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PIA Rejects Privatization of US Postal Service

Posted Friday, July 27, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

PIA and its allies have responded to a Trump Administration plan to reform and streamline government agencies, part of which recommended an eventual sale and privatization of the US Postal Service. They warned that the recommendation would create uncertainty in the mailing marketplace and that transposing a European system to the US (as outlined in the report) would face myriad challenges.

PIA’s is recommending the US Congress to adopt a two-step process: 1) short-term stabilization in the form of House and Senate postal reform bills; and 2) a longer-term solution based on substantial changes to the USPS business model, which may be based in part on the Trump postal reform task force recommendations forthcoming in August.

Printing Industries of America is a member of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service. Read the entire release and learn how to make sure your voice is heard:

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PIA Launches Grassroots Call to Action on Aluminum Tariffs; Urges Congress to Relay Print Industry Concerns

Posted Thursday, July 26, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

PIA news

Pittsburgh, PA — Printing Industries of America (PIA) launched a grassroots call to action in response to industry impacts triggered by Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum announced by the Trump Administration on June 1, 2018. PIA members impacted by price spikes on aluminum printing plates are urged to share their stories with Congress.

Aluminum is used in the production of lithographic printing plates and the highest quality sources of this input are countries in the European Union, which are subject to the tariff. This input is generally not available for print equipment manufacturing companies to source domestically. Within the past three weeks, major suppliers of aluminum printing plates in the U.S. announced price increases and/or “surcharges” as pass-through costs to customers.

“Since President Trump announced Section 232 tariffs on June 1, 2018, the reaction by suppliers in our industry—and the pain felt by many PIA member companies—has been swift,” said Michael Makin, President and CEO of PIA. “Three major aluminum plate suppliers pointed directly to the aluminum tariff as a reason for these double-digit percentage price increases, demonstrating the need for the entire supply chain to collectively advocate for a solution.”

“This negative impact was predictable. At the 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summit, PIA and a delegation of print equipment suppliers met with top-level Department of Commerce officials to warn of the painful consequences coming down the road due to the aluminum tariff,” said Makin. “Unfortunately, we see now that such concern was warranted and we are facing an uncertain reality in terms of how long such tariff-related price hikes will be in effect.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce maintains a product exclusion process that allows importers of aluminum, such as printing equipment manufacturers, to apply for exemptions and receive a response within 90 days. However, the process has been overwhelmed by a huge volume of applications from various industries, and deadlines are not being met. The U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade held a hearing today to examine the problems associated with the product exclusion process; PIA submitted a letter for the record as part of this hearing.

“If your company is impacted by Section 232 tariffs, sharing your tangible example with lawmakers is vital to help the Trump Administration and Congress understand the real-life impact of trade policy on the printing and graphic communications industry,” said Makin. “PIA stands ready to work with Congress to advocate solutions that both combat unfair trade practices and avoid harming printing companies.”

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PIA Statement on Passage of Career Technical Education Legislation

Posted Thursday, July 26, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

Pittsburgh, PA–Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin today issued the following statement upon the U.S. House of Representatives passage of H.R. 2353 Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century.

The U.S. Senate approved the legislation earlier in the week; H.R. 2353 has been sent to President Trump for his signature. President Trump has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

“PIA applauds Congress on passage of Strengthening Career and Technical Education (Perkins CTE) for the 21st Century legislation, considered by both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House this week and sent to President Trump earlier today for his expected signature. We hope the President will sign this bill into law in short order so that the printing and graphic communications industry can address the critical need of recruiting and educating a new generation of skilled workers.

Importantly, this iteration of Perkins CTE demonstrates new vision and modernization of the vocational tech programs of old. With a focus on improved program quality, closing of the skills gap, worked-based learning curricula, and increased collaboration among students, industry, and employees, the future for talent recruitment and development will be brighter for our industry.

PIA member companies have said loud and clear that finding skilled employees is one of the primary challenges in the printing and graphic communications industry today. For the past two years, PIA has pushed hard for Congressional reauthorization of Perkins CTE. Earlier this year, PIA was part of a massive grassroots effort in which over 500 trade associations came together to urge Congress to act. PIA has also sent delegations of printers to Capitol Hill to personally advocate for Perkins CTE passage at the 2017 and 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summits.

PIA also commends the exemplary bipartisan efforts demonstrated throughout the Perkins CTE legislative process and the leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and Workforce on this issue. We reserve a special “shout out” to Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), both of whom were recently honored with the 2018 Friend of Print and Packaging Award in recognition of their commitment to career and technical education policy.”

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OSHA Ready! – September 13

Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by Jules VanSant.


OSHA compliance is a struggle for companies, both large and small. In most printing operations, the compliance duties are divided up among several employees instead of one key individual. In turn, compliance can suffer, which can cost your organization dearly when the inspector comes knocking. Regardless of the printing process, reducing or eliminating citation costs is vital. OSHA Ready! provides the roadmap to understanding OSHA, its regulations, and the essential systems you need to have in place to be compliant. Prepare for the unexpected, become knowledgeable about what applies to your operation, learn what is required—and get OSHA Ready!

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2018 SGIA Expo Features Robust Educational Program

Posted Monday, July 23, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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More than 70 sessions will complement networking opportunities at North America’s premier printing trade show.

Fairfax, Virginia — In addition to hosting more than 500 exhibitors, the 2018 SGIA Expo (October 18–20, Las Vegas) will take an in-depth look at the latest printing technologies, applications and opportunities through its 72-session educational program.

With the Expo + Education Pass, attendees will have access to the array of educational sessions, designated by tracks that indicate content specific to industry segments and areas of crossover. 

“Staying competitive in today’s printing industry requires strong industry-specific knowledge,” said Dan Marx, Director of Content Development, SGIA. “The educational programming at this year’s SGIA Expo has essential, up-to-the-minute information for printing businesses seeking to reinforce their current plans, or launch their businesses toward new, profitable opportunities. With the Expo + Education Pass, attendees can receive top-quality information at a bottom-line-friendly price.” 

Among the educational sessions at the 2018 SGIA Expo are: 

  • 60 Minute Print Sales Boot Camp Peter Ebner, Ebner Seminars

  • Digital Textile Committee Panel: Where are We with Digital Textile Today? Michael Sanders, Top Value Fabrics

  • Price It Right — How to Maximize Margins and Make Money  Vince DiCecco, Your Personal Business Trainer Inc.

  • Turn Your Team into a Championship Team: Hiring, Training, Management, Motivation and Retention  David Fellman, David Fellman & Associates

“There’s an old saying about only being as strong as your weakest link. I’m going to talk about identifying those weaknesses, and then doing something about them,” said Fellman. “There’s no snap-your-fingers solution to staffing challenges, of course, but this session will teach attendees how to create an improvement plan, including timelines and benchmarks, that will put them in better HR shape than they’re probably in now.” 

The Expo + Education Pass is free for SGIA members and, for a limited time, $99 for nonmembers. Attendees can also participate in two pre-Expo half-day sessions — “Essential Small Business Strategies” and “Wide-Format 101: Essential Skills for Success” — for which separate registration and fees are required. 

The 2018 SGIA Expo will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information and to register, visit

SGIA — Supporting the Leaders of the Digital & Screen Printing Community

Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is the trade association of choice for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing communities looking to grow their business into new market segments through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies. SGIA membership comprises these diverse segments, all of which are moving rapidly towards digital adoption. As long-time champions of digital technologies and techniques, SGIA is the community of peers you are looking for to help navigate the challenges of this process. Additionally, the SGIA Expo is the largest trade show for print technology in North America. “Whatever the medium, whatever the message, print is indispensable. Join the community — SGIA.”

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