No one ever said change was easy. But that’s never stopped you in the past, has it? Those of us in the printing industry have always had to learn new technologies, incorporate new equipment, and provide new services to our clients. Change and learning are part of our DNA!

Another industry experiencing major change is education, where there is a significant growth trend in online learning. You may have heard about more and more college students taking virtual classes, while some are even earning their degrees entirely online—amazing! This trend is also very evident in employee education.

Today, eLearning is a $56.2 billion business and is expected to grow to over $100 billion by 2015. In fact 40% of Fortune 500 companies are turning away from traditional instruction-based learning and investing in online learning (ELearning Magazine, 2013). But it’s not just the huge corporations that are benefitting from virtual education. Printing Industries of America is set to launch a variety of Web-based, industry-focused workshops via a brand new online platform, the Integrated Learning Center.

Whether you call all it eLearning, Web-based training, or virtual education, the Integrated Learning Center platform is developed to provide a one-stop-shopping solution to your training needs.

This platform raises an exciting opportunity for progressive print and graphic arts companies that view online learning as a competitive weapon, rather than merely an added cost. High-quality employee performance, a key to business success, relies significantly on high-quality training.

Online learning, as evidenced in the statistics below, can prove to be more efficient and effective than traditional learning methods and results in greater productivity and competitive gains.

Need more convincing that virtual training is right for educating your staff? We’ve highlighted five of the most valuable benefits for our industry members as they apply to both managers and employees.

1.     Quality education on demand

Managers: One of the biggest differentiators between online and instructor-based learning is that you can access it virtually any time, anywhere. Since most eLearning programs allow unlimited access, managers have greater flexibility in scheduling training time for employees.

Employees: Education is a valuable career asset. eLearning is proven to increase knowledge retention by 25% to 60% over traditional learning methods. (Corporate eLearning Exploring a New Frontier, WR Hambrecht) And since eLearning is self-paced, employees can learn at rates appropriate to their individual knowledge level.

2.     Less time and expense compared to off-site learning

Managers: Time and money—two resources most managers wouldn’t mind saving. Recent research shows businesses save at least 50% by replacing traditional instructor-based training with eLearning. Additionally eLearning cuts instruction time by up to 60%.

Employees: Those who have online training are more valuable employees. According to a new report by IBM, companies that use eLearning tools and strategies have the potential to boost productivity by 50%. Plus companies that offer eLearning generate about 26% more revenue per employee.

3.     Greater ability to adapt to industry changes compared to competitors

Managers: Looking to boost your competitive edge? Seventy-two percent of companies stated that eLearning helps them keep up to date with changes in their industry, which helps them to remain competitive within their niche. ( In fact, firms that offer Web-based learning are 46% more likely to be the leader in their industry. (Bersin & Associates)

Employees: Looking to advance your career? By staying up to date on advancing technologies through online learning, employees have more opportunities for promotions and pay increases.

4.     Improved employee retention rates and overall company culture

Managers: Educational opportunities are an important benefit to many employees. Did you know 23% of employees leave their job because the position lacks opportunity for development and training? (National Research Business Institute) Companies that offer online training have more satisfied employees and can leverage it as a recruiting tool.

Employees: Today employees want to work for a company with a great culture and one that shows its staff they are valued. Research shows companies that have a strong learning culture do better in their market than those that do not.

5.    Focused training for everyone on staff

Managers: The Integrated Learning Center hosts a wide range of workshops from beginner to advanced levels. When developing their eLearning strategy, managers are able to select which content is most effective for each job function. eLearning delivers a higher ROI when it’s build around a solid strategy. To give you a big-picture perspective: for every $1 a company invests in training, they can receive $30 worth of productivity gains.

Employees: With education relevant to their job function, employees can apply the new skills to their jobs immediately, making them more effective and more valuable staff members.

How can you access online training developed specifically for the print industry?

Launching April 30, 2014, The Integrated Learning Center—a new online training portal from the Integrated Print Center—is a cutting-edge program developed to serve your evolving needs. It provides employees the opportunity to learn the latest technologies and offers managers the flexibility and savings of quality, on-demand education.

Experience expert-developed workshops on topics that matter most to graphic communication businesses:

  • Environmental and safety courses—Comply with OSHA and industry standards and ensure safe workplaces with our kick-off to the “train the trainer” series. Learn about the latest hazardous material communications.
  • Orientation courses—Printing Industries’ popular “Orientation to the Graphic Arts” workshop is moving to the Integrated Learning Center. Get a complete introduction to the industry for new hires.
  • Technical courses on color management and industry standards, integrated marketing management, personalization, and direct marketing are just a few of the full complement of industry-specific topics that will roll out throughout the year.

New courses will be added throughout the year. Learn more about the Integrated Learning Center by visiting