College Print Program Eliminated


Well-known member
I'm sad to inform that Erie Community College (SUNY Erie) in Buffalo, NY has eliminated their Graphic Communications Technology program (2 year Associates Degree).

For 15 years I taught their 3 levels of press lecture & labs. Prior to Covid, we had about 24 freshmen students. After Covid, we only had 4 freshmen students.

Below is a link to a 1:12 min video on YouTube of the Print & Bindery lab.

Below is a time lapse video of a typical 3:15 hr lab. Cut paper, make plate, make-ready Ryobi press, print, washup.

Below is a local newspaper article about program elimination.
SUNY ECC South to discontinue six programs due to low enrollment

Steve Suffoletto ([email protected])
Always a shame to see such programs end. Aren't these small duplicators are pretty much history these days? Would still be useful for teaching the basics of offset I suppose.
I operated similar years ago and looking at the video made me realize I could probably still walk in & operate the thing. Note to self; further mind bleaching required.
Yes, for small printers (80% of 35K have <10 employees) offset litho is being replaced with digital (toner). Curriculum included this, per virtual tour video. Larger printers are using digital (inkjet). That was covered in prepress classes, mostly for proofing.
Yes, concepts of small duplicators are transferable to larger offset litho presses.
Operation of specific machine details in lab were less important than broader lecture conversations about business (productivity, profitability) and quality (waste).
Included a lot of math (conversions), critical thinking, planning concepts you would want in any potential entry level employee.
Where is printing industry going to find employees to replace the aging/retiring workforce?
Where is printing industry going to find employees to replace the aging/retiring workforce?
I've had shop owners relay to me that they have trouble filling trainee positions such as press feeder. Apparently there's an unwillingness to start at the ground level and work oneself up.
This article sums it up quite well:
Economics plays a large part. Hard to get by on a trainee salary. Add to that wage expectations even when one does reach top operator level. And much of the industry has been dumbed down almost to the point of button pusher.
Prices cut to minimum in order to compete means wages follow along the same line.
Trade/volume shops where operators can expect to run basically the same order over & over.
There's a need for journeymen operators but finding those jobs and being rewarded (paid) according to the years spent learning and earning your dues has become harder & harder.
Makes sifting through someones shit as a plumber look much more attractive.


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