Through funding provided by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF), SkillsUSA will send Ben Phillips to represent the United States in the Offset Printing contest at the 41st WorldSkills Competition to be held in London, England, October 5-8, 2011. Phillips, a graduate of C.S. Monroe Technology Center, Leesburg, VA will compete against press operators from ten other nations.
Phillips was selected from a pool of outstanding candidates. He began a rigorous training routine in June by spending two weeks at Heidelberg USA's Print Media Academy in Kennesaw, GA. Since that time, he has been preparing for the upcoming challenge at two different Sterling, VA printing companies: Colorcraft of Virginia and Petree Press. "I had an awesome experience at Heidelberg, starting with the very basics. At the end of two weeks I felt as though I had been running a SpeedMaster my entire life," said Phillips. "I cannot express how honored I am to represent the USA, and how thankful I am for the support from GAERF, Heidelberg, Colorcraft of Virginia, and Petree Press."
"It is important for the graphic communications industry to have a United States representative participating in the WorldSkills offset printing competition," said GAERF President Ralph Nappi, "and that is why GAERF is committed to supporting this event. Involvement could not have been possible without the generous outreach from Heidelberg USA, Colorcraft of Virginia, and Petree Press."
Besides Phillips, SkillsUSA will send 16 additional secondary and college students to compete in this biennial event. The students will test their skills against more than 1,000 contestants representing 55 countries in 43 official competitions and three demonstration contests.