Training the Next Generation
As you have walked the show floor and marveled at the range of new technologies and innovations that can help you grow your business and make it more streamlined and efficient, you might not have started to give thought to who will run all these new machines and programs. But that is an ongoing issue that many shops across the country are facing.
Even as the industry modernizes, with advanced new machines and software programs that can do more than ever before, there is still a need for skilled, dedicated people to run them. After all, the most advanced, expensive machine on the PRINT 17 show floor still can’t run itself. People remain an integral part of the process.
But finding qualified people is becoming increasingly challenging.
Idealliance (Booth 2067) has decided to try and fill the gap. At PRINT 17, they launched a new program called WorkPLACE that is designed to help printers recruit, retain, and develop the wide range of skills needed to run a successful operation in today’s world.
The new initiative will incorporate the association’s current resources, such as its NexGEN Leadership Development program, Young Professionals activities, CEO Roundtable, and in-person and online training courses, as well as an array of new programs to help address the wide range of staffing needs in the industry. Some of those activities include:
- A career development webinar series covering a broad spectrum of skills and disciplines, that will be open to print shop employees of all levels.
- Operator training to help new and existing employees develop the skills needed to fill traditional vocational positions.
- Cooperating with a wide range of educational institutions to revise current training programs, to ensure they provide the knowledge needed for today’s industry jobs.
“Over the next few months we will be moving on numerous fronts to develop and provide tools and training that will encourage, support, and aid in the career development of young workers in our industry,” Idealliance President and CEO David Steinhardt said in a statement. “And we will be working with our volunteer leadership, members, and other industry groups to develop a call to action—to promote a true image of our industry and make it crystal clear why it is a great career choice.”
While individual printers will continue to focus on the skills necessary to be successful in their individual shops, programs like this will help raise the proverbial ship across the board, by helping to get more young professionals excited about the print industry, and helping to ensure they have the proper foundation for success, not just with today’s equipment, but for whatever next-generation innovations might be just around the corner.