Kennesaw, Ga. – For the ninth year in a row, Heidelberg USA hosted the annual SkillsUSA Georgia Competition in Advertising Design and Graphic Communications at Print Media Center Atlanta (PMC-ATL) March 17-18.
“The SkillsUSA competitions give students unique hands-on experience and familiarity with available technology in the graphic communications industry — an opportunity many students may not have,” said Kip Jarrett, Systemservice Sales Specialist for Heidelberg and Co-Chair of Graphic Communications at SkillsUSA. “The real world exposure allows students to explore practical applications and discover areas of special interest for their post-secondary education or career.”
The Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia (PIAG) partnered with Heidelberg to sponsor the event, for which Heidelberg loaned a number of offset presses. This year for the first time, Heidelberg also sponsored the digital printing portion of the competition where Heidelberg representatives conducted training and assessment using a Linoprint CP digital press. Additionally, Baumfolder loaned a Baum 714 Tabletop folder for the finishing area of the contest.
Winners in the advertising and design competition include:
1st- Kelli Cadena (Carroll College and Career Academy)
2nd – Georgia Bronson (Dalton High School)
3rd – Kortney Spradlin (Troup County High School)
Winners in the graphic communications competition include:
1st – Ezekiel Moore (Harris County High School)
2nd – Cody Brown (RW Johnson High School)
3rd- Daniel King (Liberty College and Career Academy)
PIAG’s Educational Foundation awarded $2000 in scholarships to the first place winners, who along with their advisors advance to the national SkillsUSA competition June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky. Heidelberg USA donates the use of three presses for the national competition, as well as the staff to train and conduct the competition. National champions can be invited to compete in the WorldSkills International competition, held every two years in different locations around the globe.
Closing the Gap
Through its participation in SkillsUSA at both the state and national levels, Heidelberg works to counter the shortage of technically skilled operators and a lack of funding and career guidance for the print industry. “The opportunity to support the next generation of graphic arts professionals is priceless,” said Jarrett. “We teach the students a number of skills including how to operate an offset press, examine press sheets and take ink density readings.”
The SkillsUSA Georgia competition featured advertising design, graphic communications and screen printing components. The advertising design competitors were given three hours to compose, design and execute a logo and full-color advertisement. The graphic communications students were required to demonstrate their competency in four key areas: prepress, offset printing, finishing, and digital printing.
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry members ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: www.SkillsUSA.org.