U.N.I.T.E. Together updates & 6 things to look forward to at the U.N.I.T.E. booth at Printing United
U.N.I.T.E. Together Board Member Adrienne Palmer chatted with Cole Lundstrom and Gavin St. George, hosts of the TShirt Empire podcast, at Impressions Expo 2023 in Fort Worth this past September to share insight on U.N.I.T.E. Together, it’s mission, what the U.N.I.T.E. Together non-profit has been up to lately, and upcoming U.N.I.T.E. events! See the bottom of this blog to learn more about the free U.N.I.T.E. Together Happy Hour at Printing United, our amazing sponsors, and all other happenings at Printing United!
Gavin: So you are at the U.N.I.T.E. Together booth. Your badge has U.N.I.T.E. Together.
Adrienne: Yes. We've got our awesome sticker.
Gavin: So, what is U.N.I.T.E. Together and what are you doing with it?
Adrienne: Well, U.N.I.T.E. stands for Understand New Ideas Through Empathy, and we are a nonprofit within the print industry and beyond to make it more diverse and inclusive. And so, it really started with ROQ Together, which was more of an internal program. Then it kind of built out to Women ROQ, which I was involved with because of the Women in Screen Printing awards. We started to have conversations, maybe this should be a part of the apparel industry. Why are we just limiting it to ROQ customers? Then it's like, well, I have the connection to the large format side with the big picture. Maybe we have Josh Carruth on the board with Printing United. Why don't we branch this out to the print industry beyond packaging, commercial, large format, et cetera? And so our goal is to, hands down, make the industry more diverse and inclusive. And things that we're doing are working with underprivileged schools to get donated equipment and supplies. So for one example, Parkrose, it's a school in Oregon. They now have a full screen printing shop with screen printing machinery in their art department.
Cole: Very cool.
Adrienne: And for me, it's so important because you look at some of the numbers in terms of ages. So, for example, the average age for a digitally printed wall covering installer is 56. That's pretty old. We need people who are younger coming into this industry, and I think going to schools is so important, so we're doing things like that. We're working with organizations like the Net, which helps get you involved with hiring people with disabilities in your shop, and so they'll connect you. They'll have training programs. They'll really work with you on that. Also, partnering with the Women in Screen Printing Awards/Women in Wide Format awards, showing that there is a career path for young women in the industry to be shop owners. So, there's a lot of different paths. We just had our first true subcommittee meetings, so we've got social media and marketing, and website education, and then development. And so we have a really great community of people who are working towards all of these things. If you go to unitetogether.us, you can take our pledge and you can share some information about yourself and either what you're doing to make the printing industry more inclusive or what you think needs to happen. And then you'll be added to our email list and you'll be let know when our next town halls. We'll be at Printing United. We'll have a booth there and at Impressions, Long Beach.
Cole: That's awesome.
Adrienne: Yeah. That's what we're doing.
Cole: Wow. Yeah. It's cool to be doing something where you're trying to push change forward and not just make money. It's nice to have that kind of positive impact.
Adrienne: Yes. Yeah.
Gavin: Yeah. I think it's really important to be super intentional about it and just have the mechanism to bring everybody together and have the companies collaborate. I know some of the companies that are in the group are even competitors.
Gavin: And they are all kind of like, “All right, let's do this. Even though we're competing in the marketplace, we could still do this thing that's good for the whole industry. We're not going to be able to do this forever. Somebody else has to do it after we're gone. So, educating the next generation, including other people in it, different classes, different races, different genders, it's important, and being intentional and having this (U.N.I.T.E. Together), I think it's the right thing to do.
Adrienne: Cool. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you both. I think that it is important, especially to be intentional, and we want to leave this industry as a place where people see themselves. And I think even some of the conversations we've had in terms of just women in print specifically, because that's just what I've been closest with, it's like having more representation in speakers and sessions here on the show floor, making sure that that's more diverse. Making sure that whatever, whoever you are, you see someone in the industry and you see a career path for yourself.
Cole: Yeah. That's fantastic.
Cole: Well, thanks so much for stopping by the booth.
Adrienne: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Cole: Is there any contact information you want to share real quick?
Adrienne: Yeah. So you can go to unitetogether.us, and that is where you can take the pledge. We have an entire section of resources, also an area that says where our next events will be.
Adrienne: And you can also follow us on Instagram at @unitetogether.us
Cole: Perfect. Well, thanks so much.
Adrienne: Yeah, thank you.
Gavin: Thank you, Adrienne.
Here are 6 things You can look forward to at the U.N.I.T.E. booth next week:
1. Hang Out and Relax with a Game on the Wii: Take a break from the trade show's hustle and bustle and U.N.I.T.E. with fellow industry professionals over a friendly game on the Wii in our booth — a fantastic way to unwind and build connections!
2. Empower Those in Need: By visiting our booth, You can make a real difference with the chance to contribute through a fully tax-deductible donation: Donate to get your very own U.N.I.T.E. Tee, or participate in our 50/50 Money Raffle. All the funds collected through the raffle will be split equally between a lucky winner and the U.N.I.T.E. Together Movement & Coalition! The raffle winner will be chosen and contacted Friday (at 2pm) at U.N.I.T.E. booth.
3. FREE Happy Hour: Stop by the U.N.I.T.E. Booth from 1-2pm on Wednesday, October 18th to mix and mingle with others in the industry over a free beverage, sponsored by the fabulous BBC Industries, BlueWater Labs, Detroit Printing Company, The Graphic Hive, Beacon Funding, and Allmade Apparel.
4. Women in Screen Printing & Wide Format 2023 Awards Ceremony: Don't miss the opportunity to watch and celebrate the Women in Screen Printing & Wide Format Awards Ceremony on Thursday, 10/19 at 4pm, at the Future State Theater. It's a chance to honor and acknowledge outstanding female individuals in our industry. Watch last year's recap here!
5. Expand Your Network:Connect with industry leaders and newcomers alike. Expand Your professional network and make valuable connections that can fuel Your career and shared mission to make the print industry and beyond more diverse & inclusive!
6. Encourage others to Take the Pledge: Share the word by bringing friends & industry connections to our booth or take them online to unitetogether.us so they can take the pledge and discover insightful resources to assist their efforts in helping us all #UNITETogether!
We can't wait to see You at the Printing United Trade Show! Together, we can make a positive impact on our shared and diverse industry and beyond. Register today below. Let's come together and discuss how we can continue to make a meaningful and lasting change!