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WCA ‘Back in Action’ at AWFS Fair

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America made the most of its participation at the AWFS Fair, the first in-person nati0nal woodworking trade show in two years.

As Scott Nelson was happy to attest, “It was wonderful to be back in action and to meet face-to-face with industry and new industry colleagues, educators, and sponsors. While COVID impacted the attendance, particularly from Canadians, it did not dampen the great enthusiasm among those who participated in the show.”

Among the highlights, the WCA presented “Building a Training Program for Your Woodworkers,” a 2.5-hour workshop attended by nearly 60 woodworking executives.  The lively back-and-forth discussion was led by Bruce Spitz, a member of WCA’s board of directors, right, and Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. Each attendee left the session armed with a training template unique to his or her company’s needs that was created during the hands-on portion of the program.

The AWFS Fair partnered with Expo Auctions to conduct a silent auction during the four-day show. The auction, featuring signed sports collectibles, framed artwork, get-away trips, and more raised money for the WCA’s EDUcation fund and industry outreach programs.

In addition to learning about the WCA’s credentialing programs and skill standards, visitors to the WCA’s booth had the opportunity to test their finishing skills using the SimSpary virtual reality module. The interactive demonstrations were facilitated by Mimbus, a gold sponsor of the WCA,

Mimbus to Participate at AWFS Fair with WCA

CHICAGO — Mimbus Inc., a creator and distributor of immersive simulators for manual skills training, announced its planned participation at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas, taking place July 20-23.

Mimbus Inc. will showcase its immersive solutions 100% dedicated to training for the woodworking industry at booth #1979.

Visitors to the WCA booth will experience live demonstrations of the Virtual Reality solution SimSpray for wood painting, get exclusive insight into the latest features of the Wood Ed products for carpentry training, and learn how the software Vulcan by Mimbus can analyze in real-time the assessments of professional training to better control the training experience and ensure trainee skill achievement.

“We very much look forward to participating in the AWFS Fair 2021 in Las Vegas. It will be the first trade show this year where our team will participate onsite again,” explains Sebastien Bru, head of Mimbus Inc. “We will be present thanks to the support of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America, a trustful partner for several years now, committed to improving skilled trade training development, like us.”

Members of the Woodwork Career Alliance will be on hand to discuss how woodworking companies can incorporate the WCA Skill Standards and Passport credentialing program to strengthen their training programs.

“We greatly appreciate our ongoing partnership with Mimbus,” said Scott Nelson, President of the WCA. “Virtual reality is a tremendous tool for instructing students and new employees on the safe operation of equipment used in our industry. I encourage educators and woodworkers attending the show to stop by the booth and see the potential of these systems first-hand.”

The AWFS Fair brings together the entire home and commercial furnishings industry, including manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, plastics, lumber, construction materials, and other suppliers to the furniture, cabinet manufacturers, and custom woodworkers.

Additional information about the AWFS Fair 2021 is available at awfsfair.org.

About Mimbus Inc.
Founded in 2011, Mimbus revolutionizes vocational training, by providing the instructors with innovative tools allowing to train their students faster, in a totally safe way, and with lower costs. Specialized in the learning of manual skills, Mimbus offers a range of nearly 15 virtual training solutions covering the learning of about 20 manual trades, all of them connected to VULCAN, the unique platform that tracks, controls, and adapts the student learning path for more efficient training. Mimbus is a French company with a subsidiary based in Chicago, Illinois. mimbus.com

About the Woodwork Career Alliance
Founded in 2007, the mission of the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) is to support workforce development for the woodworking industry, which includes certification and training of new and existing woodworking professionals as well as students at both the high school and post-secondary levels. Woodworking students and professionals can earn an industry-approved and recognized credential based on observable, measurable standards and evaluations. Every participant in the program starts by purchasing a Passport that will record their achievements as they move through the process. woodworkcareer.org

Woodwork Career Alliance Revs Up for AWFS Fair

The WCA is all in for the Vegas woodworking show to discuss its programs and industry best practices for developing a skilled workforce.

 

LAS VEGAS – The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America immensely looks forward to reconnecting with the wood products industry at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas, July 20-23.

“We are thrilled to participate at the AWFS Fair,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “I imagine the show will feel like a big industry reunion. It’s going to be great to meet new people and to catch up with industry friends and supporters we haven’t seen since before the pandemic. I’m also excited about being able to discuss some of the new programs we’re working on for school woodworking programs and professional woodworkers.”

One of the newest programs WCA will showcase is its online training for accredited skill evaluators (ASE). The online platform allows woodworking instructors to schedule their ASE training and testing at their convenience saving them both time and travel costs. Since its soft launch last fall, 32 teachers from 13 states have enrolled in the online ASE training program.

“The biggest benefit for instructors far and away is the ability to get trained anywhere in the world and at their own pace,” said Greg Larson, vice president of the WCA. “We’ve also added more material to the training session, so it’s more in-depth. This will help us grow the number of WCA EDUcation programs throughout the U.S. and Canada that educate students using WCA’s woodworking industry-recognized skill standards. That’s a major benefit for the industry that is desperate to find qualified candidates.”

SimSpray VR

Visitors to the WCA’s booth can put their spray finishing skills to the test by using the SimSpray virtual reality apparatus.

Nelson and Bruce Spitz, a member of the WCA Board of Directors and former owner of Classic Millwork & Products, will co-present a workforce development workshop: Building a Training Program for Your Workers. The nuts-and-bolts session is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 22. Attendees will actually create training a template based on their production shop’s unique needs. They will also learn how to develop new employees for their first two years both in knowledge-based skills and machine-based skills.

Just for fun, the WCA invites all AWFS Fair participants – attendees and exhibitors alike – to put their spray finishing skills to the test. The SimSpray virtual reality finish training apparatus will be ready for all challengers in the WCA’s booth.

WCA representatives will be on hand to discuss its industry-recognized skill standards and credentialing programs for students and professionals.

Be sure to stop by the WCA’s booth #1979. Learn more 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.