Seeing a Future in Print
With the world of print being ever so unique and developing constantly, it is essential to the success of the industry that it continue to attract students. On Oct. 22, Heidelberg USA graciously opened the doors of its Print Media Academy to welcome and educate the next generation of young people contemplating a career in the graphic arts. The event—named “Fit to Print”—proved to be extremely successful, and I would like to share my experiences.
As the day began, more than 150 high school and college students from across the Southeast poured into the Print Media Academy demo center, where they were welcomed by the expert staff of the world’s second largest printing demonstration facility.
The event kicked off with introductions from Heidelberg executives and Cindy Woods, senior vice president of marketing at NAPL. Woods set the tone of the event by sharing her own personal story of entering the industry and made it clear to the students that, “If we don’t have you, we won’t have a future.”
As I scanned the crowd of students reviewing the “Fit to Print” itinerary cards, I could see in their faces that they were eager to get started. The event was comprised of four different learning modules for both the high school and college levels. During each session, students heard from Heidelberg experts on a wide variety of topics—ranging from prepress and color management to lean manufacturing, packaging and MIS.
During the lunch break, seating was arranged so that the college students sat with high school students, allowing them to share their advice and knowledge on scholarships, classes, majors, interests and other relevant information. I spoke with numerous high school students who shared with me their interest in printing, as well as the passion they have for operating their schools’ two-color offset presses. During the press overview and demo later that afternoon, I had the pleasure of watching these students’ jaws drop as they were blown away seeing Heidelberg’s top-of-the-line XL 105 press take full flight.