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Report from WorldSkills in Russia

Ethan Harris and his woodworking advisor Jeff Molzahn at WorldSkills in Kazan, Russia.

After over a year of preparation for WorldSkills, the United States sent a team of 22 competitors to Kazan, Russia, in August to compete in their respective trades. Ethan Harrison, from Blackfoot, ID, represented Team USA in Cabinetmaking.

To prepare for the event, Ethan spent 9 months at Madison College under the tutelage of his advisor, Jeff Molzahn. Ethan’s curiosity and discipline were a good match for our self-directed curriculum. He was able to work with minimal supervision, and quickly mastered the competencies. Within weeks he was programming and running our CNC router.

After completing his machine certifications, Ethan built several projects, and refined his skills while increasing his knowledge of wood and wood products. He even left with the Woodwork Career Alliance’s green credential.

In Kazan, Ethan faced competitors from over 30 countries. The competition was intense, and while Ethan did not end up on the podium, he learned many valuable lessons from the experience. In addition, he assembled a network of friends from all over the globe.

After the dust settles, Ethan will travel to Lima, Peru, to complete a two-year missionary assignment. His long-term goal is to continue to pursue a career in the wood industry by studying Architectural Manufacturing Management, with the ultimate dream of owning his own business someday.

Related Article:

Woodwork Career Alliance to Present Three Free Seminars at AWFS Fair

Patrick Molzahn receives the first ever Diamond credential from Scott Nelson, president of the WCA at IWF 2018.

Patrick Molzahn, left, director of the Cabinetmaking & Millwork program at Madison College, and Scott Nelson, president of the WCA, will co-present a seminar on workforce development at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas. 

Representatives of the WCA will share ideas for developing a skilled woodworking workforce.

 

Nellysford, VA — Owners and managers of woodworking businesses challenged by a low number of job applicants and/or high employee turnover rate are encouraged to attend free College of Woodworking Knowledge seminar sessions featuring the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America at the AWFS Fair, July 17-20 in Las Vegas.

The WCA is scheduled to participate in a pair of free seminars of the fair’s Culture & Workforce Track and one free seminar in the Teacher track.  The sessions include:

WCA – WIIFM: What’s In It For Me?
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17
Presenter: Patrick Molzahn, director of Cabinetmaking & Millwork, Madison College and secretary of the WCA
Whether you are in education or in industry, this session will provide ideas that you can use to implement the Woodwork Career Alliance credentialing system to create and manage a training program in your school or business. The presenter, who has used the WCA Skill Standards to shape his curriculum, will demonstrate how to improve your training program and discuss how members can take advantage of the WCA’s online library of videos, educational materials and other training resources to help you accomplish your goals faster and better.

Finding, Training and Retaining Workers
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Thursday, July 18
Presenter: Patrick Molzahn, director of Cabinetmaking & Millwork, Madison College and secretary of the WCA
Where are all the workers? If only I could find someone with skills. These millennials just don’t have the work ethic we expect. Does this sound familiar? In a tight labor market, you need to get creative. This seminar will provide strategies to overcome many of the challenges you face recruiting and retaining quality employees.

Building a Training Program for Your Workers
3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 19
Presenters: Scott Nelson, president of the WCA & Patrick Molzahn, director of Cabinetmaking & Millwork, Madison College and secretary of the WCA
Are you looking to create you own in-house training program? This ‘nuts & bolts’ session will show you how to get started and how you can access ready-made resources to make the job easier. The presenters will discuss how to assess new candidates on layout and measurement and how to customize your training template. Come to this session to learn:

  • How to access quality training resources;
  • How to develop and structure a training plan – including creating a template; and
  • The benefits of doing in-house training.

In addition to those three free seminars, instructors of two WCA EDUcation™ institutions will present sessions in the Teacher track. John Stearns of the MiLL is scheduled to talk on Classroom Tool Safety, Teacher Curriculum and Resources, and How to Get Money for Your Program & Spend It Wisely. Mark Smith of Reed Cutler High School will discuss AutoCAD for the Woodworking Program and Marketing Your Program: How to Get Started.

To learn more and register for AWFS Fair seminars, visit awfsfair.org.

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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 240 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued more than 2,500 credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. 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.

Sanding & Finishing Seminar Draws Huge Turnout at Madison College

Sanding & Finishing Seminar participants watch Peter Van Dyke’s keynote address.

Stiles product specialist Peter Van Dyke demonstrating how to repair a damaged platen.

Mohawk Finishing Products rep Deb Sampson conducts a seminar on touch-up and repair.

3M senior application engineer Dan Bygd explains how to properly use and care for D/A sanders.

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Over 50 individuals from industry and education gathered at a recent lunch and learn sponsored by Stiles Machinery and held at Madison College of Madison, WI. Participants spent the day learning about sanding and finishing applications, as well as networking with current students.

Stiles product specialist Peter Van Dyke kicked off the day with a presentation on widebelt sanding. Following his keynote presentation, participants were divided into three groups and viewed demonstrations. On hand was Dan Bygd of 3M Abrasives, and Deb Sampson of Mohawk Finishing Products. Bygd provided insight on abrasives and demonstrated proper use and care of D/A sanders. Sampson conducted seminars on touch-up and repair techniques. Rounding out the small group presentations, Van Dyke demonstrated veneer and seal sanding using the college’s new Homag widebelt sander.

After lunch, provided courtesy of Stiles, participants had the opportunity to learn about the latest trends in finishing. Andi Cucco and Bob Niemeyer gave an overview of the facilities for ICA Coatings in Italy. Both were on hand during the entire event to answer questions. Many of the participants went home with door prizes provided by each vendor, including one lucky winner of a D/A sander provided by 3M.

Madison College has been delivering seminars like this since 2008, when Stiles product specialist Van Dyke first offered to present to students. Since then, the college has hosted more than 20 seminars on a wide range of topics. Over the years, the seminars have grown in size and stature. For the 2019-20 school year, the Cabinetmaking program is planning at least two seminars. In September, the program will host the Festool Roadshow, and in the spring, the focus will be on edgebanding.

The Cabinetmaking program at Madison College is a Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) EDUcation™ member and hosts several seminars annually which are open to industry members. To receive notification of future events, contact Patrick Molzahn at 608-246-6842 or email pmolzahn@madisoncollege.edu.

To learn more about the Cabinetmaking & Millwork program at Madison College, visit madisoncollege.edu/program/cabinetmaking-millwork.

Meet the Newest Group of WCA Evaluators

Wisconsin recently added 10 more Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) accredited skill evaluators to its ranks.

These woodworking teachers completed their training and accreditation at Madison College, Madison, WI. They are now certified to award WCA tool stamps and credentials to their students. Wisconsin has more than 50 ASEs, the most in the country. Spurred by funding from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, high schools in the state can receive up to $1,000 per student for each WCA credential awarded.

Seven high schools were represented from across southern Wisconsin at the training including Kenosha (Indian Trails and Bradford HS), Kettle Moraine, Belleville, Madison (La Follette HS), Beloit, and Stoughton. In addition to the high school teachers, Rick McDonough, a retired boat builder with 37 years of industry experience attended. Rick volunteers at Hands On Deck a non-profit organization based in in Green Bay, WI, which uses boatbuilding to teach and inspire at- risk youth.

Also in attendance was Bill Esler, from the Woodworking Network. Bill spoke to the attendees about the need for skilled graduates for the Wood Industry. Madison College instructor and WCA Chief Evaluator, Patrick Molzahn led the training.

For more information, contact Patrick at pmolzahn@madisoncollege.edu or 608-246-6842.

WCA Schedules Accredited Skill Evaluator Training Events

Register now to reserve a seat.

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is organizing several Accredited Skill Evaluator Training events over the next few months, including sessions during the AWFS Fair this summer in Las Vegas. Other sessions are planned for Madison, WI; and Colorado Springs, CO.

The course fee covers the half-day training session and materials plus a one-year membership as a WCA EDUcation™. EDUcation members also gain access to the WCA’s online archive of training videos and other valuable materials that they can use to develop or enhance their woodworking training programs.

ASE’s are a vital link of the WCA’s credentialing program. In most school woodworking programs, the ASE is also the instructor. An ASE is responsible for observing a person’s ability to perform a woodworking operation at a high enough caliber to earn tool points to fortify their woodworking credentials.

“The purpose of the training is for them to learn how to evaluate woodworkers using the WCA Skill Standards,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “They learn to test if a student’s or professional woodworker’s performance measures up to accepted industry standards in terms of set up, safety, part quality, etc.”

To date, more than 260 woodworking instructors and professionals have been certified as accredited skill evaluators by the WCA.

Upcoming ASE Training Sessions
February 8: The MiLL National Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
WCA ASE training is offered as an optional upgrade on the third day of the three-day MiLL Academy event. The MiLL Academy is designed for CTE industrial arts teachers and their administrators who want to bring professional, industry-oriented programs to their classrooms. For more information and to register visit https://themillco.org/academy.

February 15: Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI
This session was scheduled following a sold-out WCA ASE training event held at Madison College last November. The session is limited to 16 seats. For more information and to register, contact Patrick Molzahn, director of the Madison College Cabinetmaking and Millwork program at pmolzahn@madisoncollege.edu or call 608-246-6842.

April 26: The MiLL National Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
WCA ASE training is offered as an optional upgrade on the third day of the three-day MiLL Academy event. For more information and to register visit https://themillco.org/academy.

July 17-20: AWFS Fair, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
The WCA will host seven ASE training sessions in its exhibit booth during the AWFS Fair. Morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled for July 17-19. A morning session will also be offered on July 20. Each session is limited to four seats. For more information and to register, contact Scott Nelson, WCA president, at snelsonwca@gmail.com or call 402-610-6043.

To find out how to schedule a WCA ASE Training event at your school or business, contact Scott Nelson at snelsonwca@gmail.com or call 402-610-6043.

Learn more about the WCA and its credentialing program at www.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 240 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued more than 2,000 credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. 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.

Wisconsin Overtakes California for Most WCA Evaluators

Wisconsin now has more Woodwork Career Alliance Accredited Skill Evaluators than any other state. Twelve more educators recently completed their WCA ASE training training at Madison College. These teachers are certified to evaluate and award WCA credentials to their students.

In the process, Wisconsin passed California, which now has the second most WCA ASEs in the country.

Spurred by funding from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, state high school woodworking programs can receive up to $1,000 per student for each credential awarded.

Eight high schools were represented at the Nov. 2 ASE training workshop at Madison College including Arrowhead, Deforest, Green Bay East, West, Southwest and West, Oostburg, and Wauwatosa. In addition, Mark Hawkins from Hands On Deck attended. His school, a non-profit based in in Green Bay, uses boatbuilding to teach and inspire at risk youth.

The training was led by Patrick Molzahn, Madison College instructor and WCA Chief Skill Evaluator. Due to high demand, a second training session has been scheduled at the college for February 15.  Anyone interested in attending can sign up by contacting Molzahn at pmolzahn@madisoncollege.edu or 608-246-6842.

WCA’s Molzahn to Present at Executive Briefing Conference

Patrick Molzahn, director of the cabinetmaking and millwork program at Madison Area Technical College, and treasurer of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America, has been recruited to speak at the 15th annual Executive Briefing Conference. Molzahn will discuss how wood products companies can use the WCA’s woodworking skill standards and Passport credentialing program to train and retain employees. Read more.

Molzahn’s presentation will precede a panel discussion on workforce development strategies.

Click here to view the full EBC agenda and to register.

WCA Commemorates First Diamond Credential; Raises $8,500 at IWF

North America’s largest woodworking event was a momentous occasion for the Woodwork Career Alliance.

Patrick Molzahn receives the first ever Diamond credential from Scott Nelson, president of the WCA at IWF 2018.

Patrick Molzahn, left, receives the first-ever Diamond credential from WCA President Scott Nelson.

NELLYSFORD, VA – The International Woodworking Fair, held Aug 22-25 in Atlanta, provided the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America with much cause to celebrate.

For starters, Patrick Molzahn, woodworking instructor at Madison College in Madison, WI, received the first Diamond credential ever issued in a ceremony held at WCA’s booth. In addition, the WCA was the beneficiary of a pair of fundraising activities coordinated by IWF, including a new silent auction. Approximately $8,500 was raised for the non-profit organization dedicated to developing and growing a skilled woodworking workforce.

Molzahn, a founding member of the WCA’s Board of Directors, said the experience of achieving the Diamond credential fulfilled a long-term goal. “I use the WCA credentialing system to evaluate and reward my students,” Molzahn said. “I have long felt the need to test the efficacy of our credentialing system by experiencing it from the candidate’s perspective.”

In addition to passing more than 125 skill evaluations on dozens of machines and tools, Molzahn completed projects for the three highest credentialing levels: Red, Gold, and ultimately Diamond. For his Red credential, Molzahn built a 32mm cabinet, a design he uses with his students. For Gold, he built a maple face-frame cabinet with a raised panel door. Molzahn described the Diamond project, recreating six replacement windows and an entry door for a National Historic Landmark, as “the hardest I have undertaken in my career.” The project was featured in AWI’s Design Solutions magazine.

Having successfully progressed through all stages of the WCA credentialing Passport program, Molzahn said he is confident that the WCA standards can be used effectively to measure a candidate’s woodworking abilities. “For industry, the WCA credentialing system provides a template for recognizing and rewarding one’s skills. Moreover, employers can use the credentialing ladder to develop their talent and encourage continuing education.”

Industry Shows Strong Support
IWF once again provided attendees an opportunity to financially support the WCA during the registration process. About 600 woodworking professionals generously checked off a box to donate $5 to the WCA.

IWF also designated WCA as the beneficiary of the silent auction of sports memorabilia and other collectables and valuable merchandise. The auction, presented by Expo Auctions of Sugar Hill, GA, raised nearly $5,500 for the WCA.

“I want to thank IWF for designating the WCA as the recipient of the silent auction and registration fundraisers for this year’s show,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “These contributions are extremely important to WCA and provide us with additional funds to support school woodshop programs and candidates to become credentialed woodworkers.”

Based on the tremendous success of the silent auction at IWF, plans are already in the works to organize a similar event at the AWFS Fair, July 17-20, 2019 in Las Vegas.

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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 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 woodworking skill achievements. 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.

Stiles Machinery Presents Solid Wood Technology Forum at Madison College

Stiles Machinery field service rep Kevin Price demonstrates moulder calibration and setup.

More than 40 individuals from industry and education gathered at a recent lunch and learn sponsored by Stiles Machinery and held at Madison College, Madison, WI. Participants spent the day learning about technology and practical applications for working with solid wood, as well as networking with current students.

Stiles product specialist Peter Van Dyke kicked the day off with an overview of the modern rough mill and highlighting multiple types of machinery that can be used to efficiently process wood. Following that presentation, participants were divided into groups and received more theoretical information from Van Dyke and practical demonstrations from Stiles field service rep Kevin Price on handling and preparing tooling, profile knife grinding, and moulder calibration and setup.

The Cabinetmaking program at Madison College is a Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) EDUcation™ member and hosts several seminars annually open to industry members. To receive notification of future events, contact Patrick Molzahn at 608-246-6842 or pmolzahn@madisoncollege.edu.

Postsecondary Educators Embrace WCA Credentials

More colleges and adult education woodworking programs are implementing WCA Skill Standards to prepare their students for professional careers.

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America’s (WCA) Passport credentialing system is becoming an integral component of well-respected postsecondary woodworking programs across the nation.

Instructors find that implementing the WCA’s nationally-recognized skill standards creates a sturdy framework not only for teaching students about essential tools and techniques but also for evaluating their ability to apply what they learn.

WCA Passports are being issued as standard operating procedure to students attending programs at Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor, ME; Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI; Michigan Career and Technical Institute, Plainwell, MI; and New England School of Architectural Woodworking; Easthampton, MA.

The Passport is an individual’s record of the woodworking skills the holder has achieved. Accumulating Passport points is a resume builder for students looking to forge a successful career in the woodworking industry after they graduate. As Greg Larson, instructor at the New England School of Architectural Woodworking puts it, “Earning WCA credentials gives them one more thing that the next person doesn’t have. It gives them a leg up on the competition.”

What follows is a snapshot of how each of these four diverse and heralded postsecondary programs has embraced WCA skill standards and Passport credentials.

Maine College Is WCA Passport Champ
No institution has issued more WCA Passports than Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC). Entering this year, 149 students of the college’s Fine Woodworking and Cabinet Making program have received a Passport, a number that will grow by 30 more this year says Les Stackpole, faculty and department chair.

The Passport holders fall into one of two distinct programs offered at EMCC. First there are students who attend the college’s two-year woodworking program to earn their associate degree. The other group consists of dislocated workers, most of them from the area’s shuttered paper mills, who receive federal assistance for training to embark on a new career.

“About 100 of the Passports were issued to workers who lost their jobs and come here a six-month intensive woodworking course,” Stackpole says. “We’re able to help set them on a new career path.”

Students of the two-year program are required to get a WCA Passport at the start of their second semester. “By then they know if woodworking and carpentry is for them and whether they will stick with the program,” Stackpole says.

Students are evaluated on their skills and receive Passport points for the hand and machine skills they successfully demonstrate. “They usually end up with more than 30 WCA credits required for their WCA Green credential after two years here,” Stackpole says. “The Green level is an option. We usually have three or four students who graduate with a Green credential.”

Stackpole says his graduates usually have multiple job offers. “The students with the Green credentials are the most sought after because employers know that they are the cream of the crop. They can get into a bit of a bidding war for better pay and a better benefits package.”

Stackpole is a WCA chief evaluator and has such has trained five others to be WCA accredited skill evaluations, including one who is on his staff.

Stackpole is excited that four area high schools are ramping up WCA EDUcation programs for their high school wood shops. “Students who earn their WCA Sawblade certificate in high school will receive three credits if they enroll in our program,” Stackpole says. “It’s great to see the WCA credential program gain momentum.” 

 

Madison College Raises the Bar
Incoming students at Madison Area Technical College now receive a WCA Passport as part of their tuition and earn a WCA Sawblade Certificate when they complete their first semester of training.

“We have formally integrated the Sawblade Certificate into our curriculum,” says Patrick Molzahn, director of Madison College’s Cabinet & Millwork program and a member of the WCA Board of Directors. “As part of their first semester coursework, all students are taught and evaluated on the skills for a WCA Sawblade Certificate. That includes measuring and layout, and basic set up and operation of a table saw, jointer, drill press and portable hand sander. Once they have successfully demonstrated their abilities they take an online test to earn their certificate.

“By integrating the Sawblade Certificate into our curriculum, students begin to understand the process and requirements of the WCA Passport credentialing system,” Molzahn says. “This experience better prepares them to shoot for Green and Blue level credentials beginning in their second semester. Earning WCA credentials is a great opportunity to show their sincere interest in pursuing woodworking as a career to a prospective employer.”

First semester students who previously earned their Sawblade Certificate in high school can begin earning their Green Credential right away.

“We are seeing more and more students arriving with the WCA Passport,” Molzahn says. “Wisconsin has the largest concentration of high school WCA EDUcation members in the country. As a result, we are able to take students further in their credentialing journey.

“Getting students credentialed to the WCA Skill Standards raises the bar for all that we do,” Molzahn adds. “Our ultimate goal of being a WCA EDUcation member is to improve our training and make it more relevant to industry.”

MCTI Boasts 100% Placement
The Michigan Career Technical Institute (MCTI) is a state-owned career and technical education facility established in 1944 to train returning World War II GIs. Today, the woodworking program taught by industry veteran Jim Wellever, is one of 13 programs offered by the center.

“The majority of our students have a hidden disability like attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder or vision or hearing impairment,” says Wellever, an early adopter of the WCA’s credentialing system. “Our goal is competitive employment. Everyone who is accepted into this program has been assessed to determine that they are likely to be successful professional woodworkers.”

The MCTI woodworking program consists of up to 7, 10-week terms with the majority of students graduating at 40 weeks. “The WCA Skill Standards are beneficial particularly in the early stages of the program,” Wellever says. “While we occasionally get students with lots of prior woodworking experience, we assume that our first-term students have no prior experience, especially when it comes to teaching them about safe operation of machines. We start with all of the basic stuff – using a tape measure, jointer, planer and table saw – then work on up.”

Students are issued a WCA Passport when they begin their second term. “If a student makes it through the first 10 weeks, he is likely to make it the rest of the way,” Wellever says.

“Students who complete all four terms graduate with a WCA Green Credential,” Wellever adds. “They all have the competency of at least one high-tech machine be it a moulder, CNC router, edgebander or veneer sander. Most of our students are competent on numerous high-tech machines, plus the basic machines like table saws.”

Wellever says his graduates are highly coveted by woodworking companies. “We always are at, or near 100 percent placement,” Wellever says. “Having the Green Credential will help the students down the road with their careers but because this program has been around a long time, we’re already kind of a go-to place.”

The average starting wage for MCTI graduates is $13.75 hour, plus benefits, Wellever says. “We track our graduates, currently, those who have been on the job for a year are making an average of $963 a week. It’s a very living wage.”

WCA membership has its privileges, Wellever saysl “Being an EDUcation member of the WCA and subscribing to its Skill Standards brings a lot of objectivity to our program. I think one of the greatest side benefits of belonging to the WCA is the networking that we do with other member schools, also, articulation with high school programs here in Michigan.” 

NESAW Takes the High-End Road
The New England School of Architectural Woodworking (NESAW) offers an intensive 5-month program each spring. “We treat our program like it’s a job,” says Greg Larson, director of NESAW. “Our students train eight hours a day, five days a week. Most of their training revolves around building a high-end custom kitchen for someone in our community.”

Most of NESAW’s students are in their late 20s or early 30s. “We get a lot of career changers,” says Larson, a member of the WCA Board of Directors and winner of the 2017 WMIA Educator of the Year Award.

To get his students up to speed, each of them receives a WCA Passport and is trained and evaluated to earn the WCA Sawblade Certificate. “Beyond that, they all have the opportunity to go for the Green Credential because they learn more than enough skills and put in enough hours to earn that,” Larson says. “Even though in this day and age we have no problem placing a successful student with an employer, I still encourage them to get their Green Credential to help them stand out from other applicants, but it’s totally up to them.”

Larson says woodworking companies are slowly beginning to understand who the WCA is and why it’s mission to develop Skill Standards and career paths is so critical to the future success of the North American woodworking industry.

“From an employer’s point of view, having a credential process tied to nationally recognized standards and not just my particular whims as an instructor is a big plus,” Larson says. “The WCA Skill Standards bring an important element of professionalism to the industry which is why I’m using them in my program.”

Learn more about the Woodwork Career Alliance and its Skill Standards and Passport credential program.