Print Shop

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The Print Shop at Eva’s Phoenix (A)

“Training Youth for Life”
“The Print Shop gave me a chance when no one else would.”

Professor Ann Armstrong, Rotman School of Management, wrote this case as a basis for classroom discussion. It is not intended to show effective or ineffective practice. She would like to thank everyone at the Print Shop for giving their precious time to answer her many questions. © 2004 -1-

The Print Shop is a social enterprise designed to train at risk youth and to be a revenue generating social service. It is both a training facility and a commercial print shop. It provides homeless and at risk youth the opportunity to learn fundamental work and life skills. The Print Shop is located at Eva’s Phoenix - see Exhibit 1 for a description of Eva Smith and her vision. The youth are paid entry-level wages and are accountable for duties and responsibilities that mirror those of most printing operations. Even before the youth are hired, they job shadow to get an appreciation of working in the graphic communication industry. The Print Shop is based on a blended value proposition which entails social, economic and environmental dimensions. It is dedicated to “continuing asset building” so that the youth can become self-sufficient in the long term. Success is achieved if both the youth and the Print Shop develop self-sufficiency. Operations The Print Shop specializes in “trainee-friendly” print work, typically small format job printing (11” x 17” and under) in one colour and 2-3 spot colour reproduction. It can work with most graphic design software programs. In-house graphic design work is also available. Commercial projects include business cards, letterhead, business cards, forms and brochures. Finishing services include trimming, folding, scoring, perforating and shrink-wrapping. The Print Shop occupies 800 square feet in Eva’s Phoenix. It has four presses: an A.B. Dick 360, an A. B. Dick 9810, a Heidelberg QM-46 and a Multilith 1250, all with colour heads, and other donated equipment. Michael Rolph joined the Print Shop as its business manager after a long career in advertising. His role is to manage the systems, the people and the business opportunities of the Print Shop. His challenge is “to make sure that the fine line between training needs and business demands is relatively constant.” The Print Shop is supported by an advisory board which includes senior members of the graphic communications industry. The board provides advice on curriculum, employment opportunities and technology. See Exhibit 2 for the members of the advisory board as well as the Print Shop’s organizational context. The Print Shop participates actively in the graphic communications industry; for example, it has had booths at trade shows.

The program lasts for 23 weeks and is offered in three stages: 1. Youth get life skills training and counselling for three weeks; 2. They get on-the-job print shop training for 20 weeks; and -2-

3. They make job connections and career development in the last four weeks. They learn fundamental employability work habits (e.g., team work, attendance, punctuality and safety) as well as a customer service orientation. Youth learn about the graphic communications industry and go on tours of organizations so that they can see where they might work after graduation. The Print Shop brings in peer mentors to assist both the trainees and the instructors with training and production. The peer mentors are themselves Print Shop graduates. Once the youth graduate, they stay connected to the Print Shop through a two year follow-up program. They receive training in job planning and organization, prepress using various software programs on both PC and Macintosh platforms, small offset press operation and binding and finishing. The program is delivered by two well experienced faculty, Patrick Fisher and Bill Kidd, who work part-time. They have a deep appreciation of the challenges that...
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