Woodwork Career Alliance Turns 10

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is celebrating its 10th anniversary as the industry champion of skill standards which open doors to rewarding careers in professional woodworking.

The WCA was established in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity to actively promote and develop a skilled woodworking workforce in the United States and Canada. Ten years later, the WCA has created skill standards for more than 240 woodworking machines and operations; issued more than 1,300 Passports and signed up more than 165 high school and postsecondary woodworking programs as EDUcation members.

As the latest sign of its growing influence and acceptance, four states – California, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin – now recognize the WCA’s Passport credential program for their respective state-sponsored woodworking programs. In addition, the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association recognized the WCA as its 2016 Educator of the Year.

Other recent WCA milestones include the release of the second edition of the WCA’s Woodworking Skill Standards and launch of Pathways, the alliance’s quarterly e-newsletter.

The WCA looks to build on its momentum. Plans include having a big presence at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas this July including conducting multiple sessions of Accredited Skill Evaluator training and participating in the fair’s College of Woodworking Knowledge seminar program. The WCA also plans to provide training materials to make it easier for schools and businesses to implement the WCA’s Passport program.

“As the former owner of a custom woodworking business, I know firsthand the challenge of finding qualified workers,” said WCA President Scott Nelson. “We’ve created a sturdy foundation and made a significant amount of progress over the last 10 years. I look forward to engaging more educational institutions, businesses, and industry members moving forward. Only by working together can we promote the tremendous career opportunities that exist in today’s woodworking industry and close the skills gap that plagues our industry.”

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