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
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America


President’s Message: It Wasn’t Easy, but They Did it!

I hope everyone and their loved ones are staying safe in this very unusual time of America’s history. Since the shutdown of most schools in mid-March the educating and credentialing of students for their Sawblade certificates and Passport credentials has truly been a challenge. However, during this challenging time, Woodwork Career Alliance EDUcation member teachers still were able to use online instruction and testing to issue WCA credentials to 179 students.

I would like to commend these instructors for their dedication to their students and the WCA. Here is the list of the 13 schools that issued WCA credentials, including Sawblade certificates and Green and Blue credentials, during the coronavirus pandemic:

Don Stoneburner, a student at Boyceville High School, proudly displays the WCA Sawblade certificate he earned after successfully completing the online test.

Arrowhead Union High School, Harland, WI
Asheville High School, Ashville, NC
Boyceville High School, Boyceville, WI
Dale Jackson Career Center, Lewisville, TX
Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor ME
Fennimore High School, Fennimore, WI
Green County ATC, Greensburg, KY
Jackson County ATC, McKee, KY
Kettle Moraine High School, Wales, WI
Montgomery County High School, Mt. Gilead, NC
New England School of Architectural Woodworking, Easthampton, MA
Sheboygan Falls High School, Sheboygan Falls, WI
Warren Township High School, Gurnee, IL

Without a doubt this list would have been much longer if the 2019-20 academic year had played out according to plan. Unfortunately, the serious disruptions created by the coronavirus occurred before may WCA EDUcation instructors had the opportunity to evaluate their students on the set-up and operation of basic woodworking machines.

It is also unfortunate that we had to cancel two Accredited Skill Evaluator Trainings that were scheduled for April. The good news is that our totally online ASE training module should be ready to go by Sept. 1. This will allow all new teachers to able to become ASE certified online without having to travel to a face-to-face training session. Stay tuned for details.

This edition of Pathways is dominated by articles related to a COVID-19 survey we conducted of WCA EDUcation members to learn how they coped making the difficult and frantic transition from teaching woodworking in the classroom to online. We received many excellent responses including some of the resources these teachers used in place of hands-on woodworking instruction. We also received some great feedback about some of the resources WCA offers to EDU members as well as some of the types of tools and information teachers would like to see added to our online training library. In addition, several of the instructors offered to share some of the materials they created for their curricula.

We’re all hopeful that we will get kids back in school this fall, doing woodworking projects and earning their credentials.

Please stay safe.

Scott Nelson
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America

Welcome New Members & Sponsors!

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

Thank you for your membership and support!

New EDUcation™ Members
Canaan Memorial High School, Canaan, VT
Hill-McCloy High School, Montrose, MI
MakeHaven Inc., New Haven, CT
Sheboygan Falls High School, Sheboygan Falls, WI
Smith Vocational High School, Northampton, MA

Find WCA EDUcation™ woodworking programs in your area.

New MANufacturing™ Member
MCS Woodworking LLC, New Berlin, WI

New INDustry™ Gold Sponsor
, Dale, IN

INDustry™ Gold Sponsor Renewals
Atlantic Plywood,
Woburn MA
Daniels-Olsen/Metro Hardwoods,
Sioux Falls, SD
M.L. Campbell,
The Woodlands, TX
North American Building Materials Distributor Association (NBMDA),
Chicago, IL
Stiles Machinery,
Grand Rapids, MI
Web-Don, Charlotte, NC
Wurth Group North America, Vernon Hills, IL

New INDustry™ Silver Sponsors
C.R. Onsrud,
Troutman, NC
Star Moulding,
Bedford Park, IL
WDLusk Consulting,
Dallas, TX

INDustry™ Silver Sponsor Renewals
Aiken Controls,
Lenoir, NC
Weima America, Fort Mill, SC

View all WCA INDustry™ Sponsors & Supporters.

Learn more about the benefits of sponsoring the WCA.

President’s Message: IWF Was Busy Good for the WCA

The International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta proved not only to be a very well-attended show, but a very productive one for the Woodwork Career Alliance.

Through the IWF Silent Auction and an optional $5 support registration check-off, WCA raised about $8,500 to support the mission of developing a trained workforce. I would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to IWF management for designating WCA to receive the proceeds from these two fundraising activities.

The show also produced a constant flow of woodworkers to our booth, including many who requested information about our MANufacturing™ credentials, skill standards and other programs. Hopefully this interest will spawn new MANufacturing members eager to get their own in-house training and Passport programs up and running.

This is also a very busy time for all of our EDUcation™ members. Schools are currently in the renewal process and requesting their annual benefit package. By the next edition of Pathways, I will be able to report on the success of our renewal process.

Upcoming Accredited Skill Evaluator Training Sessions
On November 2, WCA conduct Accredited Skill Evaluator Training at Madison College in Madison, WI. Because this session is sold out, we are looking into scheduling another ASE training event at Madison College in February.

On November 9, WCA will conduct another Accredited Skill Evaluator Training at the Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab (MiLL) in conjunction with the MiLL Academy curriculum training in Colorado Springs, CO. The $250 fee for the optional third day of training allows teachers to receive the WCA ASE training without additional travel time and cost. The additional fee also covers their school’s WCA EDUcation membership the 2018-19 school year. Five high school teachers are currently registered for the training.

Thank You Sponsors!
I am pleased to report that the WCA’s new INDustry™ Sponsorship program has so far enlisted the support of 21 Gold Sponsors and eight Silver Sponsors. The logos of all of our Gold Sponsors are included in each edition of Pathways. Our new sponsors include:

Gold – Roseburg Forest Products, Sherwin-Williams and Weinig Holz-Her USA
Silver – Eagle Mouldings, IMA-Schelling and Kerfkore.

Thank you one and all!

Scott Nelson
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America

WCA Brings Wood Instructors Together at IWF

Robert Lindsay, left, Jeff Seavolt, Daniel Kern. Patrick White, Justin Christianson and Kent Gilchrist pose at the WCA’s booth during IWF 2018 in Atlanta.

Woodworking teachers of current and prospective WCA EDUcation institutions took time out from the hustle and bustle of the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta to meet and greet at the WCA’s booth.

They included, Robert Lindsay, recently retired from Trenton High School of Trenton, MI; Jeff Seavolt, Maple Valley Jr. & Sr. High School of Vermontville, MI; Daniel Kern, Montgomery County High School of Mt. Gilead, NC; Patrick White, The MiLL of Colorado Springs, CO; Justin Christianson, School of Woodworking and Discipleship of Indianapolis, IN; and Kent Gilchrist, Chairman of the WCA Education Committee.

Stiles & 3M Team Up to Deliver Sanding Seminar at Madison College

Over three dozen individuals from industry and education attended a recent lunch and learn at Madison College in Madison, WI, sponsored by Stiles Machinery and 3M. Participants learned about how to select proper abrasive types, as well as new technology in wide belt and portable power sanding. Seminar sessions included classroom presentations and machine and tool demonstrations in Madison College’s Cabinetmaking shop.

Presenters included Peter Van Dyke of Stiles Machinery and Ron Hansen and Dan Bygd of 3M. In addition to walking away with a wealth of knowledge on sanding, one lucky participant won a new 3M pneumatic D/A sander, provided by 3M as the door prize.

The Cabinetmaking program at Madison College is a Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) EDUcation™ member and hosts several seminars annually that are open to industry members. To get on the notification list, contact Patrick Molzahn at 608-246-6842 or