Woodwork teachers and evaluators gathered at Madison College to begin work on the Woodwork Career Alliance teacher training and certification program.
The Woodwork Career Alliance is taking steps to ensure a new generation of current employees and entry-level workers are prepared for the future of the woodworking industry in North America.
In late April, a group of WoodLINKS teachers and a crew of experienced wood tech instructors met at Madison College in Wisconsin to pass on basic and advanced woodworking practices to future WCA teacher/evaluators. The daylong session, which was held in Madison College’s Wood Tech Department, is the next phase in the WCA’s effort to certify teachers and evaluators under the group’s Woodwork Passport program.
The three WoodLINKS teachers are among a group of a dozen instructors nationwide who are being trained as WCA evaluators. The Woodwork Passport is portable and is set up to record successful worker assessments on three levels for over 50 tools and machines.
The WCA and the Architectural Woodwork Institute, a sponsor of the WCA effort, have a goal to provide woodworking skill standards to professional woodworkers in over 150 woodwork operational skills on over 50 of the most common tools and machines used in plants and factories today.
WoodLINKS USA, whose goals are in line with the WCA and AWI in the area of woodworker training, focuses primarily on high school and post-secondary technical education in wood tech disciplines. WoodLINKS serves more than 80 schools nationwide and offers a student certification program. For more information see www.woodlinksusa.org.
“This is a great opportunity for our WoodLINKS teachers to partner, learn from, and assist with what the WCA is doing for the entire woodworking industry with its Skill Standards Passport Program,” WoodLINKS USA interim national program director, Steve Ehle, says. “It’s really a good fit for both of us.”
The WCA has developed a 260-page book of skill standards that is available to teachers, employers and wood industry employees. When woodworkers are ready to create a record of their skills and achievements they can enroll in the WCA Passport program by logging on to www.woodworkcareer.org.
When a woodworker earns enough “Tool Stamps” in the Passport program, he or she will qualify for one of five credentials. “The kind of credentials employers are looking for,” says Greg Heuer, WCA secretary.
The WCA has prepared a handbook for premier candidates for WCA Skill Evaluator positions nationwide. Select Skill Evaluators will be nominated in the near future as Chief Evaluators. The WCA has recruited a team of faculty instructors who oversee the program. Future WCA Passport training sessions are planned for sites across the country.
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