Printing Trade Group ‘Right-Sizes,’ Restructures as Industry Faces Major Change

As it navigates ongoing disruptive change in its industry, a major trade group, Printing Industries of America, had to make some tough decisions, which its president and CEO addressed in a public letter last week.

The printing industry has been hit hard by advances in technology over the past decade—there’s no denying that. Employment in the industry has fallen off by more than 200,000 since 2003, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

As the industry adapts to ongoing digital disruption, Printing Industries of America (PIA), a trade group that represents graphic arts printers, is undertaking a major restructuring.

Last week, the group reduced its staff size by 15, according to a report on an industry website. The report also suggested that PIA is considering a move from its headquarters in Sewickley, Pennsylvania—a suburb of Pittsburgh—to offices in the city.

In a letter, PIA President and CEO Michael Makin confirmed the staff reductions.

“To sustain a viable organization going forward, Printing Industries of America has had to right-size its staff complement,” he wrote. “But our commitment to our core service offerings will remain unchanged. We will continue to be represented in Washington with a government affairs presence, maintain our economic research for the industry from market surveys to ratio benchmarks, continue to offer expertise in the environmental, health, and safety arena, and continue to provide human resources assistance and educational offerings.”

Technical training will look different as well. With PIA no longer able to maintain its own facility housing equipment used for training, instruction will move online. This allows the organization to keep pace with the changing needs of members, Makin said: “In an age where more and more individuals are learning through online sources, our training model must reflect and embrace this new paradigm.”

Makin stressed that PIA will remain a technology leader for the industry. In addition to the online training, the organization will continue to offer members a toll-free technical hotline and research and commentary on the latest tech trends, among other benefits.

“Change is never easy, but we must embrace it to move forward,” Makin said. “The restructuring of [the] national association was responsible and necessary. I am confident the committed and professional team of men and women serving this organization will embrace the change and move forward excited with the opportunities to come.”


Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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