21 May 2014
M&T Printing builds high-school printing classroom; opens new shop
LONDON, ON—M&T Printing Group is getting attention with a new location in London, a high school graphics classroom it has built in its Guelph location, and award from the local Chamber of Commerce.

The 46-year-old shop recently opened its fourth location in London, one which focuses on wide-format output. This move follows on the success of an earlier and similar facility the company had launched in Kitchener. "I realized I should have done it a long time ago," said president Dean Froome. "It's unbelievable business and I realized I needed a similar operation in London." Equipment on the shop floor includes both roll-to-roll and flatbed devices.


From left, Dean Froome, Matt Boos, Michael Froome and Don Froome
Froome also shared with PrintCAN how he came about to build a co-op high-school classroom in one of the Guelph locations. It started when he was asked to host a local co-op high-school student. The option wasn't feasible for the shop, but it got him thinking and he offered to build a classroom where students could earn co-op credits.

The MAC- equipped Graphics Factory launched in February with a focus on teaching design fundamentals to students. It took off, says Froome.  Eleven students signed up this year, each of whom works for 3.5 hours a day for a full semester. Next year's enrolment has already grown to 15 and the program has been expanded beyond the single school to the district level.  

"My goal with the classroom is to get the colleges to recognize the program and give students credit for the work they do here," said Froome. "One of our students has won a medal at the Skills Ontario and will go on to compete in Skills Canada."

The initiates have paid off in more than just business. M&T recently won the Business of the Year award from the Kitchener/Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. "It's quite an honour for us," says Froome "especially when you consider all the high-tech companies in this area."

M&T now runs 12 locations across Southwestern Ontario including Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Brantford and Welland.


Comments:
1. Brian says:
21 May 2014 at 3:10 PM
Good to see that someone is helping to train our work force of the future. This industry has always been closed off from the education system so it is no wonder that students don't flock to our industry. I have had many co-op students over the years and they really appreciate the real world experience.
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