The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) are constantly making strides to support the printing industry and attract more young people to pursuing a career in it. They are a not-for-profit organisation that offers undergraduate college scholarships and graduate fellowship assistance to those interested in a graphic communication career, and their mission is “To strengthen the print and graphic communication industry by providing scholarship assistance.”

The printing industry is facing significant challenges at the moment due to an ageing workforce, many of which are approaching retirement age, meaning that PGSF’s job is more important than ever, and they are always looking for support. John Berthelsen, VP of Business Development of PGSF recently discussed what they do for the industry and how you can help them to achieve their mission by attracting younger employees to the printing industry.

Currently, over 200 schools across the U.S. with graphics arts programmes, but more and more schools are dropping their art programmes, or the programmes are under significant pressure, which is one of the reasons why the industry is suffering. Last year, the PGSF gave out more than 200 scholarships and more than $400,000 to students from 60 different schools across the U.S.

The main problem for the foundation is the lack of exposure and awareness of their brand. They have been around for 60 years as of 2016, yet the majority of people that John Berthelsen speaks to, he claims, have not heard of them and are not aware of what they do. So, more needs to be done by both the foundation and others from the printing industry to raise awareness of PGSF and the opportunities that they provide for young people. PGSF is currently supported by less than 100 companies and individuals, so they are in desperate need of new supporters of the cause, even if the donations are only small. Any donation really makes a difference towards the programme.

As well as the scholarships, they also offer educational awareness building programmes to make more young people aware of the opportunities available to them from a career in printing. They also distribute a career poster and a career guidebook, which printers can request from them by getting in touch with the foundation. By doing this, you can help to spread the word about the foundation by distributing them to local schools, for example. They will send the documents in print files so that you can edit them in order to localise the content.