Hocking College Cabinetmaking and Architectural Millwork Program to Debut this Fall

By Tracey A. Maine

Hocking College of Hocking, OH, has tabbed Chris Hedges to serve as program manager of the Cabinetmaking and Architectural Millwork program scheduled to launch this fall. The program is an EDUcation member of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. Hedges recently completed training to become a WCA accredited skill evaluator.

Originally from Circleville, OH, Hedges grew up in a home that showcased an assortment of antiques — all of which were hand-crafted by his ancestors. 

Chris Hedges, program manager of Hocking College’s new Cabinetmaking and Architectural Millwork program.

After high school, Hedges went on to earn both a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in sociology from Ohio University. During his second year as a graduate student, Hedges got an opportunity to teach at OU’s Zanesville campus and remained there for four years. 

Shortly before his daughter Aedan was born, Hedges was inspired to create a keepsake piece of furniture for her to pass down to her children and grandchildren one day. The result was a Craftsman-style dresser that ignited his passion for woodworking.  

The experience motivated Hedges to enroll in the University of Rio Grande’s Fine Woodworking program. There, he refined his talent for using both traditional and contemporary woodworking techniques. His efforts led him to win multiple awards at the 2007 Fresh Wood Student Design Competition at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas.

In 2008, Hedges relocated to Knoxville, TN. There, he set up a cabinet and furniture making shop in the basement of his home. It eventually evolved into a fully operational furniture studio.

In 2014 he returned to Athens, OH. Since then, he’s been a contributing writer for Woodcraft Magazine and opened Aedan Works in Nelsonville, OH. Aedan Works is an independently run furniture store that specializes in bench-crafted, custom design cabinets and furniture.

Although this will be his first experience being a program manager, Hedges has been teaching woodworking classes in one form or another for the past decade.

“Attention to detail, creativity, a willingness to learn and the ability to self-determine” are the qualities Hedges says will allow students to be successful in his classes. He added that prospective students would work with a range of industry-standard machinery like table saws, shapers and moulders, and learn how to work with traditional hand tools such as saws and hand planes.

Students can either earn industry-recognized certificates through a leisure learning pathway or work toward a two-year degree with the possibility of earning a third-year internship/artist-in-residency position.

Overall, Hedges hopes his program will “establish Hocking College as a nationally recognized educational program with a mission that focuses on training both the mind and the hand.”

According to Hocking College’s Dean of Community Outreach and Workforce Development, Sean Terrell, classes for the Cabinetmaking and Architectural Millwork program are scheduled to begin in Autumn 2021. Terrell said that students can begin enrolling in the program once it receives HLC approval. He noted that this process could be completed as early as February 2021.

For more information on Hocking College’s Cabinetmaking and Architectural Millwork program, contact Program Manager Chris Hedges at hedgesc38563@hocking.edu.

 

WIRC Campaign Videos for Teens and Young Woodworking Pros

The launch of the Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC) “You Would” campaign includes a pair of videos aimed at promoting woodworking career pathways — one to teens and the other to young professionals.

The WIRC’s industry-wide career awareness campaign is led by AWFS, WMIA and WMMA. WIRC’s goal is to showcase the variety of career opportunities available in today’s woodworking industry to attract new talent.

The video above is geared toward adults in their heir mid-20s to late 30s who are seeking a career change, including military veterans. The video below was created with high school students in mind.

Learn more about the WIRC.

Wood Industry Career Awareness Campaign Now Live

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC) is excited to announce the launch of its industry-wide career awareness campaign, “You Wood.” Developed by several industry trade associations led by AWFS, WMIA, and WMMA, in partnership with Nashville-based INDUSTRIAL Strength Marketing, the WIRC campaign aims to communicate wood industry career pathways and attract new talent.

The “You Wood” campaign features a website with career resource information, including profiles of high-demand positions, career quizzes, links to educational resources like schools and scholarships, industry information, and an events calendar. The site will be continually updated, and features will be added, including industry pro spotlights, additional career pathway information, and custom video content.

“This campaign is the culmination of over three years of communication, research, and hard work,” says WMMA Chief Executive Officer Fred Stringfellow. “Companies in the industry are still struggling to find skilled workers as they grow to meet demand. We are excited to launch this campaign as a way to increase awareness; and to expand the pool of candidates for our future workforce.”

The campaign is geared towards two audiences: high school students and those in their mid-20s to late 30s who are seeking a career change, including military veterans. WIRC conducted a survey of these audiences in early 2020 and found that over 70% of all respondents had no awareness of wood industry careers; however, 23% would consider a career in the wood industry.

“We realize how critical it is to increase awareness of our industry and the career opportunities which exist for both students and those seeking a career change where they can utilize skills they’ve already developed in the workplace,” says WMIA President and CEO Larry Hoffer. “It is our objective that the You Wood website will serve as a portal for those unfamiliar with the wood industry to learn more and begin exploration of their wood industry-related career journey.”

Officially founded in 2018, the charter members of WIRC agreed to the following goals and identified those influencers who can effectively drive interest in the wood industry as a career path (e.g., parents, teachers, social media, and financial resources). WIRC’s goals include:

  • Attract Employees: Increase student and career-seeker awareness of wood industry careers; increase parent awareness of wood industry careers; increase student engagement; and increase High School counselor awareness of wood industry careers.
  • Retain Employees: Increase association memberships; improve association member engagement and satisfaction; and improve work culture at member companies.
  • Improve the Perception of the Industry: Develop and communicate stories about the industry; increase positive media coverage; increase engagement with legislative and educator communities; and involve more associations in WIRC initiatives.

“We hope that members of the wood industry will embrace this website and use it as their own,” says Adria Salvatore, AWFS Assistant Executive Director, Education. “This site is a step towards a sustainable skilled talent pipeline for our industry. We look forward to continuing the work and expanding opportunities and resources for employers and job seekers.”

Find the WIRC You Wood website here: ouwood.com

The campaign media will drive to these targeted landing pages based on audience:

 

Follow the WIRC campaign on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Wood-Industry-Careers-102616575144662

Instagram: www.instagram.com/woodindustrycareers

LinkedIn: hwww.linkedin.com/company/woodindustrycareers

If a trade association would like to participate in the group, they are represented by its executive-level staff. Among the benefits of membership in the collaborative group: inclusion in the ongoing conversation about industry-wide topics, such as workforce development, and access to resources and information developed or shared by the group. For more information about WIRC and how to get involved, contact Larry Hoffer at lhoffer@wmia.org.

# # #

About the Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC)
The collaborative group is a consortium of trade associations, all related to the woodworking or the wood products manufacturing industry. The group’s purpose is to provide a collection of tools and solutions for the wood industry to attract and retain employees, while improving the perception of the industry. This group exists to connect industry associations with one another and support and strengthen the woodworking industry and their associations’ members by sharing information and resources.

Conversations that led to the founding of WIRC began in November 2017 with 10 industry associations, many of which are still WIRC members. The main objective of the early meetings of the group was to develop a unified solution to the challenges related to future workforce.

Current WIRC member associations include: AWFS® (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers); AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute); AWIEF (Architectural Woodwork Institute Educational Foundation); CPA (Composite Panel Association), International Woodworking Fair (IWF); NBMDA (North American Building Material Distribution Assn.); NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association); WCMA (Wood Component Manufacturers Association); WMA (World Millwork Alliance); WMIA (Woodworking Machinery Industry Association); and WMMA (Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America).

WCA Awards Woodworking Industry’s First Gold Credential

Richard Memory, left, and Chuck Buck pose with Memory’s Gold credential project.

Employee of Jefferson Millwork & Design grows his skills and career through a training program structured around the Woodwork Career Alliance’s skill standards.

NELLYSFORD, VA – Richard Memory has made woodworking history — again.

The trail-blazing employee of Jefferson Millwork & Design recently became the first professional woodworker awarded the Gold credential by the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA). In fall 2019, Memory was the first woodworking pro to earn the WCA’s Red credential.

Greg Heuer, secretary of the WCA, presented Memory his Gold credential certificate, pin and patch during a ceremony held on Jefferson Millwork’s shop floor attended by company managers and fellow employees. “Until 2007, woodworkers like everyone here had no nationally recognized path to demonstrate their progress and achievements,” Heuer said. “The WCA gives all of you that path. We celebrate this day by presenting the world’s first WCA Industry Gold credential to this gentleman.”

Richard Memory’s Gold project features a herring bone top made with scraps from Jefferson Millwork’s shop.

In addition to the Gold credential award recognition, Memory received a bonus check and a pay raise tied to Jefferson Millwork’s training program.

Memory’s quest for the WCA Gold credential was three years in the making. It began in 2017 when Jefferson Millwork signed up as a WCA MANufacturing member and implemented the WCA’s credentialing Passport system as the backbone for training apprentice woodworkers. Memory was one of the company’s first hires to participate in the program. To achieve the WCA’s Gold credential, Memory had to meet the following criteria:

  • Three years and at least 4,800 hours of professional woodworking experience.
  • 180 total tool points attained through a series of evaluations and testing for a variety of woodworking machinery. Among the new or heightened skills documented in Memory’s online registry maintained by the WCA, are spray finishing, and beam saw and edgebander operation.
  • Completion of a Gold Credential project. Memory successfully designed and created an occasional table made with oak and walnut veneered MDF and solid oak and walnut. The tabletop was constructed using 3/4-inch solid walnut arranged in a herring-bone pattern.

“I asked him to make something that he would be proud to have in his home,” said Chuck Buck, shop foreman of Jefferson Millwork and an accredited skill evaluator of the WCA. “He painstakingly made the herring bone top out of scrap materials from the shop. He did a tremendous job. I’m especially proud of the problem-solving skills he displayed, not only showing an understanding of what works but of what works best.”

Michael Corrigan, vice president and general manager of Jeffrerson Millwork, left, presents Memory with a bonus check for earning the WCA’s Gold credential.

Buck is in this eighth year with Jefferson Millwork of Sterling, Va. The company is a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Quality Certification Program. He said the WCA’s credentialing system provides a solid foundation for the 20-man shop’s training program. “It forces a higher level of training that goes beyond teaching employees on-a-need-to-know basis that is typical of what I’ve seen in my career. Too often I’ve found that an employee only gets trained to do something when you find that he doesn’t know how to do it. Because the day-to-day mindset is getting the product out, time isn’t devoted to teaching what’s necessary for that employee to fully develop his skill sets and make decisions on his own.

“Our training program makes us make time for that interaction,” Buck added. “It makes me feel good to be able to pass along the information I have gained in my career and to see Richard become a better, more-rounded woodworker.”

Memory, who had no previous woodworking experience before joining Jefferson Millwork, said he is humbled by his latest achievement.

“I never expected to be the first one to earn the Gold credential,” Memory said. “It’s very exciting. The WCA’s credentialing program helped me master tools and develop confidence to take on creative projects that I never thought I would be able to do before both here at work and at home.”

Having successfully fulfilled the requirements for WCA’s Green, Blue, Red and Gold credentials, Memory said he has his sights firmly set on Diamond, the pinnacle of the WCA’s five-tiered credentialing program.

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 300 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued more than 3,000 credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. More than 140 high schools and post-secondary schools throughout North America are WCA EDUcation™ members and a growing number of woodworking companies have joined the WCA as MANufacturing™ members. To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.

Second Chance IWF Connect Virtual Auction Benefits the Woodwork Career Alliance 

Net proceeds from the virtual auction featuring 130-plus bid items will support the WCA’s ongoing efforts to help develop and grow a skilled woodworking workforce in the United States and Canada.

 

Jeremy Bulloch signed Star Wars Boba Fett mask is among items available in the WCA fundraising auction.

NELLYSFORD, Va. – The IWF Connect virtual auction supporting the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America has been extended through 9 p.m. EST Saturday, Nov. 7.

The virtual auction includes more than 130 items, including autographed sports items, framed artwork, jewelry and exclusive destination get-a-way packages. Net proceeds of the fundraiser will benefit the WCA’s ongoing efforts to develop and grow a skilled woodworking workforce.

The not-for-profit WCA’s woodworking skill standards and credentialing Passport system are used by high school and postsecondary woodworking programs throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, a growing number of woodworking companies are joining the WCA to craft their training programs around the WCA’s workforce development tools.

IWF Connect finished its five-day run on Oct. 26. The extended virtual auction is being orchestrated by Expo Auctions of Sugar Hill, GA. It will include:

  • Jimmy Buffett signed guitar.
  • Jeremy Bulloch signed Star Wars Boba Fett Disney collector’s edition mask.
  • 7mm white freshwater pearl necklace (85-inch length).
  • Drive Your Dream Car on a Racetrack, three-night stay at a 4-Star Las Vegas Strip hotel for two.
  • Two-night stay in Albuquerque, NM, with Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride for two.
  • Signed sports items by Rocket Ismail, Notre Dame; Calvin Johnson, Georgia-Tech; Amari Cooper, Alabama; Emmitt Smith,  Florida; DaShaun Watson, Houston Texans; and many more.
  • Framed collages commemorating the Kansas City Chiefs 2020 Super Bowl Champions, Harry Potter book series, 50 years of Masters’ Champions, Pink Floyd, the Beatles, and more.
  • Plus, bourbon collections, framed art by Thomas Kinkade and much more.

Jimmy Buffet signed guitar.

In addition to bid items, the virtual auction includes a Donate to the WCA button.

As Easy as 1, 2, 3
To participate in the virtual auction and review all auction items:
1.   Visit the WCA Virtual Auction to view all of the items.
2.   Register your mobile phone number, email and name.
3.   Bidding closes at 9 p.m. EST Nov. 7.
Text notifications will be sent to the winning bidders. Payment will be due upon the close of the auction. Shipping is included in the winning bid price to the lower 48 states.

“IWF has been a tremendous supporter of the Woodwork Career Alliance over the years,” said Scott Nelson, WCA president. “We sincerely appreciate that the WCA has been designated to receive the net proceeds of this fun fundraising program. This will help us enlist more schools and credential more students and professionals.”

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 300 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued more than 3,000 credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. More than 130 high schools and post-secondary schools throughout North America are WCA EDUcation™ members and a growing number of woodworking companies have joined the WCA as MANufacturing™ members. To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.

President’s Message: Pandemic’s a Pain, but WCA is Doing OK

As fall is now upon us, we are still dealing with trying times and new challenges in both education and the workplace due to COVID-19. This issue of Pathways features a story on our latest survey of EDUcation members to gain some perspective on how they are handling the stresses of teaching woodworking to students amid a global pandemic.

WCA has had to make adjustments, but we’ve been fortunate to mostly maintain, as well as add some new EDUcation & MANufacturing members. Plus we’ve received the continued support of our Gold and Silver Sponsors. Thanks to all for standing with us during these extraordinary times!

On a more pleasant front, I am pleased to report that WCA recently awarded our first Gold Credential to an industry professional — Richard Memory a craftsman with Jefferson Millwork & Design of Sterling, VA. To achieve the Gold Credential, Richard had to demonstrate his ability to operate 180 operations and/or setups on various machines, successfully produce a Gold project and have logged at least 4,800 hours of on the job training. Richard has one more credential to go to complete the WCA credentialing process. I commend him on his ability and dedication to hone his craft! We’ll be issuing a press release commemorating his accomplishment soon.

Next week, WCA will be participating at IWF Connect, our first virtual woodworking machinery show. Please stop by our booth to discuss how WCA’s woodworking skill standards and credentialing Passport program can help your workforce development efforts. If you haven’t already done so, you can register to attend IWF Connect for free.

Also, IWF Connect will feature a Virtual Auction benefiting WCA. You can access the auction and check out the more than 130 bid items by either visiting the WCA’s or Expo Auctions’ booth. Read more about the auction in this issue of Pathways.

Please stay safe,

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

 

Welcome New Members & Sponsors!


The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is pleased to welcome 17 new EDUcation™ member schools, three new MANufacturing™ member, and one new EDUcation Supporter. We also welcome back five sponsors for another year.

Thank you for your membership and support!

New EDUcation™ Members

Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School, Clariton, MA
Burlington High School, Burlington, WI
East Troy High School, East Troy, WI
Hanford High School, Richland, WA
Hiwassee Dam High School, Murphy, NC
Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, Watertown, NY
Laurelbrook Academy, Dayton, TN
McDowell High School, Marion, NC
North Mason High School, Belfair, WA
Port Angeles High School, Port Angeles, WA
Roseburg High School, Roseburg, OR
St. Francis High School, St. Francis, WI
Silverton High School, Silverton, OR
Technical Careers High School, Idaho Falls, ID
Watertown High School, Watertown, WI
Western Michigan Christian High School, Norton Shores, MI
Whitnail High School, Greenfield, WI

Find WCA EDUcation™ woodworking programs in your area.

New EDUcation™ Supporter
Microvellum Software,
Central Point, OR


New MANufacturing™ Member
Advantage Architectural Woodwork
, Colby, KS
J. Miles Construction LLC, Shady Side, MD
Nucraft Furniture Co., Comstock Park, MI


INDustry™ Gold Sponsor Renewal
Newman Machinery,
Browns Summit, NC
SawStop LLC, Tualtin, OR


INDustry™ Silver Sponsor Renewal
Brookhuis, Suwanee, GA
Rowland Woodworking, High Point, NC
Sorrelli Woodwork Consultants, Brooklyn, NY

View all WCA INDustry™ Sponsors & Supporters.

Learn more about the benefits of sponsoring the WCA.

Microvellum Software’s Adopt-A-School Program Open to WCA EDU Members

Hunter O’Connor, a student at Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood, IL, designs a cabinet using Microvellum Software.

Free access to Microvellum’s Enterprise-level software is now available through the Woodwork Career Alliance’s EDUcation™ Member Benefits package to qualifying schools.

Microvellum, a company specializing in CAD/CAM/CIM technology for the woodworking industry, is partnering with the WCA to offer high school and postsecondary school woodworking programs the opportunity to participate in its Adopt-A-School program, a sponsorship arrangement that helps educational institutions connect with local businesses that use Microvellum Software.

The annual renewable program enables students and teachers with unlimited access to the full power of Microvellum’s AutoCAD-based design, estimating, engineering, and manufacturing software. In addition to the software donation, the Oregon-based company will also supply partnering schools with its level-one student and teacher edition training curriculum, quizzes, and final exams.

David Fairbanks, president and owner of Microvellum. had this to say about the company’s partnership with the WCA, “We are proud to partner with the WCA on such an important mission of education and empowerment. They, along with other industry partners, are helping to equip the future workers in our industry with the knowledge and confidence to succeed.”

Learn more about Microvellum’s Adopt-A-School program, including qualifying criteria.

Other benefits offered to WCA EDUcation members for the 2020-21 year include:

Bessey Tools North America of Cambridge, ON – 40% discount on all clamps;

CabWriter of Easthampton, MA – 75% discount on CabWriter Cabinet Design Software;

Franklin International of Columbus, OH – 2 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.

Teacher’s Chime in on Teaching Woodworking during a Pandemic

A student of Tremper High School, Kenosha, WI, measures a board. The woodworking class is using WCA measurement training materials and quizzes.

Survey sheds light on how WCA EDUcation instructors are adjusting to their roles.

How are high school woodworking instructors coping with the unprecedented challenges of teaching their students during the COVID-19 crisis? How many are teaching courses in the classroom this fall versus remote? And depending on whether they are able to conduct classes face-to-face or online, what is the focus of their lesson plans?

These are some of the questions that the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America sought to answer in a recent survey of EDUcation member instructors. The study represented a follow up to a survey the WCA conducted in the spring shortly after the vast majority of the high schools abruptly shut down and pivoted to online learning due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The number of valid responses generated by the survey – 24 out of a possible 135 – is insufficient to draw any solid statistical conclusions. But the anecdotal responses speak volumes about the kinds of issues high school woodworking instructors are faced with and some of the things they are doing to best play the cards that they’ve been dealt.

A handful of the instructors were willing to be quoted by name and a few of them were gracious enough to send photos illustrating some of their students’ woodworking assignments. At the conclusion of this article are some of the longer responses garnered by follow-up questions to some of the instructors who went on the record.

Following are some of the Fall survey’s findings, including related comments.

Classroom vs. Online Instruction
Fifty percent of the high schools were fully open, though some had adopted A/B day scheduling to limit access to their woodshops to half of the enrolled students at a time. Additionally, 32% of the schools had adopted a hybrid model with some in-person and some online learning. Eighteen percent of respondents said their schools were closed with half saying they were teaching exclusively online and half saying they were not teaching woodworking this fall.

“Even though we are fully open, some students have chosen to do the same class virtually. I’m struggling with how to do the hands-on woodworking virtually.”

“I have students in class and online simultaneously,”

Woodworking Course Enrollments
Forty-six percent of the instructors said they have 41 or more students in their courses this fall. Another 46% said they have 11 to 30 students while the remainder are not teaching woodshop this semester.

In comparison, half said their current enrollment is about the same as Fall 2019. Thirty-six percent said they have fewer woodworking students and 14% said they have more students this fall than last.

Online Collaboration Platforms
Google Meet/Hangouts is being used by 59% of the respondents for online instruction. Zoom with 32% is the second most popular collaboration platform.

Use of WCA Online Training Resources
The WCA maintains a library of videos and other training materials for the exclusive use of EDUcation and MANufacturing members.

Fifty-five percent of the woodworking instructors said they are integrating WCA resources into their fall 2020 curricula.

Woodworking machinery demonstration videos created by Patrick Molzahn, director of cabinetmaking and millwork at Madison College, are the most often cited resource that are being accessed.

“The online evaluator training is helpful, as our Patrick Molzahn’s videos and WCA instructor files.”

“I’ve had students read some of the articles in Fine Woodworking.”

A student of Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood, IL, works on a cabinet.

“I have downloaded various docs and assignments to help guide (my students) through the second semester.”

The survey also asked woodworking instructors to recommend the types of instructional materials they would like the WCA to add to its library. Topping the list of asks were videos related to machinery, power tool and general shop safety.

Other requested educational materials include:

“More combination-type projects that involve using several different tools for teaching students how to use.”

“Demonstration videos geared toward showing students various types of joinery – mortise and tenon, dovetail, rabbets, etc.”

“We need some type of online virtual machine training,” suggested one respondent. “Just like a video game except for woodworking machinery. Log in and operate a piece of machinery like you do on a video game using a weapon or door to navigate a landscape.”

Teaching Woodworking Online
It goes without saying that it’s hard to teach high school students woodworking when they can’t get the hands-on experience in the school’s woodshop. So, what are teachers doing with their online instruction? A few examples:

“We are working on a video platform where we record lessons that I do in the shop.”

“We have access to the woodshop at this time but if we lose access I will be using more of Patrick Molzahn’s checklists and videos.”

“Pretty much everything is online. We are able for several students at a time to meet face-to-face and get some shop experience.”

“Students online will be meeting knowledge standards through creative assignments such as creating videos and blogs.”

“We are working in the shop, but woodworking videos are assigned.”

“While virtual is not an ideal form of teaching a ‘craft’ that is so experiential, there is still a passion that can be felt while watching someone who is immersed in doing what they love. That will be my aim in teaching this semester.

Parting Words
“It’s very tough and the shop experience is not there for the majority of my students.

“I can’t wait for my classes to meet in person again.”

 

Five Longer Takes on Teaching
Woodworking These Days

 

“I have 24 students in the shop this semester compared to 42 last semester. Students had a choice between meeting face to face or virtually for academic classes but not for my woodworking classes. My two level 1 classes are just learning tool use and safety. They have made some succulent planter boxes, a wall plaque and just completed a kitchen shelf. Our next project will be a spice rack. My level 2 class just completed a dog kennel for a local K-9 officer and are now working on adirondack chairs and corn hole boards which we sell as a fundraiser.” – Nick Daniels, skilled trades instructor and SkillsUSA advisor, Avery County High School, Newland, NC

“About half of our students chose to be total remote learners. The rest of the students were split into 2 groups A & B. That leaves me on average about 5 or 6 students per class face-to-face. I have to put everything online for my total remote students who follow what we are doing face-to-face. The only difference is that my face-to-face students get access to the shop for only 70 minutes at a time, twice a week. My level 1 students are building a small, milking stool that allows the students access to the table saw, radial arm saw, planer, jointer and scroll saw. Also, the students get to assemble this stool with glue and our pneumatic tools. My level 2 students are working on their OSHA certification now.”  – Doug Talbert, woodworking instructor, Albemarle High School, Albemarle, NC

Students at Albemarle High School of Albemarle, NC, are making milking stools this fall.

“We are currently face-to-face but and our students are adapting well to protocols for cleaning and mask wearing. But we are beginning to see schools in neighboring counties closing due to COVID-19 cases. Just in case, I am moving from our furniture/cabinetry curriculum to carpentry. This will allow something ‘new and exciting’ that we don’t typically do to have some hands-on projects at home. We have had donations from a construction company directed to online curriculum and modeling supplies to build models. I will also be offering the opportunity to self-motivated kids to build scale model furniture if they so choose, which will require them to get an approved learning plan with me. We also just received a grant for a maple syrup program I’ve been working on that has allotted $7,500 to build a sap shack. WCA standards will still be applied. Wisconsin has a Construction Career Pathway that recognizes WCA certification so I will still reinforce any WCA content I am able to. Here is where the virtual situation may benefit us in regard to WCA, I tend to lean so hard on hands on and getting the kids in the shop that I often lack in the “book work” end of the requirements I need to successfully get kids certified. I’m hoping that this allows me to do a better job at getting kids their WCA Sawblade certification.” – Roger Peterson, woodworking instructor, Hurley High School, Hurley, WI

“I have some students in person and some who opted for at-home schooling who are learning the same thing. The “knowledge content” required is identical but how it is demonstrated will be different. For example, in class they will build a birdhouse and demonstrate the ability to build. Online they will be given documentation and watch the house being built and then be required to explain how to build. The online project essentially becomes a how-to video, blog, etc. A test will cover the content of each unit will be done by both groups. I downloaded the WCA’s docs and assignments for teaching measuring for my second semester students to get the PMI measuring certification. In class, students just finished safety lessons are will build Little Free Libraries that a local non-profit called Garden of Eatin’ requested we build for them.” – AJ Mueller, technology educator instructor, Tremper High School, Kenosha, WI

“I currently have six classes each with about 15 students per week and we have full-time access to the shop. Among our projects, we’re making long boards, acoustic guitars and kitchen cabinets. I’m using Patrick Molzahn’s videos and online checklists and I’ll be using them even more if we lose use of the shop. I have created Google Forms to pre-test students on all of the machines and information necessary so that students can then take the written online exam to earn their WCA Sawblade certificates.” – Mark Smith, industrial technology teacher, Reed-Custer High School, Braidwood, IL

 

Woodwork Career Alliance Benefit Auction Goes Virtual at IWF Connect

Jimmy Buffet signed guitar

NELLYSFORD, Va. – An auction supporting the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America during IWF Connect will not only be silent, it will be 100 percent virtual.

More than 130 items, including autographed sports items, framed artwork, jewelry and exclusive destination get-a-way packages, will be put up for bid during IWF Connect, a virtual tradeshow and conference for the woodworking industry taking place Oct. 26-30. Net proceeds of the fundraiser will benefit the WCA’s ongoing efforts to develop and grow a skilled woodworking workforce.

The not-for-profit WCA’s woodworking skill standards and credentialing Passport system are used by high school and postsecondary woodworking programs throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, a growing number of woodworking companies are joining the WCA to craft their training programs around the WCA’s workforce development tools.

The virtual auction is being orchestrated by Expo Auctions of Sugar Hill, GA. It will include:

  • Jimmy Buffett signed guitar.
  • Jeremy Bulloch signed Star Wars Boba Fett Disney collector’s edition mask.
  • 7mm white freshwater pearl necklace (85-inch length).
  • Drive Your Dream Car on a Racetrack, three-night stay at a 4-Star Las Vegas Strip hotel for two.
  • Two-night stay in Albuquerque, NM, with Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride for two.
  • Signed sports items by Rocket Ishmail, Notre Dame; Calvin Johnson, Georgia-Tech; Amari Cooper, Alabama; Emmitt Smith, Florida; DaShaun Watson, Houston Texans; and many more.
  • Framed collages commemorating the Kansas City Chiefs 2020 Super Bowl Champions, Harry Potter book series, 50 years of Masters’ Champions, Pink Floyd, the Beatles, and more.
  • Plus, bourbon collections, framed art by Thomas Kinkade and much more.

Jeremy Bulloch signed Star Wars Boba Fett Disney collector’s edition mask

In addition to bid items, the virtual auction will include a Donate to the WCA button.

As Easy as 1, 2, 3
To participate in the virtual auction and review all auction items:

  1. Register to attend IWF Connect for free then access the auction by visiting Expo Auction’s booth.
  2. Register your mobile phone number, email and name.
  3. Bidding closes at 9 p.m. EST Oct. 30 after the conclusion of IWF Connect.
    Text notifications will be sent to the winning bidders. Payment will be due upon the close of the auction. Shipping is included in the winning bid price to the lower contiguous 48 states.

“IWF has been a tremendous supporter of the Woodwork Career Alliance over the years,” said Scott Nelson, WCA president. “We sincerely appreciate that the WCA has been designated to receive the net proceeds of this fun fundraising program. This will help us enlist more schools and credential more students and professionals.”

Learn more about the WCA. its skill standards and credentialing programs by visiting the WCA’s booth at iwfconnect.com.

7mm white freshwater pearl necklace

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 300 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued more than 3,000 credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. More than 130 high schools and post-secondary schools throughout North America are WCA EDUcation™ members and a growing number of woodworking companies have joined the WCA as MANufacturing™ members. To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.