The Woodwork Career Alliance will have a large presence at the 2017 AWFS Fair in Las Vegas as we continue celebrating our 10th anniversary.  Not only will we be exhibiting at the show, we will offer seven Accredited Skill Evaluator Training sessions and participate in three of the AWFS Fair’s College of Woodworking Knowledge workshops.

In addition, the WCA EDUcation Committee has budgeted funds to help send up to 10 teachers to the AWFS Fair. EDU member teachers can apply for $750 in travel assistance. Details and the application can be found at  

Accredited Skill Evaluator Training Schedule
Accredited Skill Evaluators are a vital link of the WCA’s Woodworking Skill Standards and Passport credential program. They are responsible for assessing and awarding skill stamps to woodworkers who hold Passports. The WCA Passport is a portable and permanent record of the individual’s skill achievements. To date, we have developed observable and measurable performance standards and assessments for more than 240 woodworking machine operations,

Evaluator training sessions will be held on all four days of the show at the WCA’s booth #9846. Each three-hour session will be limited to four seats. Current WCA EDUcation and INDustry members are invited to participate in one of the training sessions for free.  Not a member?  You can register for the training and membership for the discounted price of $100/seat. The remaining $150/seat is being sponsored by AWFS & WCA equally.  The training sessions will be held as follows:

Wednesday, July 19:        9:00am to 12:00pm / 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Thursday, July 20:              9:00am to 12:00pm / 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Friday, July 21:                    9:00am to 12:00pm / 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Saturday, July 22:              9:00am to 12:00pm

To reserve your seat for the evaluator training, contact me at

WCA Workshop Presentations

The WCA will be well represented in the AWFS Fair College of Woodworking Knowledge education program. Each of the three programs presented by WCA members will focus on workforce development, an issue of grave importance to the majority of woodworking companies.

Workforce Crisis – Job One

9:30am to 11:00am Wednesday, July 19
Presented by Kent Gilchrist

Join us to learn WHY we have a shortage of skilled labor that others may not, WHERE we can find the talent that we need, and HOW we can educate, train and retain our existing and future workforce.  As technology advances and baby boomers retire, these changes will have an effect on your workforce! The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) of North America is developing a collaborative coalition of industry associations and manufacturing members to address this problem. What can you do to help? We will work “live” to pose solutions to some of the problems, align strategies, and develop tactics for you to initiate immediately.  Join us and become part of the solution!

Create Your Own In-House Training Program with WCA Skill Standards & Passport Program
1:30pm to 3:00pm Wednesday, July 19

Presented by Scott Nelson, President, WCA

The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) Skill Standards are an industry-based system to determine and recognize employees’ machine and tool skills. Learn how you can create an in-house training program using the WCA Skill Standards and Passport program to credential employees.  Customize your training program depending on the products you produce and the processes you use in the manufacturing of these products.  Discover the resources available from WCA to train your employees on the soft skills required in the secondary wood manufacturing industry.  Develop a training program to evaluate and reward the skill levels of your new and existing employees.

Tools for Teaching and Evaluating the WCA Standards

11:30am to 1:30pm Friday, July 21
 Presented by Patrick Molzahn & Bert Christiansen

I’ve completed my WCA evaluator training – now what do I do? Whether you are in education or industry, this session will provide useful ideas that you can use to implement the Woodwork Career Alliance credentialing system in your school or business. The WCA has assembled a library of videos, training resources, and educational materials to make your job easier. Join two veteran teachers who have used the WCA Skill Standards to shape their curriculums, and find out how they manage the training and credentialing process.  Not a trained WCA Evaluator? Don’t let that stop you from attending. This session will show you how you can improve your training program and access resources to accomplish your goals faster and better.

I hope you will attend one or more of these informative sessions that can help you begin or improve your company’s workforce development program.You can learn more about AWFS education programs and register at

I hope to see everyone at our Booth 9846 at AWFS 2017!