The following article was written by Joseph Polanco, President, Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica
If you were to walk into the production areas of several printers anywhere in North America, you would undoubtedly observe something they all have in common. No, it’s not the equipment. Nor is it the facility design. It’s the average age of their employees. Look at the press operators, the skilled bindery technicians, and yes, even the prepress techs. Odds are you won’t see many under 30, or for that matter under 45.
How did this happen—and more importantly—what does this mean for our future? Regardless of what the “tekkies” are saying, digital print is not going to replace all of our offset presses, and inline finishing isn’t going to replace our needs to bind and finish offline.
The printing industry has always been a craft industry. One learned through a formal apprenticeship (when there were trade unions) or on‐the‐job...