The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week that Waukesha County Technical College is dropping its printing and publishing program, one of the largest programs of its kind. The program, created in 1998, had a strong demand from employers; however, there were not enough interested students.
Many companies in the printing industry faces challenges trying to find qualified people interested in our trade. With the low unemployment and competition from various other industries for labor, some are concerned about the news.
This fall the college will launch its Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program. On the surface, it is a sad day for printing in Wisconsin, but several large companies remain optimistic. NCL Graphic Specialties Inc., Quad Graphics Inc., and Tailored Label Products expressed support for the change. According to the Journal Sentinel article, they were encouraged by the new curriculum.
Printing and publishing has certainly changed over the years, yet remains one of the largest employment industries in Southeastern Wisconsin. It only makes sense how we instruct our young people interested in graphic arts needed to change because of all of the advances in technology.
As a marketer, I believe WCTC probably should have run a marketing campaign announcing the new program and highlighting its many features, prior to announcing the dropping of the current printing and publishing program.
*Article Written by: Fred Schulze: VP Sales & Customer Care at AM Solutions