The SkillsUSA Championship took place last month at six locations in Kansas City, Missouri, providing an opportunity to recognize the next generation of graphics communications leaders.
The theme of this year's competition was ‘50 years of champions at work’. More than 8,000 state contest winners from all over the country competed to win six medals in two categories; three for high school students and three for college or post-secondary students, with gold, silver, and bronze awards handed out.
Each student had to create an original file, deal with all of the problems that crop up during planning, print it on a sheet-fed offset press and a digital press, fold the paper to contest specifications, take part in an oral interview, and write an online test.
The event was chaired by Mike Stinnett and Kip Jarrett. The facilities in which the events took place featured six digital presses, five sheet-fed offset printers, three paper folders, a cutter, workstations, and interview and testing areas. The equipment was provided by a range of printing companies and manufacturers.
During the competition, the Printing Industries of America hosted a breakfast for all of the competitors and their advisors, as well as providing a tour of a local printing facility.
The event no doubt motivates students of graphic communications, or those planning to study it, to keep striving for quality and to learn all they can about the industry of which they wish to be a part.
The dates and location for the 2014-2015 competition have already been set; it will be held in Louisville, Kentucky from June 22 to 26, 2015.