WEB OFFSET REPORT -- Looking to Offset Losses
Keene: With the economy as it is, it's not difficult to get people to fill spots. What is still difficult is attracting bright, young students into the printing industry as a career. We need to reach out to the entrepreneurial and management types.
Quadracci: We, as individual printers and as an industry, need to address the need for skilled labor. Printing is becoming increasingly technical. Long ago, Quad/Graphics made the commitment to train the next generation of printers through on-the-job and in-classroom education sponsored by the company. One program—called "Operators-in-Training"—is a comprehensive two-year training course, designed to immerse participants in print production.
Another way in which Quad/Graphics is preparing the next generation of highly skilled printers is through the Harry V. Quadracci Printing and Graphics Center, located on the campus of Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, WI. The building of the center was a collaborative effort among representatives from the printing industry, education and government who joined forces to fill a void for skilled graphic arts labor in today's highly technical printing industry.
Students will enter the work force ready to be immediate, constructive contributors to the printing industry. This type of effort is an example of how our industry can work together to create a skilled work force.
Postal Service Move Will Spare Print Sales
Web offset printers stand to be among the big beneficiaries of legislation designed to correct overpayments to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). There's an important caveat, however. Its effect would be to give the USPS retirement fund payment credits that should push back the need for any postage rate increases until at least 2006. Unfortunately, projections of a multi-billion-dollar impact on industry sales represents business that otherwise would have been lost, and not new printing sales.