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Job fair to bring students, printing trade together

June 07, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Close to 500 high school students and their parents have been invited to a job fair Saturday to introduce the students to the Tri-State area's rapidly growing printing industry.

The job fair will serve a dual purpose.

Not only will students learn about how to land entry-level jobs that can pay up to $9.50 an hour with good benefits, but it will help an industry starved for skilled workers, according to organizers.

The printing industry has experienced rapid growth in the last two years, but there has been concern about whether there will be enough local workers with the skills needed to fill such jobs.

An estimated 8,000 people are employed in the printing industry from Winchester, Va., to Chambersburg, Pa., and the industry is growing.

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Quad/Graphics, a Martinsburg printing plant that prints catalogs and newspaper inserts, is preparing to hire up to 150 workers this year, company spokesman Diane Summerson said Wednesday.

James Rumsey Vocational Technical Center and Shepherd College's Community and Technical College came together to form the Regional Printing Institute to provide local workers the skills they need to land jobs in the printing industry.

The Regional Printing Institute is the sponsor of Saturday's job fair, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at James Rumsey, according to Chuck McClain, director of the Regional Printing Institute, which is based at James Rumsey.

Students will have a chance to meet representatives from more than 10 printing companies including Berryville Graphics, The Herald-Mail Co., The Journal, Hub Labels, Quad Graphics, Quebecor World - Winchester, Quebecor World - Martinsburg, Regency, Stationery House and The Folder Factory, according to McClain.

Representatives from companies will be able to answer questions about their operations, discuss employment opportunities and possibly conduct job interviews, McClain said.

Since last month, printing institute representatives have been visiting students in 16 high schools in the Tri-State area informing them about the job fair, McClain said. About 500 students indicated an interest in attending the fair, he said.

"We thought that was such a great number," McClain said.

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