Providing useful 'real world' job skills that can instill pride and a sense of accomplishment to an individual and help them gain employment is a real struggle today. Moreover, developing a training program, obtaining funding and then getting it off the ground is by no means an easy task, but the organizations mentioned in this article have done just that and they are benefiting their communities and those that live there.
Silver State Industries, a division of the Nevada Department of Corrections, teaches inmates how to screen print and provides them a career they can use once released. They also run a business selling screen printed garments and ad specialties to the public. They operate a working screen printing shop and put into practice all the skills and techniques used in screen printing. These individuals, when released, are ready to work in any job in a screen printing shop.
Working with youth in Massachusetts, Exclusive Tees, part of Commonwealth Corporation provides an opportunity for young people to learn screen printing skills to help them succeed and have a future. Through a Collaborative for Educational Services and their Department of Youth Services, they are providing a chance for youth in their state to learn and practice the jobs that are performed in a working screen printing shop. The youth trained here are ready to go to work or even open their own shop and pay it forward.
Reshaping the lives of precariously-housed or homeless youth, Elpis Enterprises of St. Paul Minnesota, operates a full service screen printing shop and provides training on designing and printing T-Shirts. An otherwise a neglected segment of the population in the state of Minnesota has been given an opportunity to do something positive and feel good about themselves thanks to the efforts of this organization.
Through screen printing, lives are being changed for the better. There will always be a market for screen printed apparel and other screen printed items. And there will always be a need for individuals who know how to print them. Employment opportunities for screen printers will continue to exist. And there will be those, who given the chance, can become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. They may in turn provide employment to others as well.
American Screen Printing Association is proud to be involved with individuals and groups whose goal is to help others improve their lot in life. We salute these organizations who are helping others succeed in their communities and wish them continued success—they deserve it.