Minneapolis, July 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jostens, the nation’s leading provider of custom class jewelry, graduation products, and yearbooks serving the K-12 and college education markets, is leveraging the momentum of a successful spring delivery season of graduation products and yearbooks to help schools get ready to get back to school this fall.
“When COVID-19 hit, our entire company doubled-down to find new ways to help our schools and students across the globe and to ensure Jostens kept delivering for graduation and yearbook events,” said Jostens CEO Michael Burgess. “While we were challenged with COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders, facility shutdowns, and closed schools, our teams adapted rapidly to produce and deliver the quality products and services schools have come to expect from Jostens, and we are in a very strong organizational and financial position to help our schools get back to school next fall.”
“In close collaboration and support for thousands of school administrators across the U.S. and Canada, we were able to deliver to millions of students this spring for graduation and yearbook distribution events,” said Paul Dowden, Jostens Senior Vice President of Global Operations. “Preserving these important school traditions brought great joy to students, families and school communities at a very challenging time.” According to Dowden, spring deliveries significantly exceeded original COVID-19 forecasts, with yearbooks and graduation products delivered to schools in time for alternative ceremonies or modified distribution events.
In addition to a keen focus on product delivery, the company innovated and invested in several virtual programs and experiences to help schools preserve traditions and student engagement. Jostens free Virtual Commencement Centers and Renaissance Education programs were utilized by thousands of high schools and colleges across the United States and Canada to execute virtual graduation events, and help navigate remote learning challenges with social-emotional training materials. Virtual ring ceremonies and grad events were developed for shuttered college campuses, and the company launched free virtual yearbook signing pages, where students have already gathered over 1 million digital signatures from friends.
Realizing that the COVID-19 pandemic affected communities outside the schoolhouse as well, Jostens leveraged its manufacturing capabilities to produce personal protection equipment (PPE), and offered priority printing services to health care facilities; efforts which were recognized by local and national media and government officials. As schools and offices work to prepare for a return to school and work this fall, Jostens has launched, Jostens SafetyTM, which offers a broader line of PPE and safety products on-line at safety.jostens.com.
“The intense focus our teams placed on delivering the products we’re known for, and developing new products and experiences in the face of such adversity, has strongly positioned Jostens to provide expanded services to our customers and their communities,” Burgess continued. “We made difficult decisions during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect and preserve the financial stability of our organization. As our situation improved, it allowed us to organically invest in new product development to meet the changing needs of schools and their surrounding communities. In fact, we are now accelerating and extending that investment into new equipment for our plants to meet consumer demand, digital technologies for our sales and service representatives to better serve schools, improved digital shopping experiences and new programs that help schools manage their virtual and actual environments. We are prepared to partner with schools to meet the challenges they face in opening back up this fall.”
Further building on the company’s momentum, Jostens is hosting a global, virtual back-to-school summit in July for thousands of educators and student leaders to address a variety of topics and questions being asked by administrators as they prepare to return to school this fall.
“We’ve spent the last several weeks listening closely to the needs of our schools as they pivot from graduation season to back-to-school season,” said John Bibeault, VP/GM of Jostens Scholastic division. “There are a lot of uncertainties not only related to the physical environment schools will be adapting to, but the social-emotional wellness and motivation of students, staff, and overall educational equity. These are the topics we’ll be covering at the Jostens Renaissance Virtual Conference.”
Information and registration for the free Jostens Renaissance Virtual Conference can be found at www.jostens.com/jrvc.