How to Be Involved in Securing the Future of Your Industry—TAGA Adopt–A–Student
The following post was written by Harvey R. Levenson, Ph.D., Professor and Department Head of Graphic Communication at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California.
I joined the graphic arts industry in 1961. Including my education in the field and work experience, that makes it 51 years. Egad! Could that be? I feel like I am just getting started!
Over the years I’ve attended hundreds (no thousands) of graphic arts conferences, seminars, workshops, expositions, and related meetings. If I had to select common concerns often heard at these events over the decades, they are:
- When will the graphic arts industry economy turn around?
- Where can we find bright people to drive our industry in the years ahead?
- How can we reverse the trend of media buyers moving their advertising dollars to non-print media?
- How can my company find employees who understand new media and how to integrate it into a traditional printing company?
- Where can I find talent who understand how to market new technology to traditional-thinking companies?
In consulting I’ve done for more than 250 printing, publishing, and related companies worldwide, I’ve observed that the answer to such questions lies in strategic planning focusing on building a staff mindset that looks to the future—not to the past—in securing a company’s success.
Who will survive and who will not, and who will flourish and who will decline, rests in the mindset of those who understand and love our industry and want to join it. One typically does not select the graphic arts or printing as a career choice in the way one elects to become a doctor, engineer, architect, teacher, lawyer, minister, and so on. Such professions are often selected at a very young age. However, one elects to study and join the graphic arts or printing industry after experiencing some favorable aspect of the field, usually in one’s high school or college years or beyond. Some select the field because of family involvement in it, but most do not.