As part of our strategic partnership with Canon Solutions America, PCI Group hosted enthusiastic students of Canon Solutions America’s Skilled Professionals at Rising Canon (SPARC) program on April 24.

Following the launch of year three of the program in February and a comprehensive field trip to Canon’s Dallas, Texas, regional facility in March, the third touchpoint of this career-driven initiative provided 18 students from four school districts in the Dallas, Texas metro area with the opportunity to see Canon technology and service in action, while also gaining valuable insights into the operations and business practices of PCI Group.

“PCI Group, a transactional print and mail provider, is a great example of how a partnership can be beneficial for both client and vendor,” Major Account Executive Rob Huppe said. “By partnering with Canon Solutions America, PCI Group has grown and the SPARC program gives them access to students for post-graduation employment.”

Presented with a unique window into the business world, SPARC participants were left inspired and amazed by the capacity of Canon devices. The touchpoint began with a stop at PCI Group’s Irving, Texas, facility, where Direct Mail Operations Manager Doug Nearhood and his team provided the group with a captivating oral history of the organization and video presentation, which included the account of two former New York Mets—Bud Harrelson and Jerry Grote—investing their 1969 World Series championship bonus money into the then Long Island-based startup, Players Computer Inc. Along with a look into the past, Doug also mapped out potential internship and full-time work possibilities for students in the future.

On the tour of the prominent production hub, students were supplied with industry-specific knowledge, practical insights, and detailed access into the transactional mail printing process, helping them to understand the role of printing in marketing, the impact of technology on the industry, and the importance of data management and sustainability. After witnessing an on-site Canon ColorStream press, along with cutting, folding, and inserting equipment, they began to truly grasp the potential of print.

“Our visit to PCI Group was focused on understanding their role in the printing and direct mail industry,” Field Service Manager Hugo Saenz said. “During the visit, we had the opportunity to observe their printing and mailing facilities. We learned about their advanced technologies and automated systems that enable high-speed production and accurate processing of large volumes of documents. Furthermore, we engaged in discussions with PCI Group’s knowledgeable staff, who provided valuable insights into their workflow processes and customer service strategies.”

“Not all students have a career plan after high school or any plans to attend a university or college,” Hugo said. “This can be a great career opportunity for them. The program is also valuable for supporting the industry’s growth, bridging the skills gap, promoting industry relevance, nurturing talent, contributing to economic growth, and fostering innovation.”

SPARC participants visited PCI Group’s Irving, Texas, facility on April 24.

PCI Group’s Direct Mail Operations Manager Doug Nearhood discusses operational print processes with the students