Wisconsin has most WCA-certified evaluators following “sold-out” event.
Wisconsin once again leads the nation in accredited skill evaluators following a “sold out” Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) Accredited Skill Evaluator Training program held October 28 at Madison Area Technical College.
The training of 16 new evaluators capped off a full-day event that also included a woodworking teacher in-service program at Madison College’s acclaimed cabinetmaking instruction facility. Accredited skill evaluators are responsible for assessing and awarding skill stamps to woodworkers participating in the WCA’s Passport credential program.
Patrick Molzahn, director of Madison College’s Cabinetmaking & Millwork program and a WCA chief evaluator, presided over the evaluator training. Madison College was the site of the first-ever WCA evaluator training in 2011 and has held at least one training session every year since. Molzahn has personally trained more than 75 evaluators for the WCA.
“I am excited to add 16 new evaluators to our list, and even more excited that Wisconsin has re-taken the lead over California as having the largest number of WCA certified evaluators in North America,” Molzahn said.
The morning in-service program was attended by 23 teachers. While the majority of participants hailed from Illinois and Wisconsin, one teacher came from Wyoming and an industry member travelled from Florida to attend the event.
The in-service program featured five speakers:
The WCA provided lunch and Bessey Tools North America provided door prizes for the event. Six lucky winners went home with Bessey clamps. Each participant left with their own customized measurement widget which they can use to evaluate their students.
Molzahn noted that Wisconsin teachers have an even greater incentive to certify their students. The WCA credential was recently recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development as eligible for Act 59 funding. High schools in the state can now receive up to $1,000 per student for every credential awarded.
For more information about the event, contact Patrick Molzahn at 608-246-6842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Woodwork Career Alliance
The Woodwork Career Alliance 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 over 1,000 Passports, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of achievements as a woodworking professional. More than 130 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, visit www.WoodworkCareer.org.
Delta-shaped DTS 400 REQ and Rectangular RTS 400 REQ
On November 1st, Festool USA and Festool Canada introduced two new, 250 watt orbital sanders: the DTS 400 REQ and the RTS 400 REQ. At 2.5lbs, the DTS 400 REQ and RTS 400 REQ are compact and lightweight and feature a 25% increase in power over previous models as well as Festool’s MMC electronics. Other new features include a pad protector designed for minimizing pad damage and protecting adjacent surfaces, a rubberized over-grip, a bayonet-style dust port connection and an optional, re-usable Longlife Filter Bag with quick release. The DTS 400 REQ and RTS 400 REQ are designed for one-handed use for fine finishing and have step-less variable speed from 6,000 to 12,000 RPM with a sanding stroke of 2mm.
“Sanding is hard work and these new orbital sanders are specifically designed to make that work easier,” says Leo Zirkler, Vice President of Marketing. “They’re powerful, yet lightweight and compact - ideal for working on vertical and overhead surfaces – while providing superior finish quality.”
The new DTS 40 REQ and RTS 400 REQ sanders were designed for:
Power - 250 watt/2.0 amps with Festool’s MMC electronics for smooth and powerful operation for the finest finishing tasks.
Durability– Designed for professional use and equipped with features like an all new Protector which helps to minimize pad damage as well as to protect adjacent surfaces for superior results. The redesigned dust port provides a robust and secure connection point for improved retention and hassle-free sanding.
Comfort – Rubberized over-grip coupled with an ergonomic form factor and oversized, robust switch adds up to all-day-long comfort with less fatigue. And, at just over 2.5 lbs, these sanders make overhead and vertical work easy and efficient.
About Festool USA
Founded in Germany in 1925, Festool is known for its innovative, precision-engineered power tool solutions. Based in Lebanon, IN, Festool USA offers a comprehensive lineup of power tools and system accessories, designed to boost productivity through efficiency and high performance. For more information, visit www.festoolusa.com or www.festoolcanada.com.
Question: I was told that it is illegal for employees to discuss their wages with a fellow employee. Could you verify if this is correct?
Response: The opposite is actually true. Employers cannot prohibit employees from discussing their salaries/wages with one another and generally cannot take adverse action against employees who do so. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) broadly defines activity that is protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the right to discuss wages is among the protected rights that employees have under this law.
Specifically, salary discussions among employees are protected under the NLRA, which applies to both unionized and non-unionized employers alike, and prevents an employer from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in exercising their rights under the Act. The NLRA protects employees' right to discuss their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment for their mutual aid or protection. In 2005, the NLRB expanded the potential arena for these violations in a case holding that even a broadly stated generic corporate confidentiality policy (as opposed to a more narrow policy prohibiting only salary discussions) also violated the Act because it "could reasonably be construed" to prohibit employees from discussing their wages or other terms and conditions of their employment. This case was subsequently affirmed by the federal Circuit Court of Appeals that reviewed it in 2007. You may wish to review the NLRB's guidance on protected concerted activity at http://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/protected-concerted-activity (see internal links for additional information). This article from the U.S. Department of Labor also addresses this issue: https://www.dol.gov/wb/media/pay_secrecy.pdf.
Accordingly, any employer mandate or rule prohibiting or even discouraging employees from discussing their own wages (or other terms and conditions of employment) with co-workers -- and any policy that seeks to take adverse action against employees who do so -- likely violates Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA, and is not advised. We recommend that you have local counsel review the employer’s policies to ensure they do not run afoul of applicable laws.
Want to learn more about how to handle issues like this? Click here to listen to our Podcast about employees discussing wages.
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To learn more about the Federated Employment Practices Network®, contact your local Federated Marketing Representative, or visit www.federatedinsurance.com.
The association's alliance with the NBMDA is designed to grow both groups.
The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) recently announced a new membership program for distributors at the North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) annual convention, which was held November 1-3, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.
“Currently, our membership is made up primarily of 20 or fewer employee operations, with the vast majority of those being 1-5 person shops,” explained Amanda Conger, the Executive Director for the CMA, at the NBMDA member meeting. “I believe that our members are either already customers of yours, or if they aren’t – then they should be.”
Conger admitted that the CMA has seen an 11% increase in membership this year. “With the help of the NBMDA, we can grow even more,” she added. The CMA’s new membership rate for distributors is $425 annually and connects NBMDA members to the CMA’s growing network of professionals. “We believe that collaboration, not competition, is the best way to improve each individual company as well as the industry as a whole,” Conger explained.
She also said that the CMA has a lot planned for the next year, culminating with the AWFS fair in Vegas. “We are still finalizing the regional event schedule,” Conger divulged. “I can tell you that the CMA intends to hold a lot more than ever before.” She encouraged distributors to consider sponsoring the association’s regional events, stating “These events are great opportunities for NBMDA members to connect with CMA members on a local level.”
Finally, Conger asked NBMDA members to let her know when they host an open house or any other type of event where the CMA could have a simple table top. “The more we can make connections between the CMA members and the NBMDA members, the more we can strengthen each individual company and ultimately the health of the woodworking industry,” Conger projected.
“NBMDA is excited to partner with the CMA and help them grow their distributor membership roster,” stated Kevin Gammonley, the Executive Vice President of NBMDA. “Strengthening small cabinet shops is in the best interest of the distributor community who serve them and thus NBMDA is committed to supporting the CMA.”
About the Cabinet Makers Association
The CMA is a trade organization where professional cabinetmakers and woodworkers from both the residential and commercial markets get together and share their hard earned knowledge and experience to help one another. For more information, visit www.cabinetmakers.org.
NBMDA is a trade association representing the leading wholesale distributors of wood panels, surfacing materials, cabinet hardware, finishes and related products. Membership is comprised of distributors and manufacturers that serve production companies involved in cabinetry, architectural woodwork, stock woodwork, store fixtures, solid surface fabricating, plastics fabricating, general and specialty woodworking industries. For more information, visit www.nbmda.org.
This section of our site contains industry news relevant to CMA members.