Contributing to the University’s Mission
"We are using our print shop as a training ground for students," explains Justin Tetley, coordinator of Mail and Copy Solutions for Webster University. "Students have become an integral part of our operation."
Each semester at the St. Louis, Mo., school, six to 10 work study students are recruited to fill important roles ranging from graphic design to marketing to copywriting.
"Ours is one of the key departments that offer training for students and a lot of valuable hands-on experience," Tetley explains. "We usually receive about a dozen applicants for each position."
In addition to graphic design and marketing skills, students can gain practical office experience, such as running postage machines and other equipment.
"Although that general day-to-day experience may not be applicable to their majors, they are important real-world skills that can be taken into the job market after graduation," Tetley points out.
Sometimes the training received during work study assignments can serve as a springboard to permanent, full-time positions with the university.
"Work study can be a priceless opportunity for students," he says.
It's also been a boon for the in-plant. Thanks to the extra help, the bustling seven-person in-plant team, located a mile away from the St. Louis campus, is able to offer a range of printed materials—not only for its home campus, but for 80 additional campuses worldwide, many of which are located on military bases.
The 20-year-old in-plant significantly increased its capabilities three years ago by leasing two digital printers: a Xerox 700 Digital Color Press and a Xerox 4112, a 110-ppm black-and-white printer. The shop also tripled its office space. By increasing equipment capabilities and building relationships, the in-plant is working to bring more outsourced printing back in-house.
"The Xerox 700 and 4112 have significantly boosted those efforts to capture more of the university's printing," Tetley says. "We are currently using our wide-format printer to scan and digitize a wide range of documents, as well as blueprints of each of our buildings."