This story originally appeared in Volume 7 of Domtar’s Blueline Magazine. It has been edited for the Newsroom.
Call it what you like — the next wave, Gen Y, millennial. Whatever the name, the under-30 crowd is changing everything. They’re hungry, they’re curious and — best of all — they’re interested in print. These young printers are the future of this industry.
Sarah Scudder, founder of Young Innovators, created a group for young printers that could help them build their careers. She offers strategies to support young people who are excited about the print industry. Using her insider’s knowledge of the diverse printing world as president of Procureit5, Scudder has drawn an even larger group into the conversation.
Young Printers Bring a Fresh Perspective to the Industry
As digital natives, young printers tend to be adept in online ordering and efficiency, two hot-button topics for the print industry. Through their natural comfort with e-commerce and ability to work with speed and agility, young people can reinvigorate teams by bringing a fresh perspective on what keeps people engaging with print.
With e-commerce dominating the print world for the foreseeable future, these young professionals are equipped to navigate high-volume projects and ensure the print industry continues to create groundbreaking work. In fact, they are projected to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, meaning today’s young printers will be leading the technological breakthroughs that allow better print practices in the future.
When asked about why she created Young Innovators, Scudder said, “There is so much young printers can do, and you can give them that guidance. Without educating the youth, there won’t be people to run our companies, innovate and ensure that our industry remains competitive. [In 2012], I went to a conference [where] I was one of two females, and the youngest by 30 years.”
Sarah Scudder left that conference with a new mission: Engage young people and show how technological innovation drives business growth in all aspects of the printing industry. Young Innovators embraces this future, makes print careers more accessible for the new generation and provides opportunities for those already established in the field to teach up-and-comers the ins and outs of print.
With the Young Innovators Conference, hosted by the Print Services and Distribution Association, Scudder brings young print professionals together to encourage, educate and support one another as they navigate this $82 billion industry. The 2017 conference drew nearly 200 printers under the age of 40 to engage in panels, competitions and networking.
Young Innovators is attracting a growing group of young people who have the drive and talent to be the future of the print industry. They embrace technology and are the best resource the print industry has to remain as strong as it is today.
Young Printers Are Revolutionizing Print
With nationwide chapters, Young Innovators makes it easy to get connected as a mentor or a leader. This group allows you to give the guidance that can help bridge the gap between digital natives and seasoned printing vets. The future of print is waiting.