The Printing Industries of America has announced it will be closing its technical training facility in Pittsburgh and moving its education programs online for 2014. This move is part of an effort to cut costs and also includes slimming down its staff.
In a letter to its membership, CEO Michael Makin says: “Whereas once we had the luxury to maintain a state-of-the-art facility for hands-on technical training, the business realities of today have made this model unsustainable from a financial perspective, particularly as fewer and fewer companies have availed themselves of such hands-on, equipment-focused learning.”
The PIA renovated its training facility for research and education in May of 2005, which added 10,000 square feet to the existing building. It currently houses a Heidelberg Speedmaster 102, a Heidelberg Printmaster 46, a Xerox iGen4, a Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000, a Ricoh C901S, an Océ Arizona 360GT UV, and a host of prepress and finishing equipment.
The organization will continue to offer face-to-face learning opportunities such as the Continuous Improvement and Color Management Conferences and its Print Leadership Summit, relying on vendors and their training facilities going forward.
“It is true we will be a smaller organization going forward, but our commitment to our core service offerings will remain unchanged,” adds Makin. “We will continue to be represented in Washington with a government affairs presence, maintain our economic research for the industry from market surveys to ratio benchmarks, continue to offer expertise in the environmental, health, and safety arena, and continue to provide human resources assistance and educational offerings.”
The Printing Industries of America was founded in 1887 and become the predominant voice of printers an affiliated industries in the U.S. In 1999, it merged with the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation. The organization has been headquartered in Sewickley, Pennsylvania since 2003 and serves more than 10,000 member companies.
In Canada, it has affiliations with the BCPIA, and more recently, the OPIA. Last week, Jeff Ekstein of Willow Printing Group in Concord Ontario was named the Chairman of the PIA Board.
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