Presidents Message: Itching to Get Back Out

2021 will hopefully be a better year for all!  How can it be anything but?

We’re starting to see some signs of a return to normalcy. More students are returning to the classroom, if even for only a couple of days a week. The Woodwork Career Alliance enrolled 167 new candidates to the Passport credentialing program since the first of the year.

We’re very excited about our new online program for training accredited skill evaluators. By making this training more convenient for woodworking instructors, we’ll be able to grow the number of WCA EDUcation members able to administer the WCA Sawblade certificate to students. This in turn will help increase the number of students registered as Passport holders. You can read about the ASE online training program in this edition of Pathways.

I’m also very pleased to welcome Chris Hofmann, U.S. Lamello product manager for Colonial Saw, to the WCA Board of Directors. Chris brings a wealth of diverse industry experience, including serving as chair of the Woodworking Machinery Industry’s Education Committee.


With the pandemic lending a whole meaning to cabin fever, I suspect that I’m not the only one who looks forward to getting back to face-to-face networking events. The WCA will be participating at the 2021 AWFS Fair, July 20–23 in Las Vegas. If you attend the show, please be sure to visit us at booth #1979. WCA will also participate in the AWFS Fair’s educational programs. We will present a 2.5-hour workshop, “Building a Training Program for Your Workers” targeted for manufacturing HR managers, plant managers, plant superintendents, woodworking shop owners and other stakeholders. We’ll provide additional details, including the date and time of the presentation, when it becomes available.

Teachers of WCA EDUcation member institutions are invited to apply for one of the five $750 Financial Teacher Assistance Scholarships to defray costs to attend the AWFS Fair. Click this link to learn more and apply.

In closing, I would like to thank our EDUcation Partners:  Franklin International, Quickscrews International, Bessey Tools of America, Rockler, The Taunton Press Inc., Veneer Technologies Inc., Microvellum, CabWriter Software and Stiles Education for their support of the WCA’s EDUcation Essentials Benefit Package.

Scott Nelson
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America