Skilled disabled workers promote printing industry in Korea

정재헌 기자l승인2018.06.14






▲ Kim Sook-hyun, President of the Korea Moonhwa-Printing Association of Person with Disabilities

Kim Sook-hyun is a veteran printer who has 50 years of experience in the field. While running his own printing company, he was offered to lead an association of the physically challenged persons from Guro District Office in 1998 and eventually established the current association in 2002. It is remarkable that Kim recorded KRW 4 billion won sales last year on producing booklets, reporters, flyers, calendars, envelops and stickers for public offices. 

Kim had a terrible burn that made him unable to use his left hand when he was a one year old baby. Instead of feeling discouraged when he grew up, he learned printing and trained the people with similar conditions like him. He opened ‘House of Hannul’ apart from running his own business and has offered free meals for many disabled as well as socially disadvantaged people every day for the last 20 years. In 2013, he raised a KRW 22 million won fund and fulfilled his target to feed yearly 6,000 disabled and the needy for free. 

Kim is leading a consultative group for severely disabled laborers consisted of 25 related organizations nationwide, developed differentiated fonts and obtained patents. He also introduced a new printing concept ‘Moonhwa-Printing’ and contributed to development of the Korean printing industry by fostering skilled disabled workers. 

It is Kim’s goal to secure workplaces for 25 skilled disabled workers by 2020 as the current digital printing is making the process ever easier that even the first grade disabled can be able to work in the field. The government’s ‘Buy Disabled Products First Act’, which gives disabled priority in the bid, is also make this promising.

According to Kim, about 1,500 printing companies have been registered of which around 1,000 are still experiencing labor shortage. “This is a point where the association roles up its sleeve to answer the market demand with highly skilled disabled workers.”  

However, Kim’s ambition is bigger than this: he is preparing to open a special training center by relocating the head office building to an ideal place before the year 2020. The center is expected to run an all-in-one course that covers all the necessary skills from printing and design to editing trained by each specialist in the field dispatched from Guro District Office. 

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