Jefferson Millwork Woodworker Becomes First Pro to Earn WCA Red Credential

Richard Memory, apprentice woodworker at Jefferson Millwork & Design, with the fabric rack he designed and fabricated for his WCA red credential project.

STERLING, Va. – Richard Memory, an apprentice woodworker at Jefferson Millwork & Design, was recently awarded the red credential from the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. He is the first professional woodworker to achieve the red credential, the third level of the WCA’s credentialing Passport program.

Memory, who previously earned his green and blue WCA credentials at Jefferson Millwork, successfully completed evaluation testing on a variety of woodworking operations and designed and made a fabric storage rack to meet the project requirement for the red credential. He has now amassed more than 120 tool points, all of which are documented in the online registry maintained by the WCA.

“I’m very honored and pretty proud of this achievement,” Memory said. “I definitely like the structured approach of the WCA program. It sets measurable objectives that allow me to point to actual things I can say I have done, especially when it comes to the fabric rack that I built for the shop. It’s also great the way Jefferson has structured raises for me based on growing my credentials.”

Chuck Buck, shop foreman of Jefferson Millwork, a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, lauded Memory for his dedication to learning new skills and the progress he has made since he began participating in the company’s apprentice woodworker program.

“I guided Richard through removing all guides and bearings,” Buck said. “He cleaned, inspected and replaced bearings as needed. He learned how to choose the proper blade and install it correctly including adjusting it to proper blade tension, adjusting the camber to seat the blade properly, and setting all of the guides and bearings to proper alignment. By the time he completed the skill assessments for the bandsaw, he had a better understanding and respect for the versatility of this machine.”

Buck said Jefferson Millwork began structuring its apprenticeship program around the WCA’s industry-wide recognized skill standards just over two years ago. “I honestly remember going into this being a little skeptical,” said Buck, who supervises a crew of 20 production employees. “I was worried it was going to be a time dissolver for me. Instead, I found that using the WCA skill standards and credentialing system has really helped me evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of individual employees. Because the skill standards are written out, it allows me to focus my concentration on training and evaluating the skills of individual employees. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

“When Richard completes his gold credential, he will begin earning a bench mechanic wage,” Buck added. “It’s a win-win for the both the employee and the company.”

Richard Memory poses with his WCA red credential certificate and Chuck Buck, shop foreman at Jefferson Millwork & Design.

Memory said he is motivated to go for his gold credential and now looks at woodworking as a career instead of just as a job. “I appreciate the aggregate skills I have learned about different types of machines and woodworking in general. It has made me more confident to do things on my own. I’ve even taken up woodworking as a hobby. It’s suddenly a fulfilling and interesting thing to do.”

Scott Nelson, president of the WCA, applauded Memory for his achievement and Jefferson Millwork for being an early adopter of the WCA’s credentialing Passport program. “I want to congratulate Richard for being the first woodworking professional to earn the red credential and thank Jefferson Millwork for making it happen,” Nelson said. “Jefferson was one of the first companies to sign up as a MANufacturing member when we created that category a few years ago. Hopefully other woodworking companies will take note and see the benefits of integrating the WCA skill standards and credentialing program to not only train, but retain employees by offering them a pathway to rewarding woodworking careers.”


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 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 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

President’s Message: Shifting into High Gear

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season and is recharged to embark on a prosperous 2019. We at the Woodwork Career Alliance are excited about the New Year and the opportunity to continue building on the momentum we experienced in 2018.

Here’s a quick review of some of the WCA’s 2018 highlights.

  • We are proud that 115 schools across the United States and Canada renewed their WCA EDUcation™ membership and are actively entering students into our credential program.
  • WCA added 480 new candidates and issued 167 certificates or credentials in 2018. We entered this year with over 2,100 students, teachers and professional woodworkers enrolled in the credentialing program that we launched in 2013.
  • In the month of November alone, we trained 20 new teachers as Accredited Skill Evaluators (ASE) at three separate trainings in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Colorado. We now have more than 260 ASEs, a number that we will add to through upcoming trainings at Madison College, The MiLL and the AWFS Fair. The full schedule and registration details are included in this edition of Pathways.
  • Last year, WCA introduced the INDustry™ Sponsorship program, giving manufacturers and distributors of woodworking machinery and supplies an opportunity to support WCA’s credentialing programs and industry outreach activities. I am pleased to report that we just successfully concluded our first round of sponsorship renewals. I want to personally welcome back Atlantic Plywood, Columbia Forest Products, Intermountain Wood Products, M.L. Campbell, Milesi Wood Coatings, NBMDA, OHARCO, Rev-A-Shelf, Web Don, and Wurth Group as Gold Sponsors and Brookhuis and Lutz Woodworks as Silver Sponsors. Thanks to all of our sponsors for your continued support!

Looking ahead to the AWFS Fair this July, WCA will have a Learning Center and will introduce our new WCA Cell Manufacturing 4.0. Please plan to stop by Booth 10268.

Much more to come!

Scott Nelson
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America


Championing Woodworking Skills & Careers

The co-owner of Rowland Woodworking shares her passion for SkillsUSA and the Woodwork Career Alliance.

Kristine Cox, co-owner of Rowland Woodworking of High Point, NC, is not one to sit on the sidelines. Though helping her husband Jeff run an architectural woodworking company is demanding, she still manages to make time to champion industry causes through her involvement with the Architectural Woodwork Institute and the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. She has served on the board of directors, including stints as president, for both AWI national and the Carolinas Chapter of AWI. After completing her term as president of AWI in 2017, Cox became a board member of the WCA.

Through her participation with AWI and now WCA, Cox remains actively involved with the annual SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition on both the state and national levels. For more than a decade she has helped coordinate the annual North Carolina contest for high school students, the winner of which represents the Tar Heel state in the national SkillsUSA competition. She also chairs the AWI’s SkillsUSA Committee, which along with the WCA, partners with SkillsUSA to organize the national Cabinetmaking Championship held each June in Louisville, KY.

Cox views SkillsUSA and its mission to prepare students for careers in the skilled trades – including woodworking – as a worthy organization to support to address the manufacturing skills gap head-on.

“Supporting our high school woodworking programs and students through SkillsUSA is kind of a way of giving back,” Cox says. “I quickly found out that this is something I have a real passion for. SkillsUSA is a great platform for getting the word out to the kids, parents, teachers and guidance counselors that we have good-paying jobs. We have careers. It might be in the shop running a CNC machine or in the office designing products. It could be in sales for a supplier member or a machine tech or even designing machines. If we don’t tell them about the opportunities in our big, wide industry, who will? The schools are certainly not going to be pushing them to work in our industry on their own.

“I’m not going to say it’s not selfish of me,” Cox continues. “But if one young person goes into our field, then it’s worth it. In fact, I was actually lucky enough to recently hire somebody who had competed in SkillsUSA.”

A Good Problem to Have
The 2018 North Carolina SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition, held at the Greensboro Coliseum, maxed out at 20 high school contestants. Cox and her fellow AWI Carolinas Chapter committee members are scrambling to find ways to accommodate future growth of the competition.

“We’ve already reduced the number of students any school can bring to the state championship,” Cox says. “Now we’re starting to look at ways to have a pre-competition to narrow the field because we don’t have enough space required for each contestant’s individual work area and the bigger equipment they share.”

The Carolinas Chapter donates funds to stage the state’s SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition. The chapter also purchased 20 sets of tools that includes a portable drill, sander, nail gun, etc., used by the contestants. Rowland Woodworking not only stores the tools, the company also made workbenches for the contest and lends four of its table saws and a couple of miter boxes for the competition.

The Carolina Chapter SkillsUSA committee also solicits donations of materials, supplies and equipment from area woodworking industry companies for the contest. She points to a CNC router and a dovetail key router machine loaned respectively by ShopBot Tools and Hoffmann Machinery as examples of machinery that parents, teachers and other spectators don’t usually see. “Having this technology available brings some wow factor to the competition,” she says.

Cox says she enjoys attending the annual SkillsUSA national competition. “I like to watch the kids compete, but I also like to go to nationals because I can see what it takes for a contestant to be successful. Our goal is to give our students every advantage we can by making our state’s projects look and feel like the national contest.”

Cox and Ben Houston, territory manager of Salice, who she describes as “my right-hand man,” collaborate on designing the cabinetry project contestants build under the added stress of time limits. “We’ll meet for lunch and literally draw up an idea on a napkin. Then I’ll try to put into AutoCAD and sometimes learn that it’s too complicated because of the joinery, equipment that is needed, or would take too long to construct.”

Ultimately, Cox says, “We want to make the project challenging enough so that not every kid can finish it. We want to make them demonstrate their soft skills as well as machine and cabinetmaking skills. They have to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving. If they don’t use all of the soft skills that they are learning in the SkillsUSA program, they are going to have real problems.”

Cox’s reconnaissance paid off big dividends at the 2018 SkillsUSA competition. Ravindra Dave of Cary High School of Cary, NC, took the bronze medal. In addition, Hunter Thompson, who won the gold medal at the 2016 SkillsUSA competition while still a student at Cedar Ridge High School of Hillsborough, was one of two SkillsUSA alumni to compete for the honor of representing the United States in the biennial WorldSkills contest this August in Kazan, Russia.

“I was as proud as any parent to see Hunter win a gold medal as a senior in high school,” Cox says. “I’m sad he didn’t make it to WorldSkills, but he did a great job.”

The SkillsUSA-WCA Connection
Cox’s affiliation with SkillsUSA brought her in close contact with the WCA and led her to volunteer for a seat on the WCA Board of Directors. Kent Gilchrist, a member of the AWI SkillsUSA committee, also sits on the WCA Board of Directors. Gilchrist designs the project that challenges the contestant’s skills at the national SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition.

The fact that many of the high schools that participate in North Carolina’s SkillsUSA competition are EDUcation™ members of the WCA further connects Cox to both non-profit groups.

“I think the WCA has a great program,” Cox says. “We are not a WCA MANufacturer member yet, but I do intend to change that. Between our workload and not having someone in the shop to make it happen, I really haven’t been able to do anything. But I want to bring the WCA credentialing program into our shop. In the meantime, I try to make sure that our WCA schools have what they need.”

As a recent show of her support for the WCA, Cox partnered with Dan Kern, an instructor at East and West Montgomery High Schools, to develop programming for teachers of woodworking and construction programs attending North Carolina’s 2018 Career and Technical Education Summer Conference. Kern also happens to be an accredited chief evaluator of the WCA.

“Dan took over the CTE conference planning last year,” Cox says. “The two of us sat down and brainstormed ideas of what would be beneficial for the teachers in terms of training and information.”

One of the outcomes of the brainstorming session was assembling a tour of several area wood industry facilities including Columbia Panel, Hafele America and Herzog Veneers, plus the Bienenstock Furniture Library. Another major component of the last summer’s CTE program for woodworking teachers was hands-on training at Rowland Woodworking conducted by Kern. The training was designed to help participating teachers sharpen their woodworking skills.

Cox says its likely that Kern and her will build on the success of last year’s program this summer. “We had some high school carpentry teachers participate in the tour last year. We’ve talked about the possibility of offering some woodworking training at our shop to them as well because there is some crossover,” Cox adds.

“It wasn’t too awfully inconvenient to offer space for the instructor training at our shop,” Cox says. “But even if it was inconvenient, it wouldn’t matter, because the WCA is a good program to improve our industry. As long as they want to come here, they have a place.”

Welcome New Members & Sponsors!


The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is pleased to welcome six new EDUcation™ member schools and six new INDustry™ Sponsors.

Thank you for your membership and support!

EDUcation™ Members
Charlotte High School, Charlotte, MI
Lester B Pearson High School, Calgary, AB, Canada
Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, IA
Oxford High School, Oxford, MA
Rowan – Salisbury High School, Salisbury, NC
Verona Area High School, Verona, WI

Find a WCA EDUcation™ woodworking program in your area.


INDustry™ Gold Sponsors
, Cleveland, OH
Roseburg Forest Products, Springfield, OR
Weinig-Holz-Her USA, Mooresville, NC

Industry™ Silver Sponsors
Eagle Mouldings, Loretto, MN
IMA-Schelling Group USA, Morrisville, NC
Kerfkore, Brunswick, GA

View all WCA INDustry™ Sponsors & Supporters

WMIA Educator Award Honors Industry’s ‘Unsung Heroes’

The annual award program has brought well-deserved recognition to woodworking instructors and schools, including many EDUcation members of the Woodwork Career Alliance.

In accepting the 2018 WMIA Educator of the Year Wooden Globe Award, Joe Davis, woodworking instructor of the Dale Jackson Career Center, became the seventh representative of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America to receive the prestigious honor since 2008.

Adding to this impressive reign of achievement, WCA affiliates, plus the WCA itself, have received the award from the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association in each of the last six years. The WMIA established the Educator of the Year Award in 1988 to recognize the outstanding dedication of educational institutions, companies and instructors to train individuals for careers in today’s high-tech woodworking industry.

“Since its founding in 1978, WMIA has worked not only to serve its members, but also to help secure the future of the industry,” said WMIA President and CEO Larry Hoffer. “There’s no more effective way to ensure a vibrant future workforce than through education, an area in which WMIA has demonstrated a strong commitment over the last 30 years. WMIA’s Educator of the Year Wooden Globe Award has recognized some of the leading educators across the country, and this recognition is equally as important as our efforts in providing scholarships to students so they can further their education.”

“Choosing the annual Educator of the Year is a big part of our responsibility,” said Chris Hofmann, chairman of the WMIA Education Committee and product specialist of Colonial Saw. “We look for someone who is not only an outstanding educator, but who cares enough to put forth a ton of effort for their students. It’s been great to see the high caliber of nominees that we review and speaks well about the track record of WCA and its members who have risen to the top. They are real standouts in almost every way.”

Scott Nelson, president of the WCA, said he appreciates the WMIA for elevating the importance of woodworking education through its annual award program. “I think the award shows that these are the guys who are doing the work in the trenches and it’s very outstanding that the WMIA is recognizing the job that these educators are doing to teach our next generation of woodworkers. I appreciate all of the publicity they give not only to WCA but to the individuals and their schools. There are many very good programs out there that people don’t know about. I think it shows the value of using the skill standards the WCA has provided to credential their students.”

“People complain about where the next generation of woodworkers is going to come from.”  Hofmann added. “That’s why I think these are kind of the unsung heroes of our industry. They are trying to bring the next generation of woodworkers forward. I think there is a lot of respect among the students and graduates of these programs and how they helped them gain skills that can put them on the right track to further their careers.”

WCA Winners of WMIA Educator Award Honor Roll
The following WCA members may be unsung, but they are not unheralded, thanks to being recognized with the WMIA’s Educator of the Year Award.

2018 Educator Award Winner: Dale Jackson Career Center, Lewisville, TX
Accepted by Joe Davis, mill and cabinet instructor
Over the past 20-plus years, Joe Davis has taught woodworking to more than 1,200 students. Davis is an accredited skills evaluator of the WCA and his program is a founding WCA EDUcation member. High school students who take a third semester in the DJCC woodworking program are introduced to the WCA skill standards and Passport program with the opportunity to earn a Sawblade Certificate. Many of Davis’ students have gone on to lead successful careers as woodworkers.

2017 Educator Award Winner: New England School of Architectural Woodworking, Easthampton, MA
Accepted by Greg Larson, owner/director
Greg and Margaret Larson took over the school in 2012 and expanded it to include architectural woodworking career training. Larson described the program as offering a “very real-world experience” to students, who average 32 years of age and include both young people starting out and older career changers. The private school’s program includes building and installing kitchen cabinet projects for the local community.

2016 Educator Award Winner: Woodwork Career Alliance of North America, Nellysford, VA
Accepted by Scott Nelson, president
Scott Nelson was recognized for his “tireless leadership” of the WCA, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2007 to address the woodworking industry’s critical skilled worker shortage through the development of industry-recognized skill standards. The WCA has developed observable and measurable performance standards and assessments for more than 240 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has enrolled more than 120 secondary and postsecondary institutions as EDUcation™ members, issued over 1,600 WCA passports, and trained more than 180 accredited skill evaluators.

2015 Educator Award Winner: Wood Technology Institute at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS
Accepted by Doug Hague and Charles Phillips, woodworking instructors
The Wood Technology Institute is a highly acclaimed training center and the heart of PSU’s Architectural Manufacturing Management & Technology program. In addition to their roles as woodworking instructors, Doug Hague, who has since become the Education Director of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, and Charles Phillips were lauded for conducting the first WMIA BootCamp to train woodworking suppliers about wood manufacturing processes. The success of that program led to the development of BootCamps for service technicians.

2014 Educator Award Winner: Greater West Town Project, Chicago, IL
Accepted by Doug Rappe, program coordinator
Since being established in 1993, the GWTP has trained and placed some 900 low-income adults with jobs at local woodworking businesses. In recent years, the GWTP has issued a WCA Passport to each of its graduating students. Doug Rappe, program coordinator and a WCA accredited skills evaluator, has been involved with GWTP since its inception. The WMIA honored him for his long-standing dedication to workforce development.

2013 Educator Award Winner: North Salem High School Woods Program, North Salem, OR
Accepted by Dean Mattson, cabinet and woods manufacturing teacher

Dean Mattson was recruited by Peyton School District in Colorado to develop woodworking programs at Peyton High School and the MiLL training center following his success at North Salem High School. There he created a unique STEM and CTE model that incorporated the WCA skill standards for cabinet manufacturing, mathematics and engineering. He also reached out to local businesses to hire qualified graduating students for woodworking positions.

2008 Educator Award Winner: Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI
Accepted by Patrick Molzahn, director of cabinetmaking and millwork

Patrick Molzahn, author of the fifth edition of Modern Cabinetmaking, is a founding board member of the WCA and recently became the first woodworker to earn the WCA’s Diamond credential. The one-year degree program Molzahn oversees is housed in a well-equipped facility valued at over $1 million. It is organized around lean principles and the WCA skill standards that he helped formulate. In addition to using traditional woodworking equipment and hand tools, students receive hands-on training in the latest CNC machinery and software.


IWF Memorabilia Auction to Benefit Woodwork Career Alliance

Proceeds from winning bids on sports collectables and other valuable merchandise will support the WCA’s woodworking workforce development activities.


ATLANTA – A batting helmet signed by new Hall of Fame inductee Chipper Jones and a microphone autographed by Grammy Award vocalist Taylor Swift are among the many and diverse collectables that will be auctioned during the International Woodworking Fair.

The silent auction is presented through a partnership of Expo Auctions of Sugar Hill, GA, and IWF. Net proceeds will benefit the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and growing a skilled woodworking workforce.

The silent auction will take place until 3:30 p.m. on each of the first three days of IWF, Wednesday August 22 through Friday August 24. IWF attendees will be able to view most of the auction items on display tables located near the press room B402. These and other auction items also are available for viewing on Expo Auction’s website. Bids will be accepted via text and online. Notifications will be sent to bid winners regarding payment options and pick up. Winning bidders, including those not attending IWF, will be charged for shipping if required.

Visit to view all auction items and learn how to participate in the bidding.

“IWF has been a long-time supporter of the Woodwork Career Alliance,” said Scott Nelson, WCA president. “We greatly appreciate being designated the recipient of this unique and fun fund-raising event. These funds will help us recruit more schools and woodworking companies to our credential Passport program.”

Learn more about the WCA at IWF booth 4154 or visit


About the Woodwork Career Alliance
The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America was founded in 2007 as a 501C(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 achievements as a woodworking professional. 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


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

Welcome New WCA Members and Sponsors!

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is pleased to welcome eight new EDUcation™ member schools and five new INDustry™ Sponsors.

Thank you for your membership and support!

EDUcation™ Members
Boyceville High School, Boyceville, WI
Dobson High School, Mesa, AZ
Junction City High School, Junction City, OR
Mesa High School, Mesa, AZ
Mountain View High School, Mesa, AZ
Sheboygan Falls High School, Sheboygan Falls, WI
The Master’s Craftsmen, Ozark, MO
Tim Lucas Custom Woodworks, Bell, FL

View interactive map of all WCA EDUcation™ Members

INDustry™ Gold Sponsors
Bessey Tools of North America, Cambridge, ON
Wood-Ed Table by Mimbus, Chicago, IL

Industry™ Sawblade Sponsors
Brookhuis America, Suwanee, GA
Deerwood Fasteners, Conover, NC
Titus Plus, Seattle, WA

View all WCA INDustry™ Sponsors






Woodwork Career Alliance’s Website Gets a Makeover

The champion of woodworking skill standards recognized throughout North America updates its website to better serve the industry’s need for workforce development.

Nellysford, VA – The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA), celebrating its 10th anniversary as the champion of woodworking skill standards, is pleased to announce the relaunch of The newly redesigned website has been reorganized and updated to make it easier for woodworking professionals, suppliers and educators to access information about the WCA skill standards, allied credential passport program and other valuable employee training tools and resources.

“We’ve added so much information and so many new features to the website since its launch that it was definitely time for a reboot,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “By freshening the design and tightening up the site map, the website is now much easier to navigate.” features detailed information about the WCA’s Woodworking Skill Standards and credential Passport program that are recognized throughout the North American woodworking industry. Separate pages have been developed for each of the WCA’s core membership groups, including:

EDUcation™ – Learn how secondary and postsecondary woodworking programs can benefit from subscribing to the WCA.
MANufacturing – Learn how woodworking companies can use the WCA Skills Standards and Passport program to train and incentivize employees.
INDustry™ Supporter – This new membership category opens up WCA participation to manufacturers and distributors of woodworking machinery and supplies. The $250 annual subscription goes toward helping defray the cost of the student credentialing process and student passports.
Student – Learn about the WCA credentialing process, the gateway to a rewarding woodworking career.
Employee – Learn how the cloud-based WCA Passport program can help you distinguish yourself and grow your earning potential as you develop new machine skills.

Since it was chartered as a 503c non-profit in 2007, the WCA has developed Skill Standards for more than 240 woodworking machines and operations and issued nearly 1,600 individual skill credential passports. The standards and passports are recognized by educational institutions and woodworking companies operating throughout the United States and Canada. The overarching goal of the WCA is to develop and grow the industry’s workforce by creating pathways for woodworkers to advance their careers and incomes as they learn new skills.
Learn more about Woodwork Career Alliance membership and the WCA Skill Standards and Passport program at the new


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 achievements as a woodworking professional. More than 165 high schools and post-secondary schools throughout North America are WCA EDUcation™ members. To learn more about the WCA, how to get involved with its programs or to sign up to receive the quarterly WCA Pathways e-newsletter, visit

President’s Message: Thanks to Our Supporters and How You Can Become One

AWFS 2017 was a very busy and successful show for the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. We signed up four new schools for the 2017-2018 school year, three new MANufacturing™ members and obtained leads for an additional half-dozen MANufacturing members at the show in Las Vegas.

WCA was also presented a check for $751 at the AWFS Fair from Vero Software from the sale of a custom T-shirt. This donation followed $2,740 raised during a silent auction in April at the Woodworking Industry Conference organized by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America. Both of these generous donations will benefit our Education Fund.

Whenever possible please support and recognize these outstanding industry supporters of WCA’s educational efforts.

In this edition of Pathways, WCA proudly announces the launch of its redesigned website: This is just our second generation of the website and I think you will find it more pleasing to the eye and easier to navigate. Please visit the site and let us know what you think.

In launching the website, I am also pleased to note that we have revised some of our membership categories. We have changed the name of our INDustry Member to MANufacturing Member and have added the category of INDustry™ Supporter. The INDustry Supporter category provides a way for manufacturers and distributors of woodworking machinery and supplies and other industry stakeholders to support the WCA. We have many schools and students who want to participate in the WCA credentialing program that have financial limitations preventing them from doing so.

Your yearly INDustry Supporter subscription will help defray the program cost for the school of your choice. If you do not have a particular school in mind that you want to help, your $250 annual subscription will go to a general fund to help schools and/or students in need of a helping hand.

INDustry Supporters will also have the opportunity to take advantage of our new sponsorship packages. Each sponsorship package – Bronze, Silver and Gold – comes with a progressively greater number of perks that will help the sponsor stand out in the marketplace as a supporter of the WCA and workforce development. Click here to learn more WCA sponsorship opportunities.

I hope everyone has a great Holiday Season!!!

Scott Nelson
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America