Bits and Pieces: Clemson's Ashe Vies for Title
The reputation—no, make that the future—of printing in the United States rests squarely on the shoulders of Heather Ashe. She is the industry's only hope…no pressure, Heather.
OK, so maybe that's an exaggeration. But the Clemson University student will, in fact, be representing the United States in the Print Media Technology competition during the biennial WorldSkills Competition, to be held in Leipzig, Germany, from July 2-7.
Ms. Ashe earned her way into the international competition—which encompasses 45 occupational skill areas from economic sectors including manufacturing, information technology, transportation, construction and services—by medaling in high school and collegiate divisions at the SkillsUSA Championships in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She'll join U.S. teammates from the other occupational vocations.
Here's how it works. In the WorldSkills Print Media Technology contest, competitors must produce a digitally specified number of different products on a digital press according to standards identified by experts in a specified time. Competitors must finish the printed work by trimming, folding, and binding it with a paper cutter, folder and simple binding machine to specified dimensions.
Also, participants control the quality throughout the production process and carrying out required quality measurements and reporting tasks; clean the equipment and the premises; and print different jobs with a print simulation program within a specified time and/or cost.
To add a little realism, competitors should have to convince "customers" why their last-minute changes will cost 25 percent more than they were originally quoted. Anyone can do work on time and budget when the customer is not being a pain in the…not being difficult.
As a student at Clemson University, Ashe is completing her undergraduate coursework and WorldSkills training under Dr. Samuel Ingram, chairman of the Department of Graphic Communications.
"I was thrilled to be selected for the WorldSkills team. I am glad to have made my instructor and my parents proud, and wish to also make my country proud," Ashe said. "I have been passionate about graphics since I was a sophomore in high school, and I am super excited to be able to take that passion to the world level."