At SGIA, we continually strive to inspire and create opportunities for the next generation in printing to ensure a sustainable future for our industry's workforce. One such opportunity is the ASDPT Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition, which not only spotlights some of today's students' amazing imaging work, but the programs serving as their knowledge foundation, allowing their skills and ideas to flourish.
I've spoken to several students and teachers about why they've chosen to enter the competition in the past and the impact it's had on them and their programs. While the prizes Best of Show winners receive are a bonus, the recognition and validation the competition provides for all participants has proven to be invaluable.
For many students, seeing their projects displayed at North America's premier printing trade show — and in front of big industry names — is a huge accomplishment. And that pride translates to their instructors, who want to see the efforts of their students recognized, and ensure their programs continue to thrive to encourage careers in the field.
Glenn Laird, Technology Teacher, Eagle Rock Junior and Senior High School, is one instructor who shared how the program has reaffirmed his students’ commitment and incentivized support for his program:
"As an instructor of graphic arts at a very busy and diverse high school, I am always looking for ways to bring the curriculum alive. Having students go beyond the common style of focusing only on the computer aspects of design and moving that design into the real world by creating projects that stand out as saleable products gives the students a sense of pride that is hard to come by. Our students beam when they are notified their product has stood out and been recognized. Many students don't have that much they feel they can be proud of, but participation in a national contest is something the students and their parents are very proud of.
Having had several students win awards and a couple take Best of Show in different years has given credibility that has translated into helping keep my program alive and resulted in increased funding for new equipment. Participation in the ASDPT Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition sponsored by SGIA is well worth the time it takes to participate."
For myself and other staff members of SGIA, seeing the promising work of the next generation of printers is so exciting. We want to see more schools participate and explore the range of offerings in the specialty graphics workforce. If you are interested in submitting entries on behalf of your students, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit sgia.org to learn more!