School In-Plant Uses PressWise to Train the Next Generation of Print Workers
As the print industry continues its technological evolution, and as new generations of tech-savvy younger employees enter the workforce, we can continue to expect a change in the landscape of print production. In response, one of the top two-year colleges in the country, Thaddeus Stevens College in Lancaster, Pa., and the people behind the Print MIS PressWise (Booth 11357) have joined forces.
Thaddeus Stevens College (TSC) is a premier residential, accredited technical institution. With a whole host of workforce training programs, The Graphic Communications and Printing Technology program stands out among the rest, as it aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the entire printing process, creating well-rounded students that are highly qualified for employment in the industry. Students receive training in all major areas of printing, including layout and design, copy preparation, film assembly and plate processing, direct-to-plate applications, press operations, and bindery operations.
In-depth knowledge of print management software and business operations is an integral part of the program, so to create more of a real-world learning environment, they set up their own in-house print facility, managed and run by second-year students. Through a grant and other company support, they were able to acquire a digital press, and in turn researched the software needed to run a print operation.
A committee member, Shannon Mosser, suggested that they investigate PressWise, the all-in-one print estimating, workflow automation, print MIS solution used by many in the commercial print industry. Mosser is the print operations manager at local marketing services provider, ReminderMedia, and uses PressWise to manage their workflow. He knew what an incredible fit the software would be for TSC’s print program needs. “Using PressWise as part of the curriculum gives students a taste of a real-world production environment,” says Mosser. “It’s easy to learn, yet powerful enough to support complicated products and workflows. Our belief is that students will come into the workplace more prepared, and ready to integrate into our team.”
PressWise has now become the main learning tool for TSC’s Printing Processes courses. “Through the support that we get from PressWise, we’re able to have our students engage with content that was previously inaccessible,” says Michael Brady, course instructor. “Students are estimating, batching, moving jobs through production, and invoicing. On a larger scale, they’re learning how the back end of PressWise works, such as setting up presses, inputting papers, and managing storefronts. Students now learn how the business side of the industry is handled, which is an invaluable experience.”
Since the introduction of PressWise, TSC students have become more engaged in both the cirriculum and the printing industry as a whole through this new production-based education. TSC is able to bring a new set of skills into the classroom to best prepare and motivate students for the ever-evolving print industry.
For Veronica Thomas, a student in the course, working hands-on with the software in a production-type setting has been a game-changer. “I found a love of running the digital press, managing jobs, and overseeing work orders. PressWise has been a large part of seeing the printing industry as a career,” says Thomas. “It’s an amazing tool for our class to stay on schedule and aware of the workflow. With 20 students, we are able to communicate what is happening, and when it’s happening, at every stage of production. We’re learning how to use software that will actually be necessary for us to understand in the field post-graduation.”