President’s Message: New Year, New Industry Support

The Woodwork Career Alliance is starting 2018 – and its second decade – with a big boost from the North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) and 14 of its members. They have all signed on as Gold INDustry Supporter Sponsors!

We have since added the Wood-Ed Table by Mimbus, as a Gold sponsor and have received support from three companies as Industry supporters.

Our initial sponsors include:

Gold Sponsors: Arauco, Atlantic Plywood, Axalta Coating Systems, Columbia Forest Products, Daniels-Olsen/Metro Hardwoods, E.B. Bradley, Intermountain Wood Products,  M.L. Campbell, Milesi Wood Coatings, NBMDA, OHARCO, Rev-A-Shelf, Timber Products, Web-Don, Wood-Ed Table and Wurth Group North America.

INDustry Supporters: Brookhuis America, Deerwood Fasteners and Lutz Woodworks.

I thank each and everyone of these companies for supporting WCA EDUcation institutions and students and helping us raise awareness of the WCA’s Woodworking Skill Standards and efforts to develop and grow a skilled woodworking workforce in the U.S. and Canada.

I hope you will consider joining the ranks of our inaugural sponsors. Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

Maine State Prison Update
In WCA MANufacturing news, I am pleased to report that the pilot program we are working on with the Maine State Prison Industries is moving forward.  Passports have been issued to 23 inmates and they have started the credentialing process by undergoing skill assessment evaluations. The goal is for each of these inmates to earn their Blue Credential by the end of this year. 

This pilot program is possible through a grant from the Northern Forest Center which is funding 50% of the cost of the Passports and Assessments. The overall objective is to enter 50 inmates into the program prioritized by release date. When the inmates are eligible to enter the work release program, which is 18 months from release, they will be placed with a manufacturer that has the need for their skills and start their journey back into the workforce and society.

Two other quick things:

  1. We just added a map of EDUcation member schools. Click here to find WCA institutions nearest you. If you know of a high school or postsecondary woodworking program not listed, please let us know, including a contact name and information if possible.
  2. Mark your calendar for IWF 2018, August 22-25 in Atlanta, and plan on visiting WCA at Booth 4156!

 I hope everyone has a great 2018!!!

Scott Nelson
Woodwork Career Alliance of North America