News & Announcements

November 19, 2018 - Odyssey Expo Partners with Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia

Crystal Lake, IL – The International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) and Foil Specialty Effects Association (FSEA), organizers of Odyssey Expo 2019, are pleased to announce a partnership with the Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia (PIAG), designed to benefit the area’s print service providers as Odyssey brings its mix of education, exhibits and on-press technical training for the diecutting, diemaking, print finishing, folding carton and corrugated markets to the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta.

PIAG will sponsor an educational session track during Odyssey Expo 2019, offering added value for PIAG members and others drawn to Odyssey Expo by the event’s focus on print finishing (including foil stamping, embossing and UV coating), diecutting and diemaking. In addition, PIAG will hold a reception following the first day of Odyssey Expo there at the Cobb Galleria.

“We are excited to partner with FSEA and IADD to bring together companies and individuals from many areas of print and finishing. Many printing companies have diversified their own offerings or have relationships with finishing companies to create cutting-edge products for their customers. This event will certainly showcase the current capabilities of these companies as well as provide education that will advance the industry in the future.” stated Jason Cline, President/CEO of PIAG.

For more information on Odyssey Expo 2019 – the industry’s premier event sponsored by the International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) and the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) – visit the Odyssey website at www.OdysseyExpo.org, email [email protected] or contact the IADD at 1-815-455-7519 or the FSEA at 1-785-271-5816.

October 30, 2018 - Flash Report Available: Planning for 2019: Economic & Print Market Outlook

Printing Industry of America’s Center for Print Economics and Management just released its newest Flash Report: Planning for 2019: Economic and Print Market Outlook and Implications for Printers

In this Special Flash Report we provide our assessment of current economic and print market conditions plus offer our forecast for the 2019 economy and print markets. Specifically, we address the following topics:
• An update on current macroeconomic conditions
• The outlook for the 2019 economy
• Current print market conditions
• Printers’ current business models (print processes, product and service offerings)
• Outlook for print markets in 2019
• Key issues for PIA members in 2019

If you are in need of your PIA username and password, contact April Wallis, [email protected], for assistance.

October 12, 2018 -PIA Adds New UCR and GCR for Color Separation Course to iLearning Center
Pittsburgh, PA—Printing Industries of America launched a new UCR and GCR for Color Separation course to the iLearning Center this week. Presented by Joe Marin, Vice President of Education and Training, the course is available to Printing Industries of America printer members as a free benefit of membership.

Under color removal (UCR) and gray component replacement (GCR) are color reproduction considerations for converting images from RGB to CMYK for the printing press. Understanding the concepts of why they are needed, how they influence color in color separation, and the advantages and disadvantages of each are critical to successful color reproduction.

UCR and GCR for Color Separation aims to give the student a clear understanding of UCR and GCR techniques for color separation in print production.

Students will learn:

  • Color gamut comparison and RGB versus CMYK color space
  • How color is separated, gamut compression, and rendering intent
  • Under color Removal (UCR) color separation techniques
  • Gray component replacement (GCR) color separation techniques
  • Comparing UCR and GCR, when, why, and how to use

For more information about the iLearning Center, visit www.printing.org/ilearning  or contact Joe Marin, Vice President of Education & Training at [email protected]

October 9, 2018 -PIA Opens Nominations for Education and Kagy Awards of Excellence

Pittsburgh, PA–Printing Industries of America is seeking nominations for the Education Award of Excellence and Frederick D. Kagy Education Award of Excellence.

The Education Award of Excellence honors educators and industry trainers who have gone above and beyond to further printed communications and enhance the future of our industry. Education Award recipients join 30 years of notable printing educators and trainers, such as Larry Kroll, Thomas Schildgen, John Leininger, and Susan Kinney. Nominees should be widely recognized as industry leaders who have contributed to special education or training programs, created a significant educational project, or displayed special leadership at the local, state, or national level. To read more about the Education Award of Excellence, access the nomination form, and view the list of past recipients, visit www.printing.org/educationaward.

The Frederick D. Kagy Education Award of Excellence recognizes an exemplary middle school, high school, or community college graphic communications program. Successful nominees maintain a close partnership with the graphic communications industry, build activities to meet the needs of the industry, and create innovative techniques for printing programs. Kagy Award recipients join 18 years of notable academic programs such as those at Waukesha County Technical College, Brighton High School, and Frederick County Career and Technology Center. To read more about the Frederick D. Kagy Education Award of Excellence, access the nomination form, and view the list of past recipients, visit www.printing.org/kagyaward.

For more information on Printing Industries of America’s Award programs or to nominate someone, visit www.printing.org/awards. Nominations will be accepted October 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018

September 27, 2018 - Graphics of the Americas Now Under SGIA Ownership

Fairfax, Virginia — The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) has purchased the printing trade show Graphics of the Americas (GOA) from the Florida Graphics Alliance (FGA) (formerly the Printing Association of Florida). Following a transition period, GOA will relaunch in February 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. SGIA acquired the show in August 2018.

“GOA has a long history of bringing together an audience of exhibitors and attendees from North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. These markets, though distinctly different in many aspects, are vital players in the larger printing community, and are of critical interest to the supplier members of SGIA,” said Ford Bowers, President & CEO, SGIA.

Over the next 18 months, SGIA and FGA will transition GOA to its new ownership and redefine it as an integral part of the calendar of events in the printing industry with high value for attendees and exhibitors.

FGA President Gabe Hernandez said, “The printing industry is even more interconnected now, and on many different levels, than in past years. FGA has long desired to make sure that GOA continues as a venue of high value across a range of printing segments and communities. SGIA has the reach, vision and resources to accomplish this and we are happy to be working with them to ensure GOA’s success and growth into the future.”

Graphics of the Americas will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, February 13–15, 2020. More details will be available in early 2019.

September 17, 2018 - The Changing Structure of the Printing Industry: National & State Trends 2004-2016
Printing Industries of America’s Center for Print Economics and Management is dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to compete and prosper in today’s challenging environment. One of our primary tools is a series of special reports on various topics. We have just completed another report in this series, 
Special Report on the Changing Structure of the Printing Industry: 
National and State Trends 2004–2016.

America’s printing industry is a dynamic, diverse, and robust industrial sector encompassing manufacturing, marketing, and logistical services. This report focuses primarily on:

  • Manufacturing portion of the industry
  • Trends in the number of plants
  • Total employment
  • Value of shipments over the period from 2004 to 2016 
  • Where we are trending for the future
  • Competitive market scan by state
Visit the PIA bookstore to learn more about the changing structure of the printing industry. Access to Special Reports is one of the many FREE member benefits available to PIA Members. Non-members wishing to access a copy may do so at $200.00 per copy or visit www.printing.org/join today to learn more about becoming a member.
 

If you have any specific questions or issues on the information, you can contact Dr. Ron Davis, Sr. Vice President/Chief Economist, at [email protected] or 434-591-0527.

September 14, 2018 - Department of Labor Updates Forms

The Department of Labor has issued updated forms for use in conjunction with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This can be a treacherous regulatory minefield, so using the forms is one way to make sure all appropriate documentation is created. The forms can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/forms.htm. For help with FMLA, or any other HR question, please contact Adriane Harrison at [email protected].

September 14, 2018 - Lobbying Trump

PIA and its allies in the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service (C21) appealed to the top economic minds in the Trump administration this week, sending a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in response to an announcement that the administration is delaying release of a special task force report on the future business model of the USPS. President Trump created the task force via executive order in what many observers called an escalation of a Twitter storm against Amazon (a C21 member) and its CEO Jeff Bezos. The report, originally due for release in late August, is now pending “until the end of the year” and certainly until after the midterm elections. Industry’s letter to Mnuchin, which garnered press attention on Capitol Hill, did not chastise the administration for the delay, but rather urged the President to support quick passage of postal reform legislation stalled in Congress, as the House and Senate have delayed action while awaiting task force recommendations. The letter also noted industry’s opposition to privatizing the USPS and drove home the argument that raising postage was economic folly when there are cheaper alternatives to mail delivery.

September 5, 2018 - PIA Adds New Color Management Fundamentals Course to iLearning Center
Pittsburgh, PA—Printing Industries of America recently launched a new Color Management Fundamentals course to the iLearning Center this week. Presented by Joe Marin, Vice President of Education and Training, the course is available to Printing Industries of America printer members as a free benefit of membership.

Effective color management produces more reliable, consistent color across multiple devices and allows everyone in the process to see color more accurately. It reduces rework and communication issues and produces better color more efficiently. Understanding the basics of color management is the first step for color success. This course will cover the fundamentals of color management, the requirements for success, and how it works—all while giving students a solid foundation of terminology and workflow.
 
Students will learn:
  • Color management basics, terminology, and workflow
  • Why we need color management and what it can and cannot do
  • Basic requirements for creating ICC profiles
  • Gamut compression and rendering intent
  • Delta E, color tolerances, what’s possible, and what’s not
For more information about the iLearning Center, visit www.printing.org/ilearning or contact Joe Marin, Vice President of Education and Training at [email protected].
September 5, 2018 - 2018 Wage & Benefits Survey Results

Over the summer, Printing Industries of America solicted for members to participate in the 2018 Wage & Benefits Survey.  PIAG members that participated will recieve a free copy of the survey results, a $10 Starbucks card, and were entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card. National Mailing Service (NMS) was the recipient for the Amazon gift card.  

Copies of the survey are available to purchase for $99 for members and $250 for non-members.  Contact Scott Maas, [email protected], or 770.433.3050 to order your copy today! Results will be available in mid-October. 

August 28, 2018 - STOPP Statement on U.S. International Trade Commission's Unanimous Ruling to Reverse the Newsprint Tax

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), a coalition of printers, publishers, retailers, paper suppliers and distributors, today welcomed the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) unanimous decision to terminate duties currently being applied to uncoated groundwood paper, or newsprint, imports from Canada and issued the following statements:

“Today is a great day for American journalism. The ITC’s decision will help to preserve the vitality of local newspapers and prevent additional job losses in the printing and publishing sectors,” said David Chavern, president and CEO, News Media Alliance. “The end of these unwarranted tariffs means local newspapers can focus once again on playing a vital role in our democracy by keeping citizens informed and connected to the daily life of their communities.”  

The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on uncoated groundwood paper made in Canada in response to a petition filed by North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), a paper mill located in Longview, Washington. Following an in-depth investigation, the ITC rejected NORPAC’s claim that it was facing injury from alleged unfair trade practices by Canada. The ITC’s ruling that U.S. newsprint producers were not materially harmed by subject imports from Canada effectively puts an end to protective tariffs that the Commerce Department imposed earlier this year and revised just this month.

“From the start, we knew this tax on newsprint would immediately harm commercial printing companies, book printers, service companies, equipment suppliers and ultimately, consumers,” said Michael Makin, president and CEO, Printing Industries of America. “After analyzing the facts, the ITC has issued the right decision to protect American jobs across the country. Small businesses that are part of the printing industry can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Newsprint used by U.S. newspapers and commercial printers consists of two-thirds of uncoated groundwood paper. The spike in the cost of paper prompted harm across the industry − and forced many local newspapers to scale back reporting and reduce the number of editions they publish. The tariffs also repressed demand by small businesses that use printed advertising inserts and flyers to reach customers.  

In the face of the threat to 600,000 American jobs in the newspaper, retail, printing and publishing industries, a broad and diverse coalition pursued all available avenues to advocate that public officials help put an end to the tariffs, including a petition signed by more than 11,000 Americans from all 50 states. Roughly 150 Members of Congress expressed opposition to the tariffs with letters to key Administration officials, testimony delivered before the ITC, or co-sponsorship of legislation in the House and Senate. In addition, Both the Teamsters and the Communication Workers of America wrote letters opposing the tariffs, along with many others.

Learn more about STOPP’s campaign to #StoptheNewsprintTax here.

August 14, 2018 - Women in Print Alliance Stresses Empowerment at 2018 SGIA Expo

Fairfax, Virginia – The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association’s (SGIA) Women in Print Alliance has finalized the agenda for its breakfast at the 2018 SGIA Expo. Featured speaker Kathy Korman Frey, Founder of Hot Mommas® Project, will lead exercises to empower women in the industry. 

“There is a great deal of research on the importance of mentoring for career success. We will discuss the how and why of this together at the Women in Print Alliance Breakfast,” said Frey. 

Hot Mommas Project is the world’s largest women’s case study library, which provides access to award-winning research used to increase self-efficacy. The project has reached and impacted women in over 129 countries across the world. 

Frey will share research from her work at the breakfast through a series of interactive activities. The session will include a sample Hot Mommas Project case study analyzing the challenges a woman could face in a culture geared toward their male counterparts. 

Participants will also discuss their goals and challenges with one another and will be asked to share advice and strategies to support their peers’ objectives. 

“What I am most excited about is that the breakfast attendees will learn from and connect with one of the most important assets in their lives and for their careers: each other,” said Frey. 

STAHLS’ will sponsor the Women in Print Breakfast, and their new CEO, Carleen Gray, will also speak at the event. 

“I am looking forward to participating in SGIA’s Women in Print Breakfast. I really believe that success is dependent on your actions and accomplishments. Be fearless. Be a “do-er”, take action, don’t wait to be asked,” said Gray 

The Women in Print Alliance Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 19, 7:30–9:00 am. (Tickets are $30 and are available with your SGIA Expo registration.) Contact Sarah Perkins with any questions.

SGIA — Supporting the Leaders of the Digital & Screen Printing Community 
Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is the trade association of choice for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing communities looking to grow their business into new market segments through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies. SGIA membership comprises these diverse segments, all of which are moving rapidly towards digital adoption. As long-time champions of digital technologies and techniques, SGIA is the community of peers you are looking for to help navigate the challenges of this process. Additionally, the SGIA Expo is the largest trade show for print technology in North America. “Whatever the medium, whatever the message, print is indispensable. Join the community — SGIA.”

August 2, 2018 - PIA Adds New Color Accurate Soft Proofing Course to iLearning Center

Pittsburgh, PA–Printing Industries of America recently launched a new Color Accurate Soft Proofing course to the iLearning Center this week. Presented by Joe Marin, Vice President of Education and Training, the course is available to Printing Industries of America printer members as a free benefit of membership.

Soft proofing is an essential function in a print shop because more creative and color-critical decisions are made on an LCD display than on any other device or media. Yet, most print professionals are not managing their displays properly to ensure that what they are seeing on displays is as close as possible to what the final printed product will look like.

Color Accurate Soft Proofing aims to give the student the vital information to calibrate and profile displays for color-accurate soft proofing.

Students will learn:

  • What is soft proofing?
  • Requirements for success
  • Hardware and software requirements
  • The 5 steps to a color accurate display
  • How to use Adobe CC applications to view color accurately
  • The ideal soft proofing viewing environment

For more information about the iLearning Center, visit www.printing.org/ilearning or contact Joe Marin, Vice President of Education & Training at [email protected].

July 26, 2018 - PIA Releases Detailed Descriptions of 2018 InterTech Technology Award Recipients

Pittsburgh, PA–As a follow up to last week’s announcement, Printing Industries of America released descriptions of the twelve recipients of the 2018 InterTech(tm) Technology Award. The independent panel of judges deliberated over technology nominations that showcased the dynamic and innovative nature of the industry. The judges singled out the following technologies as meeting the award criteria of being truly innovative and expected to have a major impact on the graphic communications industry. The recipient technologies are listed below alphabetically by company:

printQ 3D Packaging Design, CloudLab Sales & Management GmbH
CloudLab’s printQ 3D Packaging Design adds the ability to create and order packaging for eCommerce print solutions. All sorts of graphical content and customizable sizes and shapes of cartons and other packaging products are possible. Clients are able to see a dynamic 3D visualization of their designed package immediately. Production files are then automatically created and sent to the converter’s workflow based on user-defined values. Said one judge, “The user experience is impressive; I was able to design a box in a matter of minutes.”

EFI Nozomi C18000 Press, EFI
Nozomi is a 71-inch (1.8-meter) wide inkjet press, printing up to 246 linear feet per minute onto all types of corrugated sheets. It can be configured to print brilliant graphics in four or six colors (CMYK + orange and violet). This is one of the first digital presses to be specifically built for the unique requirements of corrugated production. The judges recognized an innovative solution that will help converters capitalize on the demand for shorter-run, versioned, and variably imaged boxes.

ScreenPro(tm), Global Graphics Software
The ScreenPro screening engine significantly improves inkjet print quality by obscuring quality defects inherent with inkjet heads, such as chaining and mottling. Two types of screens are available to address the challenges of substrate absorbency. In both cases screening patterns change based on density levels and drop sizes. The judges lauded an obvious innovation that makes inkjet a better print solution. ScreenPro is available to any inkjet press manufacturer.

Primefire 106, Heidelberg
Primefire 106 is a 40-inch (B1 size) sheetfed inkjet press capable of producing high-quality images on a wide range of substrates. The judges liked that it uses Heidelberg’s existing press platform and prepress workflow, making it easily added into sheetfed pressrooms. Designed with carton producers in mind, Primefire can image seven colors at 1200 dpi and reproduce 95% of Pantone spot colors. The quality monitoring system is impressive and helps achieve a high level of uptime.

HP Indigo Pack Ready Lamination, HP Inc.
HP Indigo Pack Ready Lamination technology creates a laminate film without the use of adhesives and the need for cure time, enabling immediate conversion to sealed pouches. The process uses a film with a heat-activated thermal active layer so that it bonds instantly to the HP Indigo ElectroInk printed layer. The judges could clearly see that the innovation provides a new way for converters to pursue short run opportunities.

Rapida LiveApp, Koenig & Bauer
LiveApp enables the control and maintenance of Rapida sheetfed offset presses via a mobile device. The app lets operators start, stop, and make press adjustments when away from the console. Judges pointed to the maintenance feature that makes it easy to document issues and communicate them to Koenig & Bauer. The app houses pre-loaded training videos, equipment manuals, and the ability to add company-specific SOPs. There is also a clever inventory management system that monitors material usage, down to individual lot numbers.

Anti-Fluting Plate Technology for Corrugated, MacDermid Graphics Solutions
The displeasing washboard effect caused by the hills and valleys of flutes and the presence of board crush during direct printing on corrugated substrates has plagued printers for years. MacDermid’s photopolymer plate technology combats this with a built-in flat-top dot shape tailored for corrugated that eliminates the need for inert gas or laminating a membrane or the use of exposure systems. Commented one judge, “This makes direct printing of corrugated a more appealing choice.”

JETvarnish 3D Web, MGI Digital Technology
Judges saw the ability to add stunning embellishment effects to labels and flexible packaging substrates via a digital narrow-web process as a game changer. The JETvarnish 3D Web roll-to-roll solution can produce 2D/3D dimensional, tactile textures, and personalized, embossed foil in one pass without dies or expensive tooling, A flexo primer coating unit and corona treatment station are integrated inline. The result is a new range of eye-catching effects that enhance the branded shelf impact of bottles and containers.

4-Step Sleeking(tm) Process, Nobelus
Sleeking bonds metallic foils and spot coatings to digital ink, mostly HP Indigo(r) inks. Heat and pressure from a Sleeking laminator causes the foils and films to adhere. The most recent innovation uses a laminate over the initial printed layer that can be overprinted with ink and foil, creating contrasts and special effects. The special silver foil can even be printed on to produce other foil colors. “This gives printers an easy route to variable data and personalized foiling,” said a judge.

SpectroDens4, Techkon
The latest generation of Techkon’s handheld spectrophotometer raises the bar for color measurement devices. The combination of super-fast measurement speeds, heightened intelligence that requires less tethering, user-changeable apertures, and a built-in mode for color bar scanning won the judges over. A unique feature is InkCheck, which gives press operators specific ink density adjustments to obtain the lowest deltaE color match. Add the human factor design and simplicity of use and the judges foresee SpectroDens4 becoming the spectrophotometer of choice in many pressrooms.

Xerox Iridesse(tm) Production Press, Xerox Corporation
Xerox’s new production press can lay down six colors in a single pass, including CMYK, gold, silver, or clear, with spot-on registration at 120 pages per minute. The fact that users can quickly swap ink positions makes its capability for producing stunning specialty effects even greater. Super sharp images can be printed in Ultra HD resolution. The judges recognized Iridesse for innovative engineering and being able to do things that no other digital production press can do.

Circle PersonalEffect Edition, XMPie, a Xerox Company
Circle PersonalEffect Edition is software for designing, deploying, and measuring personalized omnichannel marketing campaigns. It allows all communication, both digital and print, to be automated. With it, print service providers can transform their businesses by offering complete marketing programs. At the heart of Circle is a customer journey diagram that articulates the flow of the customer experience, including touch points, filters, and design specifications. Judges were struck by Circle’s power, respect for print options, and the unique integration of marketing workflow and design content.

A listing of all of the technologies considered for InterTech Technology Awards is available at www.printing.org/intertech2018. A technology review booklet showcasing all of the year’s entries will be distributed at PRINT 18 and in Printing Industries of America–The Magazine Summer Forecast issue.

For more information about the InterTech Technology Awards, contact Jim Workman, Vice President, Center for Technology and Research at 412-259-1710 [email protected], or visit www.printing.org/InterTech.

July 25, 2018 - PIA Statement on Passage of Career Technical Education Legislation

Pittsburgh, PA–Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin today issued the following statement upon the U.S. House of Representatives passage of H.R. 2353 Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century.

The U.S. Senate approved the legislation earlier in the week; H.R. 2353 has been sent to President Trump for his signature. President Trump has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

“PIA applauds Congress on passage of Strengthening Career and Technical Education (Perkins CTE) for the 21st Century legislation, considered by both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House this week and sent to President Trump earlier today for his expected signature. We hope the President will sign this bill into law in short order so that the printing and graphic communications industry can address the critical need of recruiting and educating a new generation of skilled workers.

Importantly, this iteration of Perkins CTE demonstrates new vision and modernization of the vocational tech programs of old. With a focus on improved program quality, closing of the skills gap, worked-based learning curricula, and increased collaboration among students, industry, and employees, the future for talent recruitment and development will be brighter for our industry.

PIA member companies have said loud and clear that finding skilled employees is one of the primary challenges in the printing and graphic communications industry today. For the past two years, PIA has pushed hard for Congressional reauthorization of Perkins CTE. Earlier this year, PIA was part of a massive grassroots effort in which over 500 trade associations came together to urge Congress to act. PIA has also sent delegations of printers to Capitol Hill to personally advocate for Perkins CTE passage at the 2017 and 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summits.

PIA also commends the exemplary bipartisan efforts demonstrated throughout the Perkins CTE legislative process and the leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and Workforce on this issue. We reserve a special “shout out” to Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), both of whom were recently honored with the 2018 Friend of Print and Packaging Award in recognition of their commitment to career and technical education policy.”

June 22, 2018 - 2017-2018 PIA Dynamic Ratios Show Printing Industry Profits Increased Last Year

Pittsburgh, PA —The 2017 Printing Industries of America Dynamic Ratios survey results are in and the findings indicate a modest rise in printing industry profitability. On average, the typical printing firm’s profit as a percent of sales increased from 2.66 percent the previous year to 2.92 percent. In contrast, industry profit leaders—printers in the top 25 percent of profitability—saw their profit rates on sales dip to 8.8 percent. Profit challengers—printers in the lower 75 percent of profitability—experienced profit gains.

Over the entire period from 2005 to 2015, printers participating in the Ratios averaged around 2 percent profit on sales. Of course, the Great Recession pulled the average down significantly, but since the recovery the average has bounced back to longer term trends. Profit challengers (printers in the bottom 75 percent of profitability) actually lost money in the recession-impacted years from 2007-2012. However, their profit rate of .7 percent this past year was the highest ever over the last 13 years.

Printing Industries of America’s Dynamic Ratios program is the premier financial benchmarking system for the printing industry. For over 90 years printers and industry suppliers have used the Dynamic Ratios to track industry financial performance and to benchmark their operations. The full series of Dynamic Ratios volumes covering various industry market sectors and processes are now available in the Printing Industries of America Bookstore. 

Next year, the Dynamic Ratios are being redesigned. The new program will simplify the data gathering process to make it easier to participate in as survey respondents, focus on key performance metrics and significant metrics, plus provide more report options.

For more information about Dynamic Ratios please contact Dr. Ron Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at 434-591-0527 or [email protected]
 
June 19, 2018 - 2018 Premier Print Award Winners Announced

June 19, 2018 –

For several months, the offices at Printing Industries of America (PIA) have been overflowing with pieces from the Premier Print Awards—over 2,000 entries submitted to categories like Posters and Cards, School Yearbooks and Novelty Books, Product Catalogs and Popular Culture Magazines, even Point-of-Purchase Materials. The amount of talent expressed through craftsmanship and creativity was overwhelming, though the rigorous judging process ensured that no small detail was overlooked. The expert judges were so impressed by this year’s submissions that 127 Best in Category honors—also known as the Bennys—were awarded in a print competition that only has 115 categories.

As the world’s most prominent international print competition, submissions came from all over North America, China, Indonesia, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to the 127 Benny winners that exhibited truly superior print quality and exceptional craftsmanship, our judges also awarded more than 1,000 Certificates of Merit and Awards of Recognition to those deserving submissions. 

This year’s Benny winners put on view all of the possibilities of printing. Pieces included a magnificent and mountainous art book, beautiful and clear images of classical art rendered in vegetable-based ink, a kooky desk calendar celebrating the Year of the Dog (complete with studded dog collar), and an outdoor-inspired t-shirt and mug gift set appropriate for your favorite fishing enthusiast. The Certificate of Merit and Award of Recognition winners were just as inspiring, with those honorees including a book cover that felt like the skin of a peach, college and diocesan magazines, wine labels, and expertly bound art history books.

The Best in Show honorees will be revealed during the Premier Print Awards reception on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at the J.W. Marriot Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. PIA will also distribute the Intertech™ Technology honors that evening.

To view a complete list of the 2018 Premier Print Award honorees, visit www.printing.org/ppawinners.

June 13, 2018 - Online Shopping Could Cost Georgians More Sales Tax
June 13, 2018 – 

ATLANTA, GA —Georgians with an affinity for online shopping may have to pay a little more next year following Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision to sign a bill requiring online retailers who ship to Georgia to start paying sales tax.

House Bill 61, set to take effect Jan. 1, requires online retailers who make at least 200 sales a year or $250,000 in annual gross revenue to start paying the state’s 4 percent sales tax.

But the Supreme Court is reviewing a decades-old ruling that if a business is shipping a product to a state where it doesn’t have an office, warehouse or other physical presence, it doesn’t have to collect the state’s sales tax.

Large retailers such as Apple, Macy’s, Target and Walmart, which have brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, generally collect sales tax from their customers who buy online. But other online sellers that only have a physical presence in a few states can sidestep charging customers sales tax when they’re shipping to addresses outside those states.

The Supreme Court first took up the argument in 1967, when it ruled a catalog retailer whose only contact with a state was by mail didn’t have to collect sales tax on sales made there. In 1992, the court reaffirmed what it called the physical presence rule. But states say software has now made collecting sales tax easy.

More than 40 states have asked the high court to abandon its rule, saying as a result of the growth of internet shopping, they’re losing billions of dollars in tax revenue every year.

Roger Tutterow, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University, said the measure would have the biggest impact on consumers who do the bulk of their shopping online.

“Essentially, what the bill does is change which online retailers have to collect sales tax in the state,” Tutterow said. “What they’re trying to do is level the playing field between brick and mortar retailers that are here in the state and their online counterparts.”

As far as the new law’s impact on online shopping, Tutterow doesn’t think the measure will deter anyone from clicking that “checkout” button.

“I think that is probably driven more by the convenience factor than it is the sales tax issue,” he said. “What they were trying to do is level the playing field so a retailer that is not physically in Georgia but sells into the state will have sales tax levied against them the same way it would if you had a retailer with a physical presence here.”

Mark Jacobson, owner of the Cumberland Diamond Exchange, said the law should have been passed years ago.

“They need to level the playing field for brick and mortar to compete with the internet,” he said. “Everybody should be paying salestax.”

Jacobson said small businesses need to be able to compete

with large online corporations, which he said isn’t fair when they have to charge 6 to 8 percent in sales tax while negotiating with small margins.

“We need all the advantages that any out-of-state or internet company should have,” he said.

Frank McKinnon, owner of two Eddie’s Trick Shop locations — one on the Marietta Square and one in Decatur — said he supports the measure but hopes the Supreme Court moves to make it a national law to put his company on an even footing with trick shops who ship out of surrounding states.

As it stands, Eddie’s is already required to charge a sales tax on anything shipped in Georgia because they have physical locations here.

His bigger concern, he said, is trying to compete with online companies when it comes to the price of shipping those packages.

“Say Amazon ships out something that’s $50 — it might be four items,” he said. “But they might ship it in three separate boxes for free. If we were to ship just one small box in Georgia, it would cost us $15. The shipping hurts more than the tax.”

A decision in the Supreme Court case is expected by the end of June.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

June 13, 2018 - Hands Free Law: What You Can and Can Not Do While Driving
June 13, 2018 – 

ATLANTA, GA — Georgia motorists have a few more weeks to make sure they will be in compliance with the state’s Hands Free Georgia Act when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The legislation, which goes into effect on July 1, bans drivers from having a phone or electronic device in their hands or touching any part of their body while operating a vehicle on the road.

You will be able to make and receive calls through a speakerphone, earpiece or wireless headset as long as you do not have your phone in your hands or resting on your body. Motorists can also make calls if their phones are connected to an electronic device or their vehicle’s stereo. GPS and other navigational devices are allowed, but you cannot have a phone in your hands or propped up by any body parts.

“It’s become a habit we don’t think twice about since we have been talking on our phones while driving for more than three decades and it is going to take time for all of us to stop automatically reaching for the phone when it rings,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Communication Director Robert Hydrick said. “If you want to talk on your phone or use GPS while driving, now is the time to implement those measures so hands-free will become the instinctive thing to do.”

While it is not required to purchase a device or holder for your phone, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety encourages drivers who want to talk on their phone to place it where they can easily access it so that it doesn’t interfere with their ability to operate their vehicle and will still reasonably keep their attention on the road.

“According to recent data, we believe the public awareness of this new law is already saving lives,” said State Rep. John Carson of Marietta, who sponsored the bill creating the new law. “We encourage all Georgians to implement the best practices stated in the Hands-Free Georgia Act prior to July 1, 2018, for the safety of all commuters on Georgia’s roadways.”

You can also check to see if your phone has a Do Not Disturb feature which, when activated, detects when a phone is moving. If a phone is in motion, the feature informs the sender of a message or phone call that the person they are trying to reach is driving and will call or message back when the driver reaches his or her’s destination.

While the new law will allow drivers to use hands-free technology to make and receive phone calls and use GPS devices, drivers cannot at any time use their phones to write, read and send text messages, emails, social media and internet data. The use of voice-to-text technology is allowed, however.

Drivers will also be prohibited from watching and/or recording videos (though GPS and navigational videos and continuously running dash cameras are allowed). You will be able to listen to music through streaming apps on your phone, but you can not activate that app or change music using your device while driving. Music streaming apps programmed and controlled through a vehicle’s radio system are allowed. However, you should note that watching videos through music apps are prohibited.

“We have received a lot of inquiries about the use of music streaming apps and we want everyone to know you can listen to your music through your phone, provided you turn on that app before you get on the road,” Hydrick said. “Whether it is listening to music, making a phone call or finding the best route on your GPS, we want to everyone to remember keeping your focus on what is happening on the road is your top priority every time you are behind the wheel.”

If you think you’ll have time to adjust to these new rules, think again. GOHS, Georgia Department of Public Safety and local police officers are informing motorists there is no 90-day grace period for enforcement. While many officers will issue warnings for violations in the first months of the law as part of the education effort, citations can be issued starting July 1 where officers believe they are warranted, especially for violations that involve traffic crashes.

You can find out more information about the Hands-Free Georgia Act by visiting the website dedicated to educating residents about the law.

Article shared from the Smyrna Patch and written by Kristal Dixon, June 12, 2018

June 6, 2018 - HR Flash Report from PIA
On Monday, June 4, the United States Supreme Court decided that a Colorado baker had the right to refuse service to customers based on his sincerely held religious beliefs. The Court very specifically based its decision on the fact that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not fairly and impartially enforce Colorado’s anti-discrimination law that bars discrimination against sexual orientation and religion. Because the Court’s decision is quite narrow, it does not provide carte blanche permission to refuse service in the name of religious freedom pursuant to the First Amendment. The Court limited the breadth of its decision to occasions when there is a demonstrated failure to remain neutral when weighing civil rights against the free exercise of religion. Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Slip Opinion No. 16-111 (U.S.S.C. June 4, 2018).
For printers, the question about whether a company can refuse a customer’s business arises most commonly in the context of doing work for controversial customers or on controversial subjects. The first step is to consider whether the customer is in a class protected by the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. These statutes prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and mental or physical disability, and customers who are refused service based on these characteristics could sue and may win a judgment against the printer.
 
If the customer is not in a protected class, then the printer may refuse service. For example, if the customer wanted the printer to create packaging for a product that had been tested on animals, and the printing company does not want the job due to that practice, the printer can refuse service because companies that use animal testing do not fall within a protected class.
 
For questions on this issue, please contact Printing Industries of America’s Director of Human Relations Adriane Harrison for assistance at 412-259-1707 or [email protected]

May 25, 2018 - Support for the Change of Classification for Aerosol Cans

In an effort to ease compliance burdens for a very common waste, EPA has proposed to add aerosol cans to its lists of universal wastes. Usually, aerosol cans that are not completely empty and discarded are regulated under the hazardous waste management program due to their contents or propellant. Cans that are empty are not regulated. There has been a debate about how a company ensures that the cans are empty, and some printers have been fined for not puncturing empty cans. Printing Industries of America (PIA) submitted comments last week supporting EPA’s proposal. Classifying aerosol cans as a universal waste will streamline and simplify how the cans are managed because if they are recycled, then they will not be classified as a hazardous waste.

May 25, 2018 - Crackdown on I-9 Audits and Investigations

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is adding significant staff to increase I-9 audits and worksite investigations this summer. This comes on the heels of increased fines imposed for I-9 violations. These actions are part of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration. Since President Trump’s election, ICE Homeland Security has doubled the number of worksite investigations, and that number is expected to grow. In addition, ICE intends to conduct 15,000 I-9 audits each year, up from approximately 2,300 last year and 1,300 the year prior. Member companies should ensure that their I-9 forms are completed and verified with supporting documentation. If you have any questions, please contact Adriane Harrison with PIA, at 1-800-910-4283 (ext. 707) or [email protected].

May 25, 2018 - Reform Message Delivered to Presidential Task Force on USPS

At the invitation of the Department of the Treasury, Printing Industries of America (PIA) met with a six-person panel of Trump Administration economic advisors to lay out industry perspectives on postal reform. President Trump’s task force is seeking input from industry stakeholders as it examines a long-term potential restructuring of USPS. PIA, along with other invitees including envelope manufacturers, greeting card producers, parcel shippers, and others, encouraged the task force to consider a two-step approach:

  1.  urge Congress to pass pending postal reform legislation for short-to-medium-range stabilization of USPS; and
  2. consider operational costs such as labor and modernizing contract negotiations going forward for a longer-term fix.

Additional points were made surrounding universal service obligation, service standards, and other key elements of postal reform. The task force is expected to produce a recommendation to the President within 120 days.

May 18, 2018 - InterTech Technology Award Deadline Approaching

The deadline for InterTech Technology Award entries is June 1, 2018. This awards program, started in 1978, recognizes innovative technologies expected to have a significant impact on at least a segment of the greater printing industry. Last year, 14 technologies were honored. This is a key way that PIA keeps members informed of technological developments. If you know of technologies worthy of consideration this year, please alert Jim Workman before the deadline at 1-800-910-428 (ext. 710) or [email protected]. Visit www.printing.org/intertech.

May 18, 2018 - Trump Apprenticeship Task Force Reports
From Printing Industries of America “Quick Takes” Update. Author: Michael Makin

President Trump’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion has issued its final report to President Trump. The Task Force recommended, among other things, that the DOL update federal funding criteria, streamline state grant access, and fund community-based organization efforts. The Task Force also recommended rule changes that would allow apprentices under age 18 to work on the manufacturing floor when properly supervised. Next, the President and the Secretary of Labor will determine which recommendations to implement. Director of HR for Printing Industries of America, Adriane Harrison,  will be finding the best strategies and resources for printer members.

May 15, 2018 - PIA Applauds Introduction Of PRINT Act; Urges Washington To Reject Tariffs On Canadian Uncoated Groundwood Paper

May 15, 2018

Pittsburgh, PA–Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin released today the following statement regarding introduction of the Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade (PRINT) Act of 2018 by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME):

“Printing Industries of America (PIA) has spent the better part of 2018 informing the Department of Commerce of the unique circumstances in the trade remedy case targeting Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood (UGW) paper, providing a realistic viewpoint of paper consumption, and explaining the devastating impact taxing produce is having–now–on the print and publishing industries.

Currently, alleged anti-dumping tariffs and countervailing duties are being collected at the border and printers are feeling the effects of market upheaval in regards to scarce supply and higher costs being passed onto end users. While PIA respects U.S. trade law and understands a quasi-judicial process to determine final injury to the sole petitioning paper company must proceed, the association also has a responsibility to stand up for its member companies caught in the crosshairs of this ongoing investigation.

The printing industry is constantly innovating and reinventing itself to stay competitive in the modern communications marketplace. Taxing our most essential raw material drags down the industry’s job creation, economic growth, and future viability. The reality is that demand for newsprint and electronic alternatives–not unfair foreign competition–has driven down consumer use of newsprint. That’s why PIA applauds Senators Collins and King for standing up to say “time out” on behalf of the printing and publishing industry by introducing the PRINT Act.

This bipartisan bill would require the Department of Commerce to conduct an economic wellbeing study on the printing and publishing industry and pause any affirmative determinations on final tariffs until President Trump has certified receipt of report and has concluded such determinations are in the national interest. Most importantly, the PRINT Act would halt the current collection of cash deposits for Canadian UGW imports.

Trade remedy laws are designed to help domestic industries attain a level playing field on which to succeed–not to create an exponential number of domestic losers in the process. The PRINT Act is crucial to restoring a much-needed sense of sanity surrounding tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper. PIA endorses this legislation and will continue to work to highlight the need for rational decision making in relation to this ill-conceived tariff.”

May 11, 2018 - Confusion Continues Around EEO-1 Forms
May 11, 2018

The EEOC has extended the filing deadline to June 1 and can be accessed here. Employers will not be asked for pay and hours-worked data as had been proposed. Companies with 100 or more employees, or federal contractors/subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a contract of $50,000 or more must file the form. The snapshot period is October 1–December 31, 2017.

If you need assistance with the EEO-1 form or any HR-related issues, contact Adriane Harrison at 1-800-910-4283 (ext. 707) or [email protected].

May 11, 2018 - State of the Industry Has Mixed Results in April
May 11, 2018

The latest ISM Survey of 18 U.S. manufacturing industries paints a mixed picture for printing and related activities for April compared with March. Print’s sales were up along with 16 other manufacturing sectors, which is great news. Printing and related production was also number five out of 15 manufacturing sectors reporting increased activity. However, print was one of six sectors reporting declines in employment.

May 11, 2018 - New Course Announced: The Basics of Prospecting
May 11, 2018

Free to all printer members, a brand-new course is available in the iLearning Center titled The Basics of Prospecting. Developed specifically for salespeople, Printing Industries of America has partnered with Bill Farquharson to deliver this free-for-printer-members sales course. Eleven short videos cover very concise topics that are critical to successful sales including where to look for the best leads; knowing what to say in order to gain an appointment; and how to create a solid, successful prospecting program. Combine this course with some effort and get results.

For more information, visit www.printing.org/ilearning.

May 11, 2018 - Print Benefits from Label Rules
May 11, 2018

From Printing Industries of America “Quick Takes” Update. Author: Michael Makin

For printers whose customer base includes chain restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, or any other company that sells food in more than 20 establishments, the long debated and oft delayed calorie count display rule kicked in this week. The rule was originally part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010 as a public health provision but has been hotly contested by the food industry ever since. What information to include and in what format has been part of the ongoing debate. For now, the so-called “war on pizza” is settled. Meanwhile, food packagers are in flux mode as they observe continued debate on what will be required on new nutrition panels. Printing Industries of America (PIA) continues to monitor these regulations and will provide updates on any important milestones.

May 1, 2018 - New Producer Joins PIAG Insurance Team
May 1, 2018

The new month brought a staffing change as Trisha D’Abreau joined the PIAG Insurance team.  D’Abreau filled the vacant role of producer for the insurance agency.  

D’Abreau is passionate about helping members protect their businesses and is committed to serving as a trusted advisor.  She is dedicated to treating each individual with dignity and respect and truly enjoys guiding others in exploring various insurance options through a consultative sales approach.  She takes the time to explain coverages and benefits and believes in providing a highly personalized experience to her clientele.

D’Abreau enjoys building strong relationships with local business owners and their employees through community involvement, active membership in the Chamber of Commerce and old-fashioned face-to-face networking.

April 27, 2018 - Print Continues Strong

April 27, 2018

Production in printing and related support activities continued growing in March according to the latest ISM (Institute for Supply Management) survey of manufacturing, which covers 18 U.S. manufacturing sectors. Overall manufacturing continued to grow in new orders, production, and employment during the month. Print was number one out of 14 manufacturing industries with growing sales. While there were 12 manufacturing sectors with increases in employment during March, print’s employment numbers remained level during the month.

April 27, 2018 - Fighting Tariffs

April 27, 2018

The Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) Coalition has launched a full-scale campaign and media campaign to urge the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission (ITC) to rescind its efforts on using trade remedy laws to slap tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper. Tariffs are currently being collected at the U.S.- Canada border as the case is being investigated, and anecdotally the marketplace is feeling the financial hit. PIA, which chairs the lobbying committee for STOPP, is lining up lawmakers to send letters to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and to testify before the ITC in July. PIA is engaging all affiliates on this full-bore advocacy campaign.

April 27, 2018 - Federal Court Overrules Decision on Salary History

April 27, 2018

Earlier this month a federal court overruled a 35-year-old decision when it held that salary history, alone or in combination with other factors, is not a legitimate factor upon which a wage differential may be based. The court held that basing current wages on prior pay history violates the Equal Pay Act. This means that when determining wages, employers should not consider prior pay history. Employers can comply by simply not asking new hires for a pay history. This decision specifically applies to our members in California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, and Alaska, but is instructive for all. The decision will likely be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

April 27, 2018 - Postal Service Board Fills Vacancies

April 27, 2018

In a time of dire financial straits for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), it is unfathomable that the nine-person USPS Board of Governors has been totally vacant since the end of 2016 (and has lacked a quorum since 2014). The Board of Governors, which is essentially a corporate board of directors for an entity that is the second largest national employer after Walmart, has been hamstrung by the backlog of Trump Administration political appointees (each Governor must face a Senate hearing and be confirmed by a vote of the full Senate). Fortunately, there was movement last week as three nominees advanced through the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Naturally, the big news emanating from the hearing was the Trump versus Amazon feud as Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the top committee Democrat and co-sponsor of the Postal Reform Act of2018, grilled the nominees on their willingness to stand up to the President regarding “last mile” partnerships withAmazon (and UPS and FedEx, for that matter). All agreed in various ways that they would be independent voices on behalf of the USPS. The nominees are expected to receive final Senate votes in the coming weeks. At that point, some normal functioning will be restored to governing the USPS at this critical time.

April 24, 2018 - Understanding an Umbrella Policy
From Pressing News on April 24
 

 
What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Whether it’s a serious car accident involving pricey medical bills or an incident on your property, you can quickly find yourself responsible for damages that exceed the limits on your auto, homeowners, or boat policies.

Umbrella insurance provides extra liability coverage that can help protect assets, such as your home, car, and boat. It also helps cover defense costs, attorney fees, and other charges associated with lawsuits.

In today’s world, anyone can get hit with a lawsuit. That’s why it’s more important than ever to consider an added layer of protection for your assets – and your peace of mind. Contact PIAG Insurance, 770.433.3050,  today to get your free quote for an umbrella policy.  

Video provided by Traveler’s Insurance as part of the Distracted Driver Awareness Month campaign.  Learn more about Traveler’s Insurance at www.travelers.com. 

April 24, 2018 - Pressing News Undergoes Format Changes
From Pressing News on April 24

April 24, 2018

On May 1, 2018, Pressing News, the Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia’s (PIAG) weekly email to membership, will be receive some format changes to better serve the membership of the association.  A new logo, a new look, focused content, and frequency are just a few things the association will be change for this publication.  These changes are part of an effort to better meet members needs and to provide them with more focused content in a new format. The weekly email will move to a bi-weekly email with information focused around four areas:  Top Stories for the Printing Industries, Membership Benefits, Insurance, and Events.  

Staff members at PIAG hope that the changes will improve readership, enhance the value of membership, and provide a new member experience. To continue to improve the publication, they plan to assess the membership on a regular basis and make the necessary adjustments.  

“We want to make sure our members are getting the information they need, that information is relevant, and they feel there is a value added for the membership.” stated April Wallis, Director of Member Engagement for PIAG.  

Changes for the new format include but are not limited to: 

  • Frequency change from weekly to bi-weekly
  • New logo
  • Overall new layout
  • Focused content around membership, events, and insurance
  • Increased interactive reader experience through polls, surveys, and possible giveaways.  

To receive the Pressing News, sign up here today.  Feedback is always welcome and can be sent to Scott Maas, PIAG’s Membership, Marketing, and Communications Manager.  

April 20, 2018 - New iLearning Center Course Available
April 20, 2018

The Printing Industries of America recently announced another brand-new free course for their membership.  The new course titled InDesign Data Merge for VDP is free to all PIA and PIAG members and available in the iLearning Center.  In this course, you will learn how to leverage the power of Adobe InDesign’s Data Merge tool to create impactful, engaging variable-data printed jobs.  Participants will be able to follow along with two sample projects while learning all about the various levels of variable-data printing (VDP).  Participants will also learn how to properly prepare, sort, and export raw data using Microsoft Excel; merge and update data in InDesign; and export PDFs for digital printing.

For more information, visit www.printing.org/ilearning or contact Joe Marin at [email protected].

April 17, 2018 -Piedmont Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Have a New Agreement
From Pressing News

April 17, 2018

The following is from Piedmont Healthcare at www.keeppiedmont.org

Piedmont Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Have a New Agreement

We are pleased that Piedmont and Anthem Blue Cross have shaken hands on a new agreement. The arrangement ensures patients that have Blue Cross insurance can continue to see their Piedmont doctors and visit Piedmont hospitals without incurring higher out-of-pocket costs, including covering visits and services delivered since April 1 as “in-network.”

We sincerely appreciate Governor Deal’s assistance in bringing the parties together and creating a higher sense of urgency toward resolution.

Preserving the relationship between the patient and their preferred healthcare provider has been our number one goal during this entire negotiation. We know this has been difficult for our patients, and we are sorry for that. Please know that we did everything in our power to avoid a disruption in your care. We understand the value of your trust.

April 17, 2018 -Protect Your Business from Being Taken Ransom!
From Pressing News

April 17, 2018

Insure Your Business Against Ransomware

Recently, the city of Atlanta was hit by a ransomware attack that has so far cost the city nearly three million dollars and left many city government departments offline causing some to revert to paper records. Ransomware is a malware (malicious software) that can be spread through email attachments, infected apps, or compromised websites. These computers, files, and records are then held by the hackers until a ransom is paid. Usually, the ransom amount is relatively small to encourage the victim to pay to get those things back.

While it may be difficult to prevent an attack from happening to you, there are insurance policies that may help you avoid substantial financial liabilities in the event it does happen. The more robust policies help pay for extra wages to pay for overtime as well as the ransom payment itself.

Call PIAG Insurance at 770-433-3050 today to find out more about how these policies can help you protect your business.

Please visit piaginsurance.com to find an application and more information about how we can help your business with this and other business insurance policies.

April 16, 2018 - Deal Gives Both Sides in Piedmont-Blue Cross Dispute an Ultimatum
From Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Deal Gives Both Sides in Piedmont-Blue Cross Dispute an Ultimatum

Gov. Nathan Deal gave two health care firms at the center of an impasse that’s left about 650,000 people in limbo until Tuesday to reach an agreement over insurance reimbursements — or risk him taking executive action.

The governor met Monday with the leaders of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare to try to compel an agreement over a new contract after their last agreement expired April 1, leaving many Piedmont patients to pay out-of-network costs for their current doctors.

When the sit-down ended without a breakthrough, the governor used social media to warn he would be “forced to initiate executive action” if the two health care giants don’t resolve the dispute by Tuesday afternoon.

Deal has prodded the two sides to hash out a compromise for weeks, worried that droves of state employees could be left in the lurch without one. Monday’s meeting was described as a candid — and at times uncomfortable — discussion where Deal put both sides on notice. If the stalemate isn’t snapped, it could mean that patients would have to find a new care provider or risk being stuck with much higher out-of-network costs such as co-pays if they go to their familiar caregiver.

It’s unclear what the governor would do, but his options include allowing a “re-enrollment” period for state employees that would let Blue Cross members choose a new insurer. He could also order state officials to explore ways to increase competition for hospitals and insurers in the markets rocked by the dispute.

‘Sense of urgency’

The deadlock affects about 650,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their families, and the state has said it would pick up the out-of-network costs for its employees for up to 30 days. Deal’s office said that could cost $42 million.

State officials are bewildered and frustrated with the contract fight and hoped the meeting will speed a resolution. State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, for one, vented that the negotiations have “gone on too long.” 

“I fully support the governor’s stance on this issue and strongly encourage both parties to act now in the best interest of their customers,” he said.

There have been recent signs of progress: Both sides were deep in negotiations last week, and the firms both said they’re confident a deal could soon be struck.

“We share the governor’s sense of urgency about getting this resolved for the patients, and we are willing to meet with Blue Cross around the clock until it’s resolved,” said Matt Gove, a Piedmont executive. Blue Cross used similar language in a statement Monday that said it is “prepared to negotiate non-stop to bring Piedmont’s hospitals and physicians back into our network.”

The showdown involves two titans in Georgia’s medical industry, and the outcome is being closely watched by other health care firms. Blue Cross is the state’s dominant insurer, while Piedmont has launched a massive expansion that includes buying hospitals in Athens, Columbus, Conyers and Covington.

Pointing fingers

The footprint of the patients affected by the dispute is vast. About a half-million current patients of Blue Cross have seen a Piedmont provider within the past 18 months. And there are some 2 million Blue Cross Georgia customers who could have used Piedmont as an in-network provider.

Both companies, while tight-lipped on exact details, have been quick to point fingers at one another. Piedmont posted a note to its patients earlier this month saying that Blue Cross is failing to offer doctors reimbursement rates that cover the annual rate of inflation “but they will tell you that we are asking for unfair rate increases.”

Blue Cross President Jeff Fusile has shot back, telling The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that the insurer is trying to be even-handed. “We’ve offered a fair rate,” Fusile said. “Piedmont’s determined that they don’t believe that it’s a fair rate. And we keep going back and forth to find the balance between them providing good quality care and helping our members continue to afford it.”

The two firms have scrapped before over Blue Cross’ reluctance to fund some in-hospital MRIs and CAT scans when they can be done for less elsewhere, as well as the insurer’s policy not to cover emergency-room costs when it decides that care wasn’t warranted.

A Piedmont spokesman also said doctor payments were a roadblock.

Whatever happens, the clash is likely to send ripple waves across Georgia’s health care industry. Bill Custer, a health care professor at Georgia State University, said fast-growing health care providers such as Piedmont that treat an increasing number of people face a natural tension with large insurers seeking to lower costs.

“However this negotiation ends,” he said, “it will be at the very least a step toward a changed health care delivery system.”

April 10, 2018 - 10 Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving
From Pressing News on April 10, 2018

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and PIAG Insurance wants to make sure you arrive safely each time.  More than 40,000 Americans died on the roads in 2016, the most significant increase in deaths over a two-year period in more than 50 years.1 Whether someone you love has been known to text and drive, or you have found yourself distracted behind the wheel, these tips can help avoid dangerous activity on the road.

  1. Stow your phone. Turning off the phone and putting it in “do not disturb” mode can help remove the temptation to browse online at a red light or respond right away to a text message.
  2. Vow not to multi-task. Anything that occupies your mind or vision can be a distraction behind the wheel. Make time at home to eat meals or put on makeup, so you can focus on the road.
  3. Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting family members and friends when you know they are driving to avoid distracting them.
  4. Talk to your employer. Responding to texts or taking calls for work while driving can be dangerous. Encourage your employer to have a distracted driving policy that includes waiting to talk with employees until they are safely parked.
  5. Keep kids and pets safe. Make sure kids are in proper car seats and that pets stay secured in their zone in the back of your vehicle. It can also help reduce distractions if pets are not roaming about the car.
  6. Set a good example. Parents can model good behavior for their children by demonstrating attentive driving. Avoid texting, eating, grooming or calling someone while behind the wheel.
  7. Plan your route before you go. Programming your navigation system while you drive can take your eyes off the road. It’s better to ask a passenger to do it or to enter your destination before you leave home.
  8. Speak up. If you see someone texting or otherwise driving while distracted, say something and let them know that you are not comfortable with that behavior. Encourage your children to do the same when they are passengers in a friend’s car. It could save a life.
  9. Set rules of the road. Consider restricting the number of passengers until your teen or new driver gains experience behind the wheel.
  10. Avoiding reaching. Resist the urge to reach for items if they fall while driving.

Taking your eyes off the road to search for an item can make you more likely to have an accident.

Share these tips to help keep others safe. For more on ways to reduce distracted driving, check out Every Second Matters, Travelers’ conversation starter on reducing distracted driving risk.

Source:
1 National Safety Council, NSC Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates.

April 3, 2018 - Governor Deal Announces Next Step
Deal announces state’s next step in Blue Cross Blue Shield, Piedmont Healthcare dispute

April 3, 2018

Gov. Nathan Deal today directed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare to return to the negotiating table on behalf of the nearly 600,000 employees, retirees and their families affected by the recent contract disruption. Deal also announced the state and the University System of Georgia will absorb out-of-network claims for affected employees for up to 30 days in order to minimize patients’ financial burdens.

“My administration will not sit idly by during this contract dispute and leave our state and university system employees, teachers and their families in the balance,” said Deal. “My top priority is the well-being of our members. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare must return to the negotiating table, and Blue Cross Blue Shield must honor the contractual obligations made to the state. If an equitable solution is not reached, I’ve directed the Department of Community Health and the State Health Benefit Plan to explore all possible solutions to ensure our members have access to care. The university system stands ready to take similar action on behalf of its employees. This step is necessary in order to protect our citizens from unanticipated costs and interruption to care.”

“We want to make sure University System of Georgia families have access to the care they need and this 30-day extension is a necessary step to provide coverage for our employees,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare must come to a quick resolution to this contract dispute so additional costs are not incurred by employees of the University System of Georgia and the state. We will continue to explore all options to ensure employees and their families have continued access to the healthcare they have been relying on through the University System of Georgia healthcare plans.”

April 3, 2018 - Print Just Feels Good
From Pressing News on April 3, 2018

If you haven’t heard, then hopefully this will make it a good print day!  One of the technology industry’s most innovative and digitally disruptive powerhouses has an old-fashioned marketing sensibility.  AirBNB has launched a print magazine. Read more..  

April 2, 2018 - Georgia Sales and Use Tax Rates Change
Smyrna, Georgia – IMPORTANT NOTICE

Effective April 1, 2018, Georgia Sales and Use Tax Rates have been changed.  Please refer to the Department of Revenue for the State of Georgia for a new chart of rates.  

April 1, 2018 - Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Fail to Reach Deal
Smyrna, Georgia – On April 1, 2018, Piedmont Healthcare doctors and hospitals became out-of-network providers for Blue Cross Blue Shield members. More information

March 28, 2018 - Show Your Commitment to Earth Day and Become SGP Certified
Smyrna, Georgia – Earth Day is just a few weeks away (April 22), and that will bring sustainability to the forefront of your clients’ minds. Why not give them the confidence that they are working with a sustainable business partner by becoming a Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Certified Printer?

The SGP Partnership is an independent organization that recognizes and acknowledges printing operations that are committed to sustainable printing through a formal certification program.

Becoming SGP certified involves meeting seven different criteria, including EHS regulatory compliance, and implementing a sustainability management system. The Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) team at Printing Industries of America can help ensure that your business meets the requirements to become SGP certified.

Contact the Printing Industries of America Environment Health & Safety team to learn more about becoming an SGP certified printer by emailing them at [email protected]

March 27, 2018 - PIAG Partners with SkillsUSA for Another Successful Year
March 27, 2018 

Smyrna, Georgia – The SkillsUSA Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference (SLSC) was held March 22-24 at the Georgia International Convention Center. More than 2,000 outstanding career and technical education students competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in various occupations such as graphic communications, electronics, computer-aided drafting, advertising and design, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. 

The contests administered with the help of industry and test competencies that are set by industry. Leadership contestants demonstrated skills in various area of their chosen field of study and conducted a real-life interview to test their communication skills. The week capped off with the Awards Ceremony, which took place on Saturday March 24 where first, second, and third place winners were awarded on stage.  First place winners will continue to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference to be held in Louisville, Ky., June 25-29, 2018.  Winners at the national level will then proceed to the WorldSkills competition.

PIAG would like to thank the following companies and their employees for their assistance and support in administering the screen print, graphic communications, and advertising and design competitions:  Heidelberg USA, Danger Press, Preprint, The Studio Temporary, Prepress To Printing, Mac Papers, and Nick Gawreluk.

What is SkillsUSA?  SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations. SkillsUSA’s mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

Graphic Communications

1st place – Thomas Ireson, Houston County High

2nd place – Jeickob Tinoco, Appalachee High

3rd place – Nicholas Gibbons, RW Johnson High

Screen Print

1st place – Jordan Hoeppel, Greenbrier High

2nd place – Carson Thames, Troup County Comp High

3rd place – Zachary Thomas, Stephens County High

 Ad Design

1st place – James Siad, Walton High School

2nd place – Morgan Young, Dalton High

3rd place – Dominique Jones, Kendrick High 

March 27, 2018 - Dynamics of Employment and Hiring in Print
March 27, 2018

U.S. labor markets are heating up along with the economy. A dynamic duo of a strong dose of deregulation and corporate tax reform has breathed new life into the eight-and-one-half-year-old recovery. The unemployment rate at 4.1 percent is near the historic low, hiring is on the upswing with 200,000 new jobs added in January, labor force participation rates are creeping up, and wages are finally edging higher after a long period of relative stability. At the end of 2017, there were approximately 5.8 million job openings across the county. In 2017, the employment cost index was up 2.6 percent over the year and in January it was up 2.7 percent on a year-to-year basis. Of course, good news is often coupled with bad news, and all this good news has awakened fears of inflation and is tipping the tradeoff between debt and equity. The Center for Print Economics and Management is undertaking research into the dynamics of print labor markets, and our next joint project with the Jones College of Business of Middle Tennessee State University will focus on this important topic. The project explores recruiting, hiring, and HR practices of printers and their relationship to profitability and other key performance metrics. The survey is targeted for early March with the report to be published this summer. This Flash focuses on the dynamics of print labor market conditions over the past few years. We focus on trends in three key variables: • Total printing employment • Printing separations or turnover • Printing hires

View full flash report here

March 21, 2018 - Legislative Action Update: Budget Deals Fail to Include CPO Language
March 21, 2018

The following is a follow up to the legislative action email sent on March 8, 2018.  PIAG received this information from Runyan Public Affairs.  

We have just learned that the final agreement on an Omnibus spending agreement to keep the government funded failed to include our language to block the SEC from moving forward this fiscal year on Rule 30e-3 that would have flipped the default from paper to e-delivery of mutual fund performance reports. While this is a setback, it is far from the final chapter in this effort. In the end, Congress didn’t want to pre-emptively block the SEC from implementing something that hadn’t yet been finalized. The issue now moves back to the SEC rulemaking process where moves are already underway to advance a new effort to streamline mutual fund performance reports while continuing to send them in the mail.

We are grateful for our Hill champions — Senators Collins, King and Capito and Rep. Bruce Poliquin for their tireless efforts to push for approval of the measure. They will continue to work with us to block the rule through the rulemaking process. I also want to thank all of our partner organizations including: Consumer Action, the National Consumers League, the National Grange and the Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors as well as CPO Board members and the CPO Lobbying Committee for their steady work over a long period of time. We will need all or your collective efforts going forward. 

– John Runyan, President

March 15, 2018 -Mac Papers Expands its Castle™ Packaging Line with Stretch Films
 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2018) – Mac Papers, one of the largest merchant distributors in the Southeast U.S., announced today that it has added stretch film to its Castle™ packaging products line. The company launched its exclusive Castle brand earlier this year with the introduction of Castle acrylic tape. 

“We’re extremely pleased to now offer stretch film as part of our Castle brand of packaging products,” said Chris McCabe, vice president of packaging at Mac Papers. “We are dedicated to providing our customers with best-in-class packaging products and services and our Castle acrylic tape and stretch films help us deliver on that commitment.” 

Castle stretch films are offered in hand and machine length rolls. The company’s website – macpapers.com/castle – lists product specifications as well as features and benefits of Castle stretch film, including high-quality cling and superior stretching performance and puncture resistance. 

In addition to machine film transported in pallets, Mac Papers also offers a boxed Castle machine film option, enabling ease of handling, moving and storage. 

To learn more about Mac Papers’ Castle brand of packaging products, please visit macpapers.com/castle or contact [email protected] 

March 6, 2018 - PIA Seeks Participants in Hiring, HR, and Recruitment Study
PIA Seeks Participants in Hiring, HR, and Recruitment Study

Pittsburgh, PA—Printing Industries of America (PIA) Center for Print Economics and Management and the Department of Management at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) are partnering on a new Management Study exploring recruiting, hiring, and human resources best practices throughout the printing and graphic communications industry. This study will address a common concern among printing industry leaders: the ability to recruit, hire, and adequately staff their firms. With the country’s economy continuing to grow and the print market remaining strong, the study aims to answer: “Why is staffing such an issue?”  “Labor markets are heating up along with the economy. The unemployment rate at 4.1 percent is near the historic low, hiring is on the upswing with 200,000 new jobs added in January, labor force participation rates are creeping up, and wages are finally edging higher after a long period of relative stability,” said Dr. Ron Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Center for Print Economics and Management. “While all of this is good news, it does raise issues for printers that are looking for workers.” The survey and subsequent Management Study will give printers insight into the best recruiting, hiring, and human resources practices. The project explores the relationship between human resources practices, profitability, and other key performance metrics. Survey participants will receive a comprehensive report of the findings. The survey is now open and can be accessed at this link. For more information about the Center for Print Economics and Management or the survey, please contact Dr. Ronnie Davis at [email protected]