uly 21, 2016

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Judy Durham


Students from Graphic Communications Programs in High School and Post-Secondary Schools Compete and Win Top Honors in 2016 SkillsUSA Championships

Reston, VA – Graphic Communications students from across the country participated in the 52nd Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a competition that showcases the best career and technical education students in the nation.  The SkillsUSA partnership of students, teachers, and industry work together to ensure that America has a skilled workforce.  In addition to the prizes that this year’s 2016 National winners received, the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) provided $250 scholarships for the state gold medal winners in: Screen Printing, Advertising Design, and Graphic Communications.

GAERF President Thayer Long states, “Supporting effective initiatives, such as the SkillsUSA competition, which recognizes superior training and talent, is essential to the health and future of the graphic communications industry.  It is truly inspiring to see the high caliber of students among the program’s competitors and winners.” 

According to Mike Stinnett, GAERF’s Technical Committee representative, and a former instructor at Royal Oak High School, in Michigan, “The Graphic Communications Contest has our best-trained all-around students being taught by our most dedicated teachers.”

“Supporting SkillsUSA and its Graphic Communications Contest is important to the goal of bringing qualified people into our industry,” said Jim Workman, vice president of the Center for Technology and Research at Printing Industries of America. “That’s why we and others contribute time, money, and prizes to the contest.”

The SkillsUSA Championships are competitive events that begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. Graphic Communications contestants were evaluated in several areas including: Written Production Problem Test, Online Graphic Communications Assessment Test, Oral Professional Assessment, Digital Workflow, Finishing, Offset Press Operations & Technology Center, Production Planning, and Digital Press Operations.

Supporters of the 2016 NLSC Graphic Communications Contest were: Atlas Die, Baumfolder, Bottcher USA, EFI, Future Printers of America, GAERF, Heidelberg, National Council For Print Industry Certifications, Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation, Print Craft Supply, Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic, Printing Industries of America, Quad Graphics, RR Donnelley, and Xerox.
The list of all winners of the SkillsUSA competition, and photos, are available at:  

For more information about GAERF, visit:

About SkillsUSA
The SkillsUSA Championships are considered the largest single day of corporate volunteerism in America and valued at more than $36 million in industry support of donated time, equipment, cash and material. All contests are run by and judged by industry using industry standards for employment.  For more information, visit:

The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation was created in 1983 by the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) three founding partners: Idealliance (formerly Epicomm), NPES and Printing Industries of America.   GAERF’s mission is to develop the next generation workforce for the graphic arts industry.  GAERF is managed and directed by NPES from their headquarters in Reston, Virginia.

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