants in the HCE’s program or employers looking for more information contact:

Abbe Morello , VP, Workforce Development, 201-434-3303 ext.228,         

Sarah Barks, Senior Vocational Counselor, 201-434-3303 x437,