October 30, 2009

For More Information Contact:
Contact: Eileen D. Cassidy
(703) 264-7200

PrintED and SkillsUSA Partner to Offer Skill Connect Assessments

Reston, VAIndividuals who choose to enter the workforce immediately after high school or postsecondary education need to have core academic and workplace competencies for employment.  To provide students with a credential that validates their mastery of these competencies, and to help meet standard government education requirements, GAERF and SkillsUSA have established a partnership to offer online PrintED/SkillsUSA Skill Connect Assessments. These examinations will test technical skills and knowledge with interactive questions enriched by animations, videos, drawings and photographs.  The five assessments will include:

  • Advertising & Design
  • Digital File Preparation/Digital File Output
  • Graphic Communications
  • Offset Press Operations/Binding & Finishing
  • Screen Printing

“Two critical trends are converging today in the field of career technical education,” notes GAERF President Ralph Nappi. “One is the need to ensure that entry level workers are well prepared with updated skills on the most current technologies. The other trend is the emphasis on one universal set of standardized skills from which to test and measure competency,” he continues. “By GAERF’s joining forces with SkillsUSA to provide end of program assessments for all graphic communications students, a more consolidated and efficient approach to address the needs of our future workforce is now in place.”

“These Skill Connect Assessments align with education and industry standards to provide employers a trusted evaluation of entry-level technical skills,” adds Tim Lawrence, SkillsUSA Executive Director. “Our ultimate goal is to ‘lift up’ students, both those inside and outside of traditional education programs.”

The Advertising & Design, Graphic Communications, and Screen Printing assessments are expected to be available for spring 2010 testing. The Digital File Preparation/Digital File Output and Offset Press Operations/Binding & Finishing assessments are expected to be available for spring 2011 testing. Students who receive passing scores on the assessments will receive co-branded GAERF/SkillsUSA certificates that display GAERF, PrintED, and SkillsUSA logos.

To access a demonstration of a skill connect assessment log onto:

About PrintED
PrintED, administered by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation, is a national accreditation and certification program, based on industry standards, for graphic communications courses of study at the secondary and post-secondary levels. PrintED provides a career pathway for students to enter the workplace with verifiable credentials, or to pursue further education with college credit already in hand.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA chapters help students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations excel. SkillsUSA has more than 300,000 students and instructors as members. For more information on SkillsUSA, visit

The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation was created by the National Association for Printing Leadership, NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing, and Converting Technologies and the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation in 1983. These three national associations jointly own the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC). GAERF was created to channel a portion of the revenues earned by GASC-managed shows into projects supporting a strong future for the industry. For additional information about the Foundation and its programs, visit the GAERF web site at or call toll-free at (866) 381-9839.