Who Will Step in Your Footprints?
Let’s face it. Look around the printing industry and you’ll find a lot of gray-haired people on the north side of 50 years old in senior management and key operational positions. It’s human nature not to want to address our own mortality—let alone who will supplant our job duties.
Compound that with the fact that the graphic arts industry is evolving rapidly, meaning the next generation to fill your shoes will require individuals with different skill sets and aptitudes. The evolution of job requirements in many print shops today, including cross-media campaigns, big data, custom programming, Web-to-print, cloud services and more, gives just a snapshot of what more will come.
There are various industry scholarship efforts to help attract young people to pursue careers in the printing, document management and allied graphic arts industries. One of the most prolific is EDSF, which has been awarding annual scholarships of $1,000-$5,000 to deserving students since 1996. But, as is so often the case, there is more need than funds available. One cause: an industry-wide fundraising effort at the grassroots level to train tomorrow’s leaders is lacking. Aside from some endowed scholarships, the usual suspects—namely key industry supplier organizations—are often tasked to provide financial support and donations.
Case in point was the sixth annual “Give Back @ GRAPH” EDSF scholarship fundraiser held Sept. 15 during GRAPH EXPO 15, which raised money through table sponsorships, individual pledges and an auction of donated items. But, the banquet room was filled primarily with execs representing industry vendor organizations; printers themselves were few and far between, even though they have the most to gain.
During the event that evening, Mark Subers, president of the Printing & Packaging and Publishing groups at NAPCO Media (which includes Printing Impressions), announced the new “Youth in Print” scholarship fund housed at EDSF. Visit www.edsf.org/youthinprint to make a tax-deductible donation and to check out a compelling video featuring four EDSF scholarship recipients who relate how the funds are helping them pursue college degrees.
(Click here to watch a light-hearted, but powerful, animated video of just how dire tomorrow’s industry workforce shortage will become if we don’t attract multitalented young people to pursue printing industry careers.)
Printing Impressions is committed to reinforcing what is a dire need to attract and help educate future industry leaders. No donation is too small to support this worthy cause. Please hop aboard the bandwagon.