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Regional Printing Institute expands offerings

February 19, 2001

Regional Printing Institute expands offerings



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Regional Printing InstituteMARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A local institute that helps people learn the skills they need to succeed in the growing printing industry in the Tri-State area unveiled a new line of courses Thursday.

The Regional Printing Institute, operated by James Rumsey Vocational Technical Center and Shepherd College's Community and Technical Center, has trained 128 people since its inception in 1999, said director Chuck McClain.

The institute began by offering instruction in printing basics such as layout design and pre-press assembly.

This year, six new courses will move into new territory such as desktop production, binding processes, OSHA compliance and management courses.

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The institute is also offering a long list of Internet-based courses that will allow students to study out of a classroom setting.

Adminstrators with the Regional Printing Institute held an open house at the Quad Graphics plant just west of Martinsburg Thursday night to familiarize local printing companies with the new offerings.

Computers were set up in a conference room of the printing plant to show employers what some of the new courses offer.

A tour of Quad Graphics was scheduled for later in the evening.

It is estimated that more than 8,000 people are employed in the printing industry from Wichester, Va., north to Chambersburg, Pa.

But while the business has grown rapidly, employers are complaining that it is tough finding enough skilled workers to take jobs at their plants.

That is why the Regional Printing Institute was formed.

Joel Kellogg, a supervisor at Quebecor World printing plant who is teaching one of the classes this year, said his Winchester, Va. plant continues to have problems hiring skilled workers, although he said the problem has eased a bit this year.

"We're having the same problem as everyone else," said Kellogg.

Quebecor World also has a plant along W.Va. 9 just east of Martinsburg.

The six new classes are scheduled throughout the year and run up until October.

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