WALDO — Kim Hall, as a junior from Searsport District high school, decided on a whim last spring to apply for a job in graphic design, the career field she was studying at Waldo County Technical Center.

Kim had just earned her Print Ed certification (one of multiple certifications earned through the graphic design program at WCTC) and was encouraged by her instructor, Tyler Hills, to apply for an unpaid internship at Images Printhouse, a Service Disabled Veteran Woman Owned Small Business (SDVWOSB) in Belfast.

She got the position and was immediately immersed in the world of commercial graphic design. Her boss, Shawna Barnes, taught Kim to do “all of the things” involved in running a print shop. After only two months, Kim received a promotion, becoming a half-time paid employee and half-time intern.

Because of extenuating circumstances, Kim’s boss was unable to work in the office this summer, and Kim and her only coworker, CJ Abbot, began running the business with only remote help from Shawna. Kim was then promoted once more to a fully paid position as a junior designer and print
production associate.

Kim is now back at WCTC’s graphic design program as a senior. When asked how the CTE program prepared her for the job, she said she wasn’t completely lost as an intern because of what she learned in class.

Now that Kim has been promoted, there is an opening at Images Printhouse for another intern. Hills and Shawna Barnes plan to use WCTC’s graphic design program as a pipeline for future employees who will already be familiar with the ins and outs of design. Kim plans to continue her education after high school by going to college for graphic design.