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Spotlight: Wayne Collins, program director, Graphic Communications Technology Management, School of Business + Media


June 7, 2021
By PrintAction Staff

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Wayne Collins, program director of the Graphic Communication Technology Management Program (GCTM) at the School of Business + Media (BCIT), Burnaby, B.C., has more than 50 years of industry experience and is well aware of the highs and lows of Canada’s printing industry.

How is BCIT’s GCTM program unique from other print-related programs?

WC: The GCTM at BCIT is unique. This program was instigated by some members of the BCPIA (now known as Print Forward) association who recognized the need for a training program. Secondly, BCIT, unlike other institutions, permitted 15 part-time faculty members to teach the program. Since these managers work full-time in the industry, they bring their vast industry knowledge into the classroom. The instructors also benefitted, as they had access to a pool of highly trained individuals. The program started with almost $3 million in donations from the industry, so as to give students training on the most up-to-date equipment in primarily three areas: Lithographic press production, training in graphics software, and business skills. We then acquired electro-photographic equipment that allowed us to train students in a parallel, short-run colour workflow. The growth of the large-format signage industry helped us establish a training facility as well as another stream of production in inkjet imaging technologies.

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Have there been any recent investments in the program?

WC: Our recent donations are letting us expand our curriculum in variable data and colour management. Techkon has donated their most advanced spectrophotometers. Burton Empey, from Echo Interactive Communications Group, conducted a $200K-plus donation for the XMPIE server software to our program. Stephen Morris from Esko Graphics engineered their donation of a Kongsberg cutting table to get our students enthusiastically working with 3D structural designs. John Quinn from Kodak drove the donation of our Insite server to complement our training in PDF workflows with Kodak’s Prinergy software.

What is the state of the print industry today, in your opinion?

WC: The graphic communications industry has been in a state of rapid growth and technological change for most of the last century. New innovations have usurped established modes of production to drive greater capacity and profits for business owners who are fast on their feet and are willing to adapt. There is a rich tradition of innovation and rapid change in this demanding, time-sensitive, ultra- perfectionistic industry.

How can the industry attract more young people?

WC: Young people are always attracted to passion. Industry leaders have to be passionate to lead effectively. At BCIT, we have tried dozens of media campaigns to attract young people to our program. The most effective way has been to facilitate interactions between business owners and young people who are exploring their education options. Secondary school students are obsessed with computer technologies. They get very excited when we show them how to “make things real” by designing products on the computer, imaging them, and crafting an aesthetic final product.

What do you think is the most exciting thing about print?

WC: I love the concept of personalized packaging. People are tired of mass-produced media messaging. Industry can create accurate profiles of end-users by analyzing their web browsing patterns. This data helps customize consumer products to meet end-user needs while reflecting their unique personalities. This will primarily be done through one-of-a kind packaging.

I also think consumer packaging is on the cusp of creating a system that feeds the earth rather than polluting it. I love the notion of my next cereal box fertilizing the garden.

Collins’ responses were edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit www.printaction.com/profile.

This article originally appeared in the April 2021z issue of PrintAction.