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Contestants Wanted for WCA Bandsaw Skills Challenge at IWF

Competition will put real-world woodworkers to the test in a virtual reality world.

Nellysford, VA – Woodworkers attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, can compete for prizes and bragging rights by entering the WCA Bandsaw Skills Challenge. The competition will be held all four days of the show, Aug. 22-25, at the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America’s booth #4154.

Through special arrangement with Mimbus, contestants will put their bandsaw skills to the test by operating the Wood-Ed Table, a virtual reality training system. Mimbus Inc. of Chicago, IL, created the Wood-Ed Table as a training tool to teach students and novices how to operate basic woodworking machinery in a safe, dust-free environment. In addition to the bandsaw, the Wood-Ed Table features three other woodworking machinery simulation modules: a ripsaw, jointer, and shaper.

“The Bandsaw Skills Challenge will be a great way to attract woodworkers into our booth and spark conversations about the WCA’s Woodworking Skill Standards and credential Passport program,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “It will be fun to watch contestants operate a virtual reality bandsaw that functions much like the real thing but without the sawdust.”

The WCA Bandsaw Skills Challenge will be held continuously at the WCA’s booth. Participants will don a virtual reality headset and complete a brief bandsaw exercise on the Wood-Ed Table. The Vulcan software that operates the Wood-Ed Table will score each contestant on cutting regularity, hand positioning, time management and more. A leader board will highlight the competition’s high scores.

Workforce Development Seminar
The WCA also will showcase its woodworking skill standards and programs through its participation in IWF’s educational conference.

The WCA will present, “Growing Your Skilled Workforce,” 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 22. The seminar will pair Nelson with Kent Gilchrist, director of operations and design for Purposeful Designs of Indianapolis, IN. The presenters will discuss how to use the WCA Woodworking Skill Standards and training resources to train new hires and develop the skills of current employees. Learn more and register at iwfatlanta.com.

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About the Woodwork Career Alliance
The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America was founded in 2007 as a 501C(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 1,600 Passports, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of achievements as a woodworking professional. 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.