By Susan Greene
In April 2010, TSD was awarded a $600,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to provide career-readiness and job-training opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing students. A portion of the grant funds was used to start Ranger Press, a student-run business specializing in a variety of custom print products such as T-shirts, vinyl banners, window decals, and most recently, professional printing/copying services.
The primary purpose of Ranger Press is to teach hands-on occupational training and employability skills for TSD students, ages 16-22, who are interested in careers in digital printing or graphic design. According to the Department of Labor, digital printing is the fastest growing segment within the production market field. The goal of Ranger Press is to prepare students for this exciting career opportunity while they are in school so that they acquire the skills they need to become competitively employed in the future.
Ranger Press introduces students to the realities of working in a graphic design and digital print shop. Since its grand opening in August 2010, more than 20 students from high school, SND, and 18+ Programs have participated in the Ranger Press work-training program. Students have learned various aspects of the print business including design, customer service, product development, and sales.
Eric Sermeno, Horacio Hernandez and Cartille Wade.
The program strives in every way to replicate an authentic business environment so that students learn first-hand what is expected from them in the workplace. All students are required to submit a job application and participate in an interview prior to starting at Ranger Press. Students also take part in a new employee orientation that includes training on work ethics, policies and procedures, human resource issues, and safety.
From T-shirts to banners and brochures, Ranger Press is already building its reputation for offering high quality products and services at extremely competitive prices. The feedback that the program has received from customers has been very positive.
Ranger Press is open August-May during and after school hours. The business will also be opened limited hours in June. All profits earned from Ranger Press go directly back to the business to purchase supplies and materials.