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P3 puts emphasis on education

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Ellen Hurwitch, senior director of digital and print technology at custom publisher Story Worldwide, is treasurer of P3 (Partnership in Print Production), a 550-member association created in 2003 through the combination of Women in Production and the Association of Publication Production Managers.

MB: What's the big push for P3 this year?

Hurwitch: Education. We're starting a mentoring program this year with a few schools where we'll put students together with print production veterans to help bring them into our industry. Things are changing so rapidly. We're also going to start running career advancement sessions to help people who do have and don't have jobs learn new skills. People have to be adaptable now because they're asked to do 20 different things these days.

MB: What are your biggest concerns?

Hurwitch: The Internet and its effect on print. The paper market has always been cyclical for the past four or five decades, but now there is the Internet, which will eventually keep that market soft. Some cataloguers are getting 45% of their business from the Internet now. ... Sustainability is a very big issue for us. Ink prices are going up because it's oil-based. It still isn't clear what new inks are fully "green." Soy ink is said to be oil-free. But you also have to be sure about the coating on the paper. Some landfills won't accept UV coated. The issue is recycled versus recyclable. This and the Internet growth are reasons why education is becoming more and more important to us. The industry is getting smaller and smaller. So people need to be adaptable and knowledgeable about a number of things.

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