Subject: Special Announcement: PIA Demands That Print Be Considered Essential Service

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 PIA Demands That Print Be Considered Essential Service

On March 19, the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) published guidance to state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions and the private sector defining essential critical infrastructure workers imperative to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That day, the State of Pennsylvania became the first state to lock down all physical businesses not deemed to be “life-sustaining” or “essential.” It is reasonable to assume that other states may follow and will be using the list published by CISA as guidance.

CISA identified “Communications and Information Technology” as a critical sector that must remain functioning during this national emergency. However, in the definition of “Communications,” CISA explicitly left out printed communication as one such essential function. This is unacceptable!

Without doubt, printed and graphic communications are essential in a time of national emergency. The wide array of print applications is fundamental to seeing our nation through this national health crisis. Community newspapers, printed/mailed government and public health information, directional signs and banners, and packaging of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and food/consumer products are just a few essential functions of printed communications. Not to mention the critical financial, insurance, and healthcare related documents that will be needed over the course of this tumultuous situation.

As of March 20, Printing Industries of America is in communication with the White House, CISA, and leaders on Capitol Hill to immediately correct the guidance on essential critical workforce to include “print and graphic communications” on this list, as well as to specify the manufacturing, logistics, and warehousing published by CISA to include print and packaging.

We will keep the industry posted on our progress. Stay safe and keep positive. 


Michael F. Makin
President & CEO
Printing Industries of America
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
Printing Industries of America remains committed to aiding in safety and recovery efforts as we navigate these uncertain waters. Please visit our COVID-19 Information & Resources page for links to information and resources related to the printing and graphic communications industry. Click here to learn more.

Printing Industries of America, 301 Brush Creek, Warrendale, PA 15086, United States
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