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Presidents Message – Congratulations All Around!

This is a busy period for WCA EDUcation renewals, and I’m pleased to report they are coming in at a solid rate. Once again, I would like to thank our outstanding Education Supporters for their generous contributions to the participating schools through our EDUcation Essentials Benefit Package. This year’s donors include Bessey Clamps, CabWriter, Franklin Adhesives, Microvellum, Quickscrews, Rockler, and Veneer Tech.

WCA is ever so proud of tech-ed instructor Staci Sievert of Seymour High School! Staci is one of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools 2021 Teacher Prize for Excellence winners, which includes a $50,000 cash prize. Please read more about her amazing story.

Thanks to WCA Vice President Greg Larson and his committee for their work to add two new student-only credentials: EDU Core and EDU Green. These new credentials create stepping stones between the WCA Sawblade Certificate and the Green Credential, the first level for woodworking professionals. Please read more.

I also want to thank Woodworking Network for partnering with WCA on a benchmark Workforce Development study. None of us were surprised to learn that the North American woodworking industry continues to be immensely challenged to find, train and retain qualified production workers. We appreciate the feedback we received about what more WCA might do to help tackle this huge challenge. We invite all stakeholders to get involved. The more, the merrier.

Finally, I want to recognize Patrick Molzahn for his continued work with publisher Goodheart-Wilcox. The Sixth Edition of the Modern Cabinetmaking textbook will be coming out soon. The content of the text and companion lab workbook correlates to the WCA’s industry credentialing standards. I am excited to get my copy of the new edition.

I hope you all have a great holiday season and stay safe.

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

Woodwork Career Alliance Introduces Two New Student Credentials

The EDU Core and EDU Green credentials allow serious-minded woodworking students to stand out from the pack.

NELLYSFORD, VA – The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America has created a pair of EDUcation credentials, giving woodworking students new opportunities to be recognized for expanding their skills.

The EDU Core and EDU Green credentials are both exclusively designed for students enrolled in WCA EDUcation member programs. Each of the new credentials builds on the Sawblade Certificate that has long served as the cornerstone for recognizing a student’s ability to safely set up and operate basic woodworking machinery in accordance with the WCA’s Skill Standards.

The new credentials were developed with input from educators and industry professionals to not only reward more serious-minded woodworking students but to make them more workforce-ready.

“Up until now we have not had a way to reward students for going above and beyond the testing requirements of the Sawblade Certificate,” said Greg Larson, vice president of the WCA.  “We’ve seen many Sawblade students earn additional tool assessments who have been unable to qualify for the WCA Green Credential because they could not accumulate enough experience hours to achieve the required 800 hours.

“By only requiring 120 hours of experience, the EDU Core and EDU Green credentials better accommodate most educational woodworking program frameworks, making them more accessible to a broader range of students,” Larson added. “These credentials will also be more valuable for students who choose to pursue woodworking careers and their prospective employers because they are meatier than the Sawblade Certificate.”

Whereas the WCA’s Sawblade Certificate encompasses five basic machinery operations including table saw, jointer, portable sander, and drill press, EDU Core requires students to pass tests on five additional machinery operations. EDU Green requires a student to successfully demonstrate his or her proficiency in at least 15 distinct machine operations.

Learn more about the WCA’s credentialing programs, their benefits, and how they work at 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 300 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued over 3,500 Passport 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.