Kenny Lear, a student at the Center for Applied Technology North in Anne Arundel County, was the top finisher at the 2013 Maryland SkillsUSA Graphic Communications Competition, which took place last Saturday, April 20th, at PGAMA member firm Printing Specialist. Kenny out-performed nine other students from around the state, earning the Gold Medal and an Apple iPad 3 for his efforts. His classmate Krystal Carpintieri was the second place finisher. Shelly Ryan, from the Carroll County Career & Technology Center, finished third.
The first and second place finishers are both students of Michael Born, and 2013 marks the second consecutive year that his students have earned the top two titles. He will accompany Kenny to the SkillsUSA national graphic communications competition taking place in Kansas City, MO this June. Other competitors this year were Allison Shinsky (Carroll County Career & Technology Center, Instructor David Hutchison), Chandler Kerr (Center for Applied Technology North); Jessica Morral and Devon DeVault (Allegheny County Center for Career & Technology Education, Instructor Larry Negley); Ben Schurch (Frederick County Career & Technology Center, Instructor John Augustine); and Anjelica Cusic and Nicolaas Kinser (Calvert County Career & Technology Academy, Instructor Scott Owens.)
PGAMA sponsors the SkillsUSA contest each year as part of its goal to build a future workforce to sustain the printing industry. Association member Keith Roberts (Standard Graphics) was the Chairman of the contest this year, and members serving as volunteer judges included: Al Maddox (Time Printers, Inc.), Charlie Benjamin (Instructor, OSTC); Kerry Stackpole (PGAMA); Paul Foster (PGAMA); Jack Biondo (General Envelope); and Dave Johnson (Dave Johnson Press Service, LLC.) Member firms Sappi, Chroma Graphics, Indigo Ink, Printing Specialist Corporation, and Tray donated material in support of the competition.
Students were tested in multiple aspects of production during the four-and-a-half hour event, including production planning, electronic prepress, press operations, and folding. Students also participated in a job interview segment and took the Graphic Communications Skills Assessment---a 50-question exam measuring their general knowledge of the industry.
All of the competitors participate in PrintED accredited programs. PGAMA helps to develop curriculum, provide professional development for instructors, and assist graphics and printing programs achieve accreditation through PrintED, a national accreditation program for graphic communications coursework. Learn more about PrintED at www.GAERF.org/printed.