Skip to content
For Additional Information
Contact: Jane Pratt
Twitter: @APT-tech #GAERF

July 11, 2018

Students, Teachers and Industry Work Together to Develop Best and Brightest Future Workforce at SkillsUSA National Championships


Reston, VAThe Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) recently recognized talented Graphic Communications contestants from across the country who participated in the SkillsUSA 54th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) Championships, held June 27-28, 2018 in Louisville, Ky. During the week-long event, the largest skills competition in the world, more than 6,300 outstanding career and technical education high school and college-level students, all state contest winners, competed hands-on in 102 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and the test competencies are set by industry. Graphic Communications contestants worked against the clock, and each other, in several competency areas including: Digital Press, Digital Workflow, Finishing, Offset Press Operation, Oral Professional Assessment, Production Planning, and a Technical Knowledge Test—developed using competencies from the introduction to Graphic Communications accreditation area of PrintED.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions along with prizes, specific to their trade, awarded by competition sponsors. Additionally, GAERF provided a $250 scholarship to each of the 22 Graphic Communications contestants. GAERF President Thayer Long states, “Supporting effective initiatives such as the SkillsUSA competition, which recognizes superior training and talent, is essential to the growth and future of the Graphic Communications Industry. We are impressed by the dedication to excellence of students represented among this year’s competitors and winners.”

Medalists for the 2018 Graphic Communications Competition (High School level):

  • Gold - Julia Meassick, Carroll County Career & Technology Center, Westminster, MD
  • Silver - Christina Crosby, Upper Valley Career Center, Piqua, OH
  • Bronze - Kylie N. Normandin, William M. Davies Junior Career & Technical High School, Lincoln, RI

Medalists for the 2018 Graphic Communications Competition (College level):

  • Gold - Cheyanne Kasmierski, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, PA
  • Silver - Anna Marie Coronado, Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Bronze - Sotheara Ly, Riverside Community College, Riverside, CA

The Graphic Communications Competition was produced with the help of dedicated volunteers, and sponsored by: Atlas Die, Duplo, EFI, GAERF, LSC Communications, Quad/Graphics, QuadPackaging, Printing Industries of America, Ricoh, Roland DGA, Sinapse Print Simulators, and Xerox.

For more information about GAERF and its support of the SkillsUSA Championships, contact GAERF Director Margie Garr at email:, or phone: 703/264-7200.

The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF), a nonprofit foundation managed and directed by the Association for Print Technologies, serves to advance knowledge and education in graphic communications by supporting programs to provide a well-prepared rising skilled workforce for the industry. For more information about GAERF and its programs, visit:, or phone 703/264-7200.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 360,000-member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: