Welcome New Members & Renewed Sponsors!

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is pleased to welcome 17 new EDUcation™ member schools, three new MANufacturing members  and five INDustry™ Sponsors. We also welcome back a baker’s dozen sponsors for a second year.

Thank you for your membership and support!

EDUcation™ Members

Arrowhead High School, Hartland, WI
Belleville High School, Belleville, WI
Bradford High School, Kenosha, WI
Des Moines East High School, Des Moines, IA
Franklin High School, Portland, OR
Havelock High School, New Bern, NC
Indian Trail High School, Kenosha, WI
Jacksboro ISD, Jacksboro, TX
New Bern High School, New Bern, NC
Pisgah High School, Waynesville, NC
Pueblo County High School, Pueblo, CO
Redmond High School, Redmond, OR
Reynolds High School, Troutdale, OR
Smoky Mountain High School, Sylva, NC
Tremper High School, Kenosha, WI
Wolfe County High School, Campton, KY
Yukon Education, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Find a WCA EDUcation™ woodworking program in your area.

MANufacturing™ Members
California Designers Choice Custom Cabinetry, Camarillo, CA
Danlee Wood Products – Forreston, IL
Multi-Housing Depot – Burlington, NJ

New INDustry™ Gold Sponsors
Gemini Coatings
, Reno, OK
Pro-Ply Custom Plywood, Brampton, ON
SCM Group USA
, Duluth, GA
Stiles Machinery, Grand Rapids, MI

New INDustry™ Silver Sponsors
Sorrelli Woodwork Consultants,
Brooklyn, NY
Weima North America, Fort Mill, SC

INDustry™ Gold Sponsor Renewals
Atlantic Plywood, Woburn, MA
Columbia Forest Products, Greensboro, NC
Daniels-Olsen, A Metro Hardwoods Company, Sioux Falls, SD
Intermountain Wood Products, Salt Lake City, UT
M.L. Campbell, Ft. Erie, ON
Milesi Wood Coatings, Charlotte, NC
North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA), Chicago, IL
OHARCO, Lincoln, NE
Rev-A-Shelf, Louisville, KY
Web Don, Charlotte, NC
Wurth Group North America, Ramsey, NJ

INDustry™ Silver Sponsor Renewals
Brookhuis,
Suwanee, GA
Lutz Woodworks, Wylie, TX

View all WCA INDustry™ Sponsors & Supporters

President’s Message: Shifting into High Gear

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season and is recharged to embark on a prosperous 2019. We at the Woodwork Career Alliance are excited about the New Year and the opportunity to continue building on the momentum we experienced in 2018.

Here’s a quick review of some of the WCA’s 2018 highlights.

  • We are proud that 115 schools across the United States and Canada renewed their WCA EDUcation™ membership and are actively entering students into our credential program.
  • WCA added 480 new candidates and issued 167 certificates or credentials in 2018. We entered this year with over 2,100 students, teachers and professional woodworkers enrolled in the credentialing program that we launched in 2013.
  • In the month of November alone, we trained 20 new teachers as Accredited Skill Evaluators (ASE) at three separate trainings in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Colorado. We now have more than 260 ASEs, a number that we will add to through upcoming trainings at Madison College, The MiLL and the AWFS Fair. The full schedule and registration details are included in this edition of Pathways.
  • Last year, WCA introduced the INDustry™ Sponsorship program, giving manufacturers and distributors of woodworking machinery and supplies an opportunity to support WCA’s credentialing programs and industry outreach activities. I am pleased to report that we just successfully concluded our first round of sponsorship renewals. I want to personally welcome back Atlantic Plywood, Columbia Forest Products, Intermountain Wood Products, M.L. Campbell, Milesi Wood Coatings, NBMDA, OHARCO, Rev-A-Shelf, Web Don, and Wurth Group as Gold Sponsors and Brookhuis and Lutz Woodworks as Silver Sponsors. Thanks to all of our sponsors for your continued support!

Looking ahead to the AWFS Fair this July, WCA will have a Learning Center and will introduce our new WCA Cell Manufacturing 4.0. Please plan to stop by Booth 10268.

Much more to come!

Scott Nelson
President
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America
snelsonwca@gmail.com

 

Championing Woodworking Skills & Careers

The co-owner of Rowland Woodworking shares her passion for SkillsUSA and the Woodwork Career Alliance.

Kristine Cox, co-owner of Rowland Woodworking of High Point, NC, is not one to sit on the sidelines. Though helping her husband Jeff run an architectural woodworking company is demanding, she still manages to make time to champion industry causes through her involvement with the Architectural Woodwork Institute and the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. She has served on the board of directors, including stints as president, for both AWI national and the Carolinas Chapter of AWI. After completing her term as president of AWI in 2017, Cox became a board member of the WCA.

Through her participation with AWI and now WCA, Cox remains actively involved with the annual SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition on both the state and national levels. For more than a decade she has helped coordinate the annual North Carolina contest for high school students, the winner of which represents the Tar Heel state in the national SkillsUSA competition. She also chairs the AWI’s SkillsUSA Committee, which along with the WCA, partners with SkillsUSA to organize the national Cabinetmaking Championship held each June in Louisville, KY.

Cox views SkillsUSA and its mission to prepare students for careers in the skilled trades – including woodworking – as a worthy organization to support to address the manufacturing skills gap head-on.

“Supporting our high school woodworking programs and students through SkillsUSA is kind of a way of giving back,” Cox says. “I quickly found out that this is something I have a real passion for. SkillsUSA is a great platform for getting the word out to the kids, parents, teachers and guidance counselors that we have good-paying jobs. We have careers. It might be in the shop running a CNC machine or in the office designing products. It could be in sales for a supplier member or a machine tech or even designing machines. If we don’t tell them about the opportunities in our big, wide industry, who will? The schools are certainly not going to be pushing them to work in our industry on their own.

“I’m not going to say it’s not selfish of me,” Cox continues. “But if one young person goes into our field, then it’s worth it. In fact, I was actually lucky enough to recently hire somebody who had competed in SkillsUSA.”

A Good Problem to Have
The 2018 North Carolina SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition, held at the Greensboro Coliseum, maxed out at 20 high school contestants. Cox and her fellow AWI Carolinas Chapter committee members are scrambling to find ways to accommodate future growth of the competition.

“We’ve already reduced the number of students any school can bring to the state championship,” Cox says. “Now we’re starting to look at ways to have a pre-competition to narrow the field because we don’t have enough space required for each contestant’s individual work area and the bigger equipment they share.”

The Carolinas Chapter donates funds to stage the state’s SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition. The chapter also purchased 20 sets of tools that includes a portable drill, sander, nail gun, etc., used by the contestants. Rowland Woodworking not only stores the tools, the company also made workbenches for the contest and lends four of its table saws and a couple of miter boxes for the competition.

The Carolina Chapter SkillsUSA committee also solicits donations of materials, supplies and equipment from area woodworking industry companies for the contest. She points to a CNC router and a dovetail key router machine loaned respectively by ShopBot Tools and Hoffmann Machinery as examples of machinery that parents, teachers and other spectators don’t usually see. “Having this technology available brings some wow factor to the competition,” she says.

Cox says she enjoys attending the annual SkillsUSA national competition. “I like to watch the kids compete, but I also like to go to nationals because I can see what it takes for a contestant to be successful. Our goal is to give our students every advantage we can by making our state’s projects look and feel like the national contest.”

Cox and Ben Houston, territory manager of Salice, who she describes as “my right-hand man,” collaborate on designing the cabinetry project contestants build under the added stress of time limits. “We’ll meet for lunch and literally draw up an idea on a napkin. Then I’ll try to put into AutoCAD and sometimes learn that it’s too complicated because of the joinery, equipment that is needed, or would take too long to construct.”

Ultimately, Cox says, “We want to make the project challenging enough so that not every kid can finish it. We want to make them demonstrate their soft skills as well as machine and cabinetmaking skills. They have to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving. If they don’t use all of the soft skills that they are learning in the SkillsUSA program, they are going to have real problems.”

Cox’s reconnaissance paid off big dividends at the 2018 SkillsUSA competition. Ravindra Dave of Cary High School of Cary, NC, took the bronze medal. In addition, Hunter Thompson, who won the gold medal at the 2016 SkillsUSA competition while still a student at Cedar Ridge High School of Hillsborough, was one of two SkillsUSA alumni to compete for the honor of representing the United States in the biennial WorldSkills contest this August in Kazan, Russia.

“I was as proud as any parent to see Hunter win a gold medal as a senior in high school,” Cox says. “I’m sad he didn’t make it to WorldSkills, but he did a great job.”

The SkillsUSA-WCA Connection
Cox’s affiliation with SkillsUSA brought her in close contact with the WCA and led her to volunteer for a seat on the WCA Board of Directors. Kent Gilchrist, a member of the AWI SkillsUSA committee, also sits on the WCA Board of Directors. Gilchrist designs the project that challenges the contestant’s skills at the national SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition.

The fact that many of the high schools that participate in North Carolina’s SkillsUSA competition are EDUcation™ members of the WCA further connects Cox to both non-profit groups.

“I think the WCA has a great program,” Cox says. “We are not a WCA MANufacturer member yet, but I do intend to change that. Between our workload and not having someone in the shop to make it happen, I really haven’t been able to do anything. But I want to bring the WCA credentialing program into our shop. In the meantime, I try to make sure that our WCA schools have what they need.”

As a recent show of her support for the WCA, Cox partnered with Dan Kern, an instructor at East and West Montgomery High Schools, to develop programming for teachers of woodworking and construction programs attending North Carolina’s 2018 Career and Technical Education Summer Conference. Kern also happens to be an accredited chief evaluator of the WCA.

“Dan took over the CTE conference planning last year,” Cox says. “The two of us sat down and brainstormed ideas of what would be beneficial for the teachers in terms of training and information.”

One of the outcomes of the brainstorming session was assembling a tour of several area wood industry facilities including Columbia Panel, Hafele America and Herzog Veneers, plus the Bienenstock Furniture Library. Another major component of the last summer’s CTE program for woodworking teachers was hands-on training at Rowland Woodworking conducted by Kern. The training was designed to help participating teachers sharpen their woodworking skills.

Cox says its likely that Kern and her will build on the success of last year’s program this summer. “We had some high school carpentry teachers participate in the tour last year. We’ve talked about the possibility of offering some woodworking training at our shop to them as well because there is some crossover,” Cox adds.

“It wasn’t too awfully inconvenient to offer space for the instructor training at our shop,” Cox says. “But even if it was inconvenient, it wouldn’t matter, because the WCA is a good program to improve our industry. As long as they want to come here, they have a place.”

WCA Schedules Accredited Skill Evaluator Training Events

Register now to reserve a seat.

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is organizing several Accredited Skill Evaluator Training events over the next few months, including sessions during the AWFS Fair this summer in Las Vegas. Other sessions are planned for Madison, WI; and Colorado Springs, CO.

The course fee covers the half-day training session and materials plus a one-year membership as a WCA EDUcation™. EDUcation members also gain access to the WCA’s online archive of training videos and other valuable materials that they can use to develop or enhance their woodworking training programs.

ASE’s are a vital link of the WCA’s credentialing program. In most school woodworking programs, the ASE is also the instructor. An ASE is responsible for observing a person’s ability to perform a woodworking operation at a high enough caliber to earn tool points to fortify their woodworking credentials.

“The purpose of the training is for them to learn how to evaluate woodworkers using the WCA Skill Standards,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “They learn to test if a student’s or professional woodworker’s performance measures up to accepted industry standards in terms of set up, safety, part quality, etc.”

To date, more than 260 woodworking instructors and professionals have been certified as accredited skill evaluators by the WCA.

Upcoming ASE Training Sessions
February 8: The MiLL National Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
WCA ASE training is offered as an optional upgrade on the third day of the three-day MiLL Academy event. The MiLL Academy is designed for CTE industrial arts teachers and their administrators who want to bring professional, industry-oriented programs to their classrooms. For more information and to register visit https://themillco.org/academy.

February 15: Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI
This session was scheduled following a sold-out WCA ASE training event held at Madison College last November. The session is limited to 16 seats. For more information and to register, contact Patrick Molzahn, director of the Madison College Cabinetmaking and Millwork program at pmolzahn@madisoncollege.edu or call 608-246-6842.

April 26: The MiLL National Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
WCA ASE training is offered as an optional upgrade on the third day of the three-day MiLL Academy event. For more information and to register visit https://themillco.org/academy.

July 17-20: AWFS Fair, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
The WCA will host seven ASE training sessions in its exhibit booth during the AWFS Fair. Morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled for July 17-19. A morning session will also be offered on July 20. Each session is limited to four seats. For more information and to register, contact Scott Nelson, WCA president, at snelsonwca@gmail.com or call 402-610-6043.

To find out how to schedule a WCA ASE Training event at your school or business, contact Scott Nelson at snelsonwca@gmail.com or call 402-610-6043.

Learn more about the WCA and its credentialing program at www.woodworkcareer.org.

About the Woodwork Career Alliance
The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America was founded in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The WCA’s mission is to develop and administer a unified set of Skill Standards for the wood products industry. Since 2011, WCA has developed observable and measurable performance standards and assessments for more than 240 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued more than 2,000 credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. More than 100 high schools and post-secondary schools throughout North America are WCA EDUcation™ members. To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.

Center for Furniture Craftsmanship Offers ‘Teaching the Teachers’ Scholarships

 

The Rockport, ME, institution issues invites woodworking instructors to apply for free training courses. 

In 2018, the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship launched a successful pilot program for a new scholarship initiative called Teaching the Teachers. Recipients are educational institutions and non-profit organizations in the U.S. and abroad that provide woodworking instruction to economically disadvantaged communities. We invite partner institutions to nominate individuals from their own teaching staffs whose continuing education at the Center is most likely to benefit their own programs. Our intent is to leverage the excellent education in woodworking and design that we deliver on our Rockport, ME, campus for greater social impact.

For 2019, funding for Teaching the Teachers is doubling, thanks to support from the Mattina R. Proctor Foundation, the Horowitz Family Scholarship Fund, and the Betterment Fund. We will offer eight one-week scholarships and seek new Institutional Partners.

What the Scholarship Covers
Scholarship awardees receive fully funded participation in regularly scheduled courses at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. These can range in length from one-week and two-week Workshops to an eight-week Turning Intensive or a 12-week Furniture Intensive, as best meets the needs of the partner institutions and fits their candidates’ availability. The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship pays all necessary expenses above and beyond any that are already provided for under a partner institution’s professional development policies (with the sole exception that the partner institution pays a nonrefundable registration fee of $80 for an awarded Workshop and $500 for an awarded Intensive). Covered expenses include tuition, materials, travel, and lodging, at a minimum. In some cases, per diems are offered for costs such as meals and lost income.

How to Become an Institutional Partner
In order to nominate instructors for Teaching the Teachers scholarships, schools and non-profits apply to become Institutional Partners. We welcome inquiries from community colleges, trade schools, Title 1 secondary schools with Career and Technical Education programs, and non-profit and governmental social-service organizations. Current Institutional Partners are Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor, ME; Greater West Town Community Development Project, Chicago, IL; Kids Making It, Wilmington, NC; Machias Memorial High School, Machias, ME; and Messalonskee High School. Oakland, ME. To inquire, please contact Ellen Dyer as directed below. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

How to Become an Institutional Affiliate
Institutional Affiliates of Teaching the Teachers are advocacy organizations that promote woodworking education for vocational training and economic development. Current affiliates are the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society, Northern Forest Center, and Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. We welcome new affiliations with organizations positioned to endorse Teaching the Teachers and connect us to new Institutional Partners.

For more information, contact Ellen Dyer, Development Director, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, 25 Mill St.,  Rockport, ME  04856; 207-594-5611; ellen@woodschool.org.

Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute Branches Out

This WCA EDUcation™ member is expanding its woodshop to accommodate more equipment and programs.

The Sam Beauford Woodwork Institute of Adrian, MI, truly offers something for everybody from organizing woodshop camps for the local Boys and Girls Club through training adults for woodworking careers.

Founded five years ago to provide hands-on instruction to woodworking hobbyists and serious amateurs, the SBWI is already embarking on its second expansion that will nearly double the size of its operation. In recent years, hand tools and classic woodworking machines – staples of any woodshop – have been augmented by a pair of CNC routers. As the shop has evolved, new programs have been created, including Woodworking Technology Courses designed around the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America’s skill standards and Passport program.

SBWI is the brainchild of Luke Barnett, an accomplished woodworker who built a business and reputation making American Windsor chairs. Now, he’s winding down that enterprise to devote his full attention to teaching and directing SBWI, named in the memory to his dearly departed shop dog, Sampson.

“We started the Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute in a four-car garage,” Barnett says. “The start-up funding came from my Windsor chair money. The first class’ project was making a six-board chest out of poplar using only hand tools from my chair making business. We didn’t even have a bathroom or heat.

“Fortunately, we had enough interest and the program started to take hold. We bought better tools and moved into a bigger and better space,” Barnett adds. “We’re now a 501(c)3 non-profit with a 12-member board of directors. Rather than using my Windsor chair money to fund the school, I actually draw a salary.”

‘Kind of Blown Away’
A few years ago, the stars aligned to bring SBWI and WCA together. As Barnett explains, “Throughout the whole process of attending seminars and networking, I met a lot of people and was kind of blown away by how desperate the woodworking industry is to find people to get into it.”

Barnett saw the industry’s skills gap challenge as an opportunity for SBWI. He met with representatives of Lenawee Intermediate School District to discuss expanding its Linked Lenawee, a state-funded, free adult education and training program, to include woodworking. Barnett then researched woodworking credentialing programs and discovered the WCA. Intrigued, he placed several phone calls, including one to Jim Wellever, chief instructor of the Michigan Career Technical Institute and a long-time WCA EDUcation member. Soon after, Barnett joined the WCA and set about developing the SBWI’s workforce development program around the WCA’s skill standards and credentialing system.

“Jim Wellever has been a big help in getting our adult skills education started and our curriculum in order,” Barnett says. “He’s not only been huge in giving us advice, he’s even donated some equipment to us.”

SBWI’s Wood Systems Technology program has two levels, each consisting of twice-weekly, four-hour classes over a 12-week semester.

Level One is “output oriented.” On the first day of class, students are issued a WCA Passport. It is their personal, permanent record of their woodworking achievements that is maintained and updated in WCA’s online database. They learn safe operation of various machines and tools that are already setup to produce wood parts to specification. They are also evaluated on WCA skill standards related to what they have learned to earn tool points that are recorded in their Passports. At the conclusion of Level One, students are tested to earn their WCA Sawblade Certificate.

Level Two is “set-up oriented.” Students perform machine setups and tool preparation, plus select and use jigs, fixtures and appropriate materials as required by the plans and specs they are given. They also learn how to use the Vectric VCarve software and operate the shop’s CAMaster Stinger and 4×8 ShopBot PRS Alpha CNC routers. They complete the course adding dozens of tool points to their Passport.

Putting Students to Work
Each of SBWI’s adult certification classes is limited to eight students. Most of them are novices. They come from all walks of life. Many have never held a full-time job and are looking to get their lives in order, some are recent high school graduates and others are looking to make a career change.

“These are people who want to go into the woodworking industry,” Barnett says. “We vet our students. If they don’t want to become a professional woodworker, then we don’t want them in our class.”

Tuition is $2,000 per semester. About half of the students pay out of their own pockets; the other half receive some form of financial assistance, including through Linked Lewanee, Barnett says.

As would be expected, there is no shortage of area woodworking companies interested in hiring SBWI’s graduates. Barnett says rarely does a week go by that he doesn’t receive a phone call from a prospective employer. “A lot of times, I wind up interviewing them. I want to make sure they understand that we’re trying to show our students that woodworking can be a long-lasting and lucrative career.”

“The student’s Passport documenting his ability to use a table saw and other equipment is like his job resume,” Barnett says. “Our students may not be trained on a specific operation or machine that a company needs, but they have an excellent base to learn. They are not entry-level employees. They have value and deserve to be paid what they are worth. Basically, I tell my students not to accept a job for less than $15 an hour. If the woodworking industry doesn’t want to fork out money for their employees, then kids aren’t going to want to be woodworkers. I think $15 is a fair wage for someone with this amount of training who is just starting out. Most of the companies I speak to don’t have a problem with that.”

Five-Year Goals
Barnett is excited about the future growth prospects of SBWI. Looking ahead five years or so from now, Barnett says he would like to add more sophisticated CNC equipment and software. “I think certifying 100 students a year would be a good goal for our program,” Barnett says. “Of course, we would have to hire more teachers to do that.”

“I really need to get out of chairmaking so that I can focus all of my time on growing our program,” Barnett says. “I still have orders that I owe to customers. But the honest truth is I’m sick of making chairs. I’d rather teach and watch people succeed. The best reward for me is when a student starts making money in the wood industry.”

SBWI’s Wood Systems Technology program has two levels, each consisting of twice-weekly, four-hour classes over a 12-week semester.

Level One is “output oriented.” On the first day of class, students are issued a WCA Passport. It is their personal, permanent record of their woodworking achievements that is maintained and updated in WCA’s online database. They learn safe operation of various machines and tools that are already setup to produce wood parts to specification. They are also evaluated on WCA skill standards related to what they have learned to earn tool points that are recorded in their Passports. At the conclusion of Level One, students are tested to earn their WCA Sawblade Certificate.

Level Two is “set-up oriented.” Students perform machine setups and tool preparation, plus select and use jigs, fixtures and appropriate materials as required by the plans and specs they are given. They also learn how to use the Vectric VCarve software and operate the shop’s CAMaster Stinger and 4×8 ShopBot PRS Alpha CNC routers. They complete the course adding dozens of tool points to their Passport.

Putting Students to Work
Each of SBWI’s adult certification classes is limited to eight students. Most of them are novices. They come from all walks of life. Many have never held a full-time job and are looking to get their lives in order, some are recent high school graduates and others are looking to make a career change.

“These are people who want to go into the woodworking industry,” Barnett says. “We vet our students. If they don’t want to become a professional woodworker, then we don’t want them in our class.”

Tuition is $2,000 per semester. About half of the students pay out of their own pockets; the other half receive some form of financial assistance, including through Linked Lewanee, Barnett says.

As would be expected, there is no shortage of area woodworking companies interested in hiring SBWI’s graduates. Barnett says rarely does a week go by that he doesn’t receive a phone call from a prospective employer. “A lot of times, I wind up interviewing them. I want to make sure they understand that we’re trying to show our students that woodworking can be a long-lasting and lucrative career.”

“The student’s Passport documenting his ability to use a table saw and other equipment is like his job resume,” Barnett says. “Our students may not be trained on a specific operation or machine that a company needs, but they have an excellent base to learn. They are not entry-level employees. They have value and deserve to be paid what they are worth. Basically, I tell my students not to accept a job for less than $15 an hour. If the woodworking industry doesn’t want to fork out money for their employees, then kids aren’t going to want to be woodworkers. I think $15 is a fair wage for someone with this amount of training who is just starting out. Most of the companies I speak to don’t have a problem with that.”

Five-Year Goals
Barnett is excited about the future growth prospects of SBWI. Looking ahead five years or so from now, Barnett says he would like to add more sophisticated CNC equipment and software. “I think certifying 100 students a year would be a good goal for our program,” Barnett says. “Of course, we would have to hire more teachers to do that.”

“I really need to get out of chairmaking so that I can focus all of my time on growing our program,” Barnett says. “I still have orders that I owe to customers. But the honest truth is I’m sick of making chairs. I’d rather teach and watch people succeed. The best reward for me is when a student starts making money in the wood industry.”

WCA EDUcation Donations: Worth the Price of Subscription

Free and highly-discounted products more than cover the annual fee for high school and postsecondary woodshops to belong to the Woodwork Career Alliance.


Nellysford, VA –
There are many good reasons for high school and postsecondary woodworking programs to become EDUcation™ members of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America.

Most importantly, being affiliated with the WCA’s industry-recognized credentialing program adds credibility to the school’s woodshop curriculum as aspiring to professional standards. In addition, instructors gain access to a treasure trove of training tools including the WCA Woodworking Skill Standards, how-to videos, past SkillsUSA project plans and other online resources. EDU-member instructors also can apply for financial support and scholarships to benefit their students and personal development.

In case those benefits are not compelling enough to justify the modest annual $250 investment for WCA EDUcation membership, then consider the value of the WCA Essentials™ Benefits Package. It more than outweighs the cost to join.

“The Essentials Benefits Package offers useful resources for any woodworking program,” said Patrick Molzahn, treasurer of the WCA and director of the cabinetmaking and millwork program at Madison Area Technical College of Madison, WI. “From consumables such as screws, glue, and veneer, to access to exclusive online information from Taunton Press and training from Stiles Machinery, the package easily offers more value than the cost of the annual membership.”

Tom Hillstead and Mark Smith are just two instructors of WCA EDUcation schools who appreciate receiving the free and discounted products to benefit their programs.

“Being on a tight budget, every little bit helps,” said Hillstead, cabinetmaking instructor at St. Paul College of St. Paul, MN. “We always receive products that we can use in our shop. The donation packages are a great benefit to our program and more than worth the annual WCA membership cost.”

“The support our program receives from industry suppliers through the WCA has been invaluable,” said Smith, industrial technology teacher at Reed-Cutler High School of Braidwood, IL. “We put to use everything that is supplied to enhance the curriculum we are delivering. Though the Reed-Custer school district has been very supportive, my program always needs items that are beyond what the budget can support. The support my program has received over the years from industry has made all the difference.”

The Essentials Benefit Package being offered to WCA EDUcation members for the 2018-19 school year includes:

WCA Gold Sponsor Bessey Tools North America of Cambridge, ON – 40% discount on all clamps and other products;

CabWriter of Easthampton, MA – 40% discount on CabWriter Cabinet Design Software;

Franklin International of Columbus, OH – two gallons of Titebond wood glue;

Quickscrews of Livermore, CA – $50 credit toward the purchase of wood screws and fasteners;

Rockler Woodworking & Hardware of Medina, MN – assorted Rockler products;

Stiles University of Grand Rapids, MI – one tuition-free registration annually to WCA EDUcation member instructors;

Taunton Press of Newtown, CT – complimentary digital memberships to FineHomebuilding.com  and FineWoodworking.com; and

Veneer Technologies of Newport, NC – 150 square feet of decorative hardwood veneer.

To learn more about becoming a WCA EDUcation member visit woodworkcareer.org.

For more information about becoming a WCA Essentials Benefit Package donor, contact Scott Nelson, WCA president, at 402-610-6043 or snelsonwca@gmail.com.

###

About the Woodwork Career Alliance
The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America was founded in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The WCA’s mission is to develop and administer a unified set of Skill Standards for the wood products industry. Since 2011, WCA has developed observable and measurable performance standards and assessments for more than 240 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued over 1,800 credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. More than 100 high schools and post-secondary schools throughout North America are WCA EDUcation™ members. To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.

 

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Awards Top Teachers

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools awarded more than $1 million in cash and prizes to the teachers of 52 U.S. public high school skilled trade programs.

Three first-place prizes of $100,000 were awarded with $70,000 going to the public high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program. In addition, 15 second-place winners each received $50,000 with $35,000 going to the program and $15,000 to the teacher/team. Wes Crawford and Josh Gary, instructors of the Woods Manufacturing, Welding, and Agriscience program at Sutherlin High School in OR were among the second place winners.

Of the 34 semi-finalists, two were woodworking instructors, including Seth Thomas, Wood and Metalworking at Cedarcrest High School in WA and Molly Turner, Wood Manufacturing Technologies at
Ignacio High School in CO.

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, a program of the Smidt Foundation, is dedicated to the advancement of skilled trades education in America. The Teaching Excellence Prize was created to foster and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education in public high schools.

This was the second annual Teaching Excellence Prize. Nominations for the 2019 program will open next spring.

Learn more about the HTFS Teaching Excellence Prize.

Wisconsin Overtakes California for Most WCA Evaluators

Wisconsin now has more Woodwork Career Alliance Accredited Skill Evaluators than any other state. Twelve more educators recently completed their WCA ASE training training at Madison College. These teachers are certified to evaluate and award WCA credentials to their students.

In the process, Wisconsin passed California, which now has the second most WCA ASEs in the country.

Spurred by funding from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, state high school woodworking programs can receive up to $1,000 per student for each credential awarded.

Eight high schools were represented at the Nov. 2 ASE training workshop at Madison College including Arrowhead, Deforest, Green Bay East, West, Southwest and West, Oostburg, and Wauwatosa. In addition, Mark Hawkins from Hands On Deck attended. His school, a non-profit based in in Green Bay, uses boatbuilding to teach and inspire at risk youth.

The training was led by Patrick Molzahn, Madison College instructor and WCA Chief Skill Evaluator. Due to high demand, a second training session has been scheduled at the college for February 15.  Anyone interested in attending can sign up by contacting Molzahn at pmolzahn@madisoncollege.edu or 608-246-6842.

President’s Message: IWF Was Busy Good for the WCA

The International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta proved not only to be a very well-attended show, but a very productive one for the Woodwork Career Alliance.

Through the IWF Silent Auction and an optional $5 support registration check-off, WCA raised about $8,500 to support the mission of developing a trained workforce. I would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to IWF management for designating WCA to receive the proceeds from these two fundraising activities.

The show also produced a constant flow of woodworkers to our booth, including many who requested information about our MANufacturing™ credentials, skill standards and other programs. Hopefully this interest will spawn new MANufacturing members eager to get their own in-house training and Passport programs up and running.

This is also a very busy time for all of our EDUcation™ members. Schools are currently in the renewal process and requesting their annual benefit package. By the next edition of Pathways, I will be able to report on the success of our renewal process.

Upcoming Accredited Skill Evaluator Training Sessions
On November 2, WCA conduct Accredited Skill Evaluator Training at Madison College in Madison, WI. Because this session is sold out, we are looking into scheduling another ASE training event at Madison College in February.

On November 9, WCA will conduct another Accredited Skill Evaluator Training at the Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab (MiLL) in conjunction with the MiLL Academy curriculum training in Colorado Springs, CO. The $250 fee for the optional third day of training allows teachers to receive the WCA ASE training without additional travel time and cost. The additional fee also covers their school’s WCA EDUcation membership the 2018-19 school year. Five high school teachers are currently registered for the training.

Thank You Sponsors!
I am pleased to report that the WCA’s new INDustry™ Sponsorship program has so far enlisted the support of 21 Gold Sponsors and eight Silver Sponsors. The logos of all of our Gold Sponsors are included in each edition of Pathways. Our new sponsors include:

Gold – Roseburg Forest Products, Sherwin-Williams and Weinig Holz-Her USA
Silver – Eagle Mouldings, IMA-Schelling and Kerfkore.

Thank you one and all!

Scott Nelson
President
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America
snelsonwca@gmail.com