Products & Services


What is PrintForce

The PrintForce workforce development initiative is made up of four goals. They are:

1.    PrintED certification of high school and two-year college programs

2.    Career awareness of students, parents and the community

3.    Continuing education for employees, using the established educational institutions throughout the Carolinas

4.    New teacher development


            What is Graphic Communications?

Graphic Communications-the creation, development, production, and dissemination of products utilizing or incorporating words, illustrations, or photographic images to convey information, ideas, feelings, and concepts; this includes the family of market segments which embrace existing and emerging technologies of printing, publishing, packaging, conventional and digital imaging, and their allied industries; often referred to as the graphic arts or print industries.

Graphic Communications companies create and produce a spectrum of products which are part of daily life. Examples include; books, magazines, catalogs, newspapers, web pages, multimedia, electronic media, illustrations, photographs, brochures, pamphlets, inserts, directories, direct mail, stationery, greeting cards, invitations, maps, coupons, tickets, forms, checks, currency, stamps, tags, labels, bumper stickers, decals, nameplates, signs, billboards, posters, displays, banners, textile products (clothing, sheets, bedspreads, etc.), packages (toothpaste and cosmetic tubes, boxes, cartons, sacks and bags, cans, bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, and pouches), wallcoverings, linoleum, carpets and rugs, china, cups, plates, napkins, fine art prints, promotional products (pens, pencils, key tags, portfolios, pocket items, desk items, drinkware, rulers, wearables, balloons, mouse pads, etc.), and other items where printing is incorporated into the manufacture of furniture, electronic circuit boards, clock faces, computer keys, cabinet tops, appliances, vehicles, and others.

The field of Graphic Communications encompasses all the printing processes (offset lithography, flexography, letterpress, gravure, screen printing, engraving, foil stamping, inkjet, direct digital, and other electronic imaging or specialty image reproduction methods), and all phases from the origination of the idea, design and preparation through finishing and distribution of the product whether it be two or three-dimensional or by some electronic media.

Graphic Communications, the United States' third largest manufacturing industry, requires hundreds of thousands of people in a variety of challenging occupations which require creative, technical, production, management, sales, marketing, engineering, customer service, education, or other professional expertise.

This industry is widespread and with more integration of the many segments falling under the term Graphic Communications, it appears necessary to highlight this field's many career opportunities. Few if any of these various industry segments are endowed with a ready pool of prospective new employees. This effort will help spread the word among our nation's young people that opportunities exist in this field.

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         Careers in Graphic Communications

PICA offers the Resume Register for qualified people looking for positions in the Carolinas printing industry. People already employed at PICA member firms must have the permission of the president or PICA's main contact to submit their resume.

To submit your resume, you may send a PDF or Word document to PICA or fax it to (704) 357-1150. There is no charge for this service.

A paragraph synopsis of your resume will be published in the PICATalk email newsletter to all member companies in North and South Carolina. Interested companies will then contact PICA to receive your actual resume via fax or other means. This is by far the most popular member service PICA offers.

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            Career Poster

There are many career opportunities in the field of Graphic Communications. Turn your interests into a great career by checking out this poster! Ask your teacher or guidance counselor for more information.

Advertising production coordinator; art director; creative director; CAD/CAM designer; cartoonist; commercial artist; computer graphics; embosser; graphic artist; graphics consultant; illustrator; image assembler; package designer; screen printer.

Art director; electronic prepress; color matcher; color proofer; graphic designer; illustrator; image assembler; ink formulator; package designer.

CAD/CAM designer; computer graphics artist; desktop publisher; electronic image assembler; industrial designer; package designer; quality control specialist; systems analyst; magazine or book distributor.

Camera operator; color electronic prepress system operator; electronic technician/maintenance specialist; laser scanner operator; press operator.

Electronic engineer; engineering technician; industrial, mechanical, or chemical engineer; plant and work-flow layout specialist; research and development engineer; systems engineer; time study technician.

Advertising copywriter; desktop publisher; editor; journalist; marketing/promotion specialist; proofreader; publications manager; publicist; public relations specialist; reporter; researcher; staff writer.

Advertising director; circulation director; editor/managing editor; general manager; human resources director; marketing director; printing systems manager; production manager; publisher; supervisor; treasurer.

Accountant; estimator; market researcher; purchasing agent; print buyer; quality control supervisor; statistical process control specialist; treasurer.

Binding and finishing technician; converter; equipment installation specialist; press operator; maintenance engineer; screen printer.

Incoming materials specialist; purchasing manager; scheduler; traffic/transportation director; warehousing director.

Customer service representative; human resources specialist; office manager; personnel manager; sales representative; supervisor; technical sales representative; training specialist.

Art director; commercial photographer; digital camera operator; photojournalist; graphic designer.

Account executive; customer service rep; equipment supply salesperson; market analyst; paper salesperson; printing salesperson; print marketing manager; sales manager; technical representative.

Printing ink chemist; research/development technician; ink/paper industry physicist; safety specialist; inspector of incoming materials.

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What will PrintForce do for my company?
The goal of PrintForce is to increase significantly the number of quality, skilled workers available to the Carolinas printing industry.

How will PrintForce make a difference?
The strategy behind PrintForce is to improve the infrastructure of printing education in the Carolinas at the high school, vocational, and two-year school level; to promote the industry through a significant career awareness effort; to employ a continuing education and training program for industry employees; and to create a Printing Education Teacher Recruitment Effort (PETRE), involving a nationally recognized university.

Do I have to be a PICA member to support this program?
No. PrintForce is a workforce development program designed to help the entire Carolinas printing industry, regardless of your membership status with PICA.

Who will benefit from PrintForce?
Everyone. PrintForce is a far reaching effort that will impact the entire printing industry from newspapers to commercial printers to packaging converters and tag and label.

Who will guide PrintForce?
PrintForce will be guided cooperatively by Committee Chairman Ralph Moore of Commercial Printing in Raleigh; the PICA Foundation; Terrie Duncan, PrintForce Project Manager; and Jeff Stoudt, Vice President of Education.

How can I contribute to this worthwhile cause?
Fill out this PrintForce pledge card and send it to us.

Why is the campaign goal for PrintForce $2,000,000?
The plans for PrintForce require expenditures of approximately $200,000 per year to develop and implement the programs previously discussed. An additional $1,000,000 will be placed in an endowment to provide long term capital for the continuation of PrintForce. Additionally, products and services will be solicited to supplement these programs.

Exactly how will the first $1,000,000 be spent?
Of the $1,000,000 earmarked for the development and implementation of PrintForce, $400,000 will support the Career Awareness Effort, $300,000 will be allocated to the Printing Education Infrastructure Improvement Program, $250,000 will be directed to the Continuing Education and Training Effort, and $50,000 to the Printing Education Teacher Recruitment Effort.

What is expected of my company? How can my company contribute to PrintForce?
A goal of the campaign is that all printers contribute an equitable portion of the cost of PrintForce: $30 per year per full time employee for five years.

What about the other side of the industry?
Manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors are being asked to contribute to PrintForce a minimum of their sales to the Carolinas printing industry. It is important to remember that the success of PrintForce will impact those businesses as well.

How will PrintForce benefit printing companies of all sizes?
PrintForce will insure that enough skilled, quality workers exist to satisfy the needs of the small business as well as the large. The efforts of PrintForce will greatly increase the pool of knowledgeable, skilled workers available to the industry.

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         Two-year degree programs

         Four-year degree programs

Secondary Schools

                                             North Carolina

                                             South Carolina

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"PrintForce" A PICA Foundation Workforce Development Initiative for the Next Millennium

The very worn cliche, "necessity is the mother of invention," is appropriate here. In a period of virtually full employment it becomes necessary to deal with an issue as old as printing itself. Most people have come to their careers in printing by accident. Today this accidental source is insufficient in both quantity and quality. The industry is as technical as any, more so than many, and yet still a custom business, and customer centered. This describes an employment demand for high capacities in both personal and technical attributes. PICA has acknowledged that nothing less than a formal and full-blown approach is required. This is the short story behind the Workforce Development Initiative, called PrintForce.

The initial three components include:

    PrintEd certification of high school and two-year college programs;

   Career Awareness by students, parents and the community at large;

   Continuing Education for employees, using the established educational institutions throughout the two States

A fourth component must be added to the original initiatives if PrintForce is to succeed in the long run.

    New Teacher Development.

With an aging population of educators and no existing source, it quickly became imperative that "teacher development" had to become an inherent part of this overall initiative. Everyone agrees that the quality of the classroom program is almost exclusively determined by the qualities of the teacher. A concept proposal has been prepared to communicate the details.

PrintEd certification is the responsibility of each school. The structure is in place. PrintForce is needed to expedite this process, providing assistance to removal of barriers including administrative, financial and other realities costing time. PrintEd is not an assurance of quality in education, but rather a tool which raises potential and stimulates other positive actions. There will be numerous other teachers and curriculum related activities to provide energy for continuous improvement. PrintForce must be used as a tool by educators to elevate their own skills and programs.

Career Awareness is a key component and is enormous in scope. The education professionals who touch all students need to be reached. These include counselors, administrators and other teachers, especially those in areas of art and journalism and those who work on the yearbook staff. A field test conducted during the Charlotte Show demonstrated the potential of special career centered events. The March 12 experience proved that the career opportunities in the printing industry are actually very attractive to a broad cross section of educators. Such events are needed in communities throughout the Carolinas. Similar efforts must be carried out to reach parents and ultimately the students themselves. Substantial staff focus must be directed to these efforts.

Other career awareness activities will include summer day camps in the schools and science and art museums. Junior Achievement also offers potential for career awareness activities. Local industry volunteers will be a critical component of the successful achievements in all career-oriented activities.

Continuing Education is an ongoing responsibility of PICA. As part of the PrintForce initiative increased offerings must be developed to advance the careers of the technical workforce. The two-year community colleges are seen as the greatest potential resource for such activities. PrintForce must do the lead work to develop this potential to deliver high quality training and education so people at various stages in their careers will have the services to raise their skills and knowledge as required to advance up their career ladders. While the colleges and programs are in place, the offerings are not. Along with needs analysis, course development and marketing, there will have to be commitment from the industry to supply top quality instructors to conduct such courses.

These four major components represent an encompassing effort centering on better employees for a better future for the industry. The rate of progress will depend on the rate of investment by the Carolina printers and suppliers. The employers who print on packaging and other materials in the industrial segments of the Carolinas must be adopted as part of this force since they have the same needs and will be equally served by the impact of PrintForce. Reasonable investments by all having interests to be served will assure benefits to all, especially the young people who come to the industry by choice, rather than by accident as in the past.