Heidelberg USA’s Student Day Enthusiastically Received

KENNESAW, GA—Nov. 2, 2010—Heidelberg USA, through its Print Media Academy, hosted the first Fit to Print event at its North American Print and Packaging Technology Center on Oct. 22 in support for U.S. graphic arts education and careers.

“Heidelberg USA hit a grand slam with this inspiring and motivational event,” said Clemson University GC Internship Coordinator Nancy Leininger. “It was a win-win-win for students, for Heidelberg, and for the industry. Our students had nothing but wonderful things to say about the program, and left with plenty of real-world exposure not only to the technical side but also the business side of the industry. We sincerely hope Heidelberg makes this a regular occurrence.”

Cognizant of the aging demographic in the printing industry, Heidelberg conceived and executed the Fit to Print program to build awareness of the graphic arts industry, pull high school students into college graphic arts programs, and educate college students about the latest advances and career opportunities in the field. In attendance at the day-long event were 165 high school and college students and faculty representing 12 graphic arts high school and secondary institutions.

“It would be impossible to underestimate the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received,” added Walton High School teacher Dan Campagna. “Many of my first semester students were blown away with the size of the industry and its possibilities! I’d like to thank Heidelberg USA for its hospitality and for the enormous effort that went into making this such a valuable experience for all concerned.”

A highlight of the event was a competition among the graphic arts students to design a poster that would promote the graphic arts program at their respective schools. Alexander Higgins, a senior at Walton High School in Marietta, Ga., designed the winning high school poster, earning a $2,000 donation by Heidelberg USA and Unisource Worldwide in Saphira consumables and Unisource paper to the Walton Graphic Arts program. Clemson University earned $2000 for its graphic communications program for its entry by Stéphane Rey, a junior graphic communications major.

“Visiting Heidelberg’s Tech Center was a real privilege. It’s hard to believe that a company would make such a large-scale effort to ensure that students at all levels get a first-hand look at a state-of-the-art print facility in action,” said Tyler LaCross, a senior at Clemson University. “Heidelberg’s Tech Center is truly awesome and all the presenters were extremely knowledgeable. A highlight of the event for me, as a college senior, was to be able to interact and share my insights with the high school students during lunch. ‘Fit to Print’ reinforced for me that I am heading into an industry full of exciting opportunities.”

The day started with remarks by Cindy Woods, Senior Vice President, Marketing, NAPL, students and faculty then got down to business with an ambitious program. Throughout the day, presentations were divided along two tracks targeted to high school students, who heard Heidelberg experts discuss prepress, press and postpress topics; and college students, who participated in discussions about lean manufacturing, color management, MIS and packaging. A separate information session gave high school students an opportunity to hear presentations from each of the college faculty members present about the graphic arts programs at their schools as well as learn about scholarship opportunities offered by PGSF and GAERF.

Said Susan Nofi, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and head of Heidelberg’s Print Media Academy at Heidelberg USA, “Heidelberg was delighted to welcome these students and faculty for our first Fit to Print event. Based on the enthusiastic comments and encouragement we continue to receive, it’s clear Heidelberg is on the right track in seeking to motivate the next generation of graphic arts employees while they are still in school. We hope this year’s attendees will continue to use Heidelberg’s cutting-edge training facility and expertise as a resource while they pursue the careers of their choice in this exciting, high-tech industry.”

A second Fit to Print student day will be scheduled for Spring 2011. Please go to www.us.heidelberg.com for more information.

Source: Company press release.

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