Printers: Can You Help Graphic Arts Educators (and Help Yourself Too)?

May 26, 2021 | Posted in: Scholarships | Student Resources | Schools

Contributed by PGSF Board Member, Roger Gimbel, Gimbel & Associates.

Getting young people interested in graphic arts careers isn’t the job of educators – the inspiration must come from the printing industry itself. It’s vitally important to the future of the industry, and more work must be done.

Encouraging young people to consider careers in the printing business requires investments of time and money — and it is worth it. The industry is changing rapidly, and the people most qualified to take our business to the next level are in school right now. A thriving program of education and support will supply the future employees you will need to remain competitive.

Here are some ideas for how printing companies can raise awareness of the printing business by helping graphic arts educators:

Sponsor a career day

Send people from your company to classrooms to talk about their jobs. Bring videos, print samples, and slide shows. Include an overview of print operations and show the students how digital printing and personalization are changing the world of print. Discuss career opportunities. Do this every year.

Create entry-level positions

Recruit young people for entry-level jobs. Develop a career path for such individuals and establish a mentorship approach. Consider internships.

Hold open houses

Invite teachers and students to your print operation. Demonstrate your equipment, take students through all the steps of producing print jobs, and let them experience the technology now in print operations. Take pictures and record student comments.

Sponsor a design contest

Ask students to design a piece of printed material. Give them access to the information they’ll need to create print-ready files and invite finalists to visit your facility to watch their creations produced. Film the experience to use as promotional material for future contests.

Share the news

Add graphic arts educators and students to your newsletter list and develop informational content to inform them about new developments in the printing business. Much of this content will be the same you already send customers and prospects. You can incorporate curated topics that will pique interest and drive engagement specifically towards career opportunities.

Create a video tour

Video will help reach students that cannot travel to your site. Focus on the technology in the printing business that will appeal to students. Walk them through the steps in print production and talk about the skills involved.

Encourage the donation of equipment, supplies, and support

You might enlist the help of your vendors to provide schools with equipment, software, or training that highlights the future of the printing industry.

Reach out to teachers

Ask teachers what support they need. Help them create student assignments relevant to the actual work you do. Offer to evaluate student work and give constructive feedback. Find ways to consistently interact with the teachers and students throughout the school year.

A closer relationship between high school educational programs and the printing industry is necessary to ensure the industry attracts the talent it needs to face the challenges of tomorrow. Take steps now to reap future rewards.

PGSF Gimbel

Roger P. Gimbel, EDP, is President of Gimbel & Associates and a board member at PGSF. The Herman L. Gimbel and Audrey M. Gimbel Memorial Scholarship was established by the Gimbel family. It is a 4-year PGSF scholarship awarded annually to a student pursuing a career in graphic arts. Gimbel & Associates offers clients in the printing industry consulting services to help them achieve their sales and marketing goals.