Owners and managers of woodworking businesses challenged by a low number of job applicants and/or high employee turnover rate are encouraged to attend free College of Woodworking Knowledge seminar sessions featuring the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America at the AWFS Fair, July 17-20 in Las Vegas.
The WCA is scheduled to participate in a pair of free seminars of the fair’s Culture & Workforce Track and one free seminar in the Teacher track. The sessions include:
WCA – WIIFM: What’s In It For Me?
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17
Presenter: Patrick Molzahn, director of Cabinetmaking & Millwork, Madison College and secretary of the WCA
Whether you are in education or in industry, this session will provide ideas that you can use to implement the Woodwork Career Alliance credentialing system to create and manage a training program in your school or business. The presenter, who has used the WCA Skill Standards to shape his curriculum, will demonstrate how to improve your training program and discuss how members can take advantage of the WCA’s online library of videos, educational materials and other training resources to help you accomplish your goals faster and better.
Finding, Training and Retaining Workers
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Thursday, July 18
Presenter: Patrick Molzahn, director of Cabinetmaking & Millwork, Madison College and secretary of the WCA
Where are all the workers? If only I could find someone with skills. These millennials just don’t have the work ethic we expect. Does this sound familiar? In a tight labor market, you need to get creative. This seminar will provide strategies to overcome many of the challenges you face recruiting and retaining quality employees.
Building a Training Program for Your Workers
3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 19
Presenters: Scott Nelson, president of the WCA & Patrick Molzahn, director of Cabinetmaking & Millwork, Madison College and secretary of the WCA
Are you looking to create you own in-house training program? This ‘nuts & bolts’ session will show you how to get started and how you can access ready-made resources to make the job easier. The presenters will discuss how to assess new candidates on layout and measurement and how to customize your training template. Come to this session to learn:
In addition to those three free seminars, instructors of two WCA EDUcation™ institutions will present sessions in the Teacher track. John Stearns of the MiLL is scheduled to talk on Classroom Tool Safety, Teacher Curriculum and Resources, and How to Get Money for Your Program & Spend It Wisely. Mark Smith of Reed Cutler High School will discuss AutoCAD for the Woodworking Program and Marketing Your Program: How to Get Started.
To learn more and register for AWFS Fair seminars, visit awfsfair.org.
Oregon State University and the TallWood Design Institute choose Biesse’s Uniteam UT machine for new advanced materials lab
When Oregon State University and the TallWood Design Institute (TDI) needed a machining solution to support creativity in their new A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, they turned to Biesse Uniteam and its high performance Uniteam UT work center. When the new lab opens on May 14th, the UT machine will be used for student education, industry training, technical demonstrations, and applied research.
A partnership between Oregon State University’s Colleges of Forestry and Engineering and University of Oregon’s College of Design, TDI is the nation’s leading research collaborative focused on the advancement of structural wood products and mass timber design. “There are several large-scale CNC machines on the market that allow manufacturers to work with mass timber products such as cross-laminated timber (X-LAM) and glue-laminated beams (GLU-LAM),” said Iain Macdonald, Director of TDI. “But essentially what we saw with the Uniteam UT machine was that it had the best all-round flexibility. This is really important for what we do - every project is unique, and we will be dealing with everything from scaled-down mockup buildings and product prototyping to full-scale structures for testing.”
Macdonald previously managed an R&D center for the wood products industry in Canada, and experienced some frustrations with the more limited capabilities of other machines. "When architecture students and practicing architects came to our workshops, they were all fired up to try out innovative designs and be very creative. They were sometimes disappointed when we had to tell them about the constraints of those machines.”
Macdonald said the experience of Emmerson Lab users is likely to be quite different. “Our new Biesse Uniteam UT machine will cut mass timber panels, straight beams and curved beams, so it will help us push the boundaries of what can be done with wood. We are really looking forward to being able to use all the capabilities of the machine to do some cutting-edge research projects, help industry understand what the technology can do, and show designers how the fabrication process works. To fulfill our research and development mandate, the UT machine was clearly the best solution for us".
According to Mike Johnson, Biesse Vice President of Sales, the Uniteam UT’s design has a unique advantage. “The Uniteam UT has the flexibility to quickly set-up for machining of both straight and curved Mass Timber or Laminated Beams, while also having the capacity to machine CLT panels up to 10’ in width. It combines a fast automatic clamping solution with a powerful 5-Axis electro spindle able to perform machining operations to the highest possible standards. The Uniteam UT machine is ideal for manufacturing companies requiring flexibility in fabrication as well as the needs of a research, training, and design institute like TallWood.”
Made possible by $6 million in funding from California-based Sierra Pacific Industries and named for Sierra Pacific's co-founder, the new lab has two missions. Half of it will be dedicated to state-of-the-art fabrication. The other half will house a structural testing facility, designed for building up to 3-story structures using mass timber products and destructively testing them for seismic strength, structural strength, and other characteristics. The 15,000-square foot advanced materials lab is one part of an $80 million investment to create the Oregon Forest Science Complex, that also encompasses the 80,000-square foot George W. Peavy Forest Science Center.
The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America is organizing several Accredited Skill Evaluator Training events over the next few months, including sessions during the AWFS Fair this summer in Las Vegas.
The course fee covers the half-day training session and materials plus a one-year membership as a WCA EDUcation™. EDUcation members also gain access to the WCA’s online archive of training videos and other valuable materials that they can use to develop or enhance their woodworking training programs.
ASE’s are a vital link of the WCA’s credentialing program. In most school woodworking programs, the ASE is also the instructor. An ASE is responsible for observing a person’s ability to perform a woodworking operation at a high enough caliber to earn tool points to fortify their woodworking credentials.
“The purpose of the training is for them to learn how to evaluate woodworkers using the WCA Skill Standards,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “They learn to test if a student’s or professional woodworker’s performance measures up to accepted industry standards in terms of set up, safety, part quality, etc.”
To date, more than 260 woodworking instructors and professionals have been certified as accredited skill evaluators by the WCA.
Upcoming ASE Training Sessions
April 26: The MiLL National Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
WCA ASE training is offered as an optional upgrade on the third day of the three-day MiLL Academy event. For more information and to register visit https://themillco.org/academy.
July 17-20: AWFS Fair, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
The WCA will host seven ASE training sessions in its exhibit booth during the AWFS Fair. Morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled for July 17-19. A morning session will also be offered on July 20. Each session is limited to four seats. For more information and to register, contact Scott Nelson, WCA president, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-610-6043.
To find out how to schedule a WCA ASE Training event at your school or business, contact Scott Nelson at email@example.com or call 402-610-6043.
Learn more about the WCA and its credentialing program at www.woodworkcareer.org.
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 2,000 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. To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.
The Association, in partnership with Weinig Holz-Her USA, is offering a free breakfast for attendees of the Wood Pro Expo and Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo
The Cabinet Makers Association is pleased to announce they will be hosting one of their popular “What’s Your Problem?” roundtable discussions during the co-located Wood Pro Expo and Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo. The CMA event will be held over a free breakfast at the Charlotte Convention Center prior to the opening of the show on Friday, March 8.
Held in partnership with Weinig Holz-Her USA, this is an opportunity for show attendees to share their problems and solutions with other like-minded woodworking professionals. This free breakfast offers a unique outlet to share business challenges and learn from others who have been there, done that, and succeeded.
The conversations will begin at 7:30 am and the event will conclude in time for participants to attend Will Sampson’s opening keynote at 9 am. To register for this free CMA event, please visit bit.ly/WPE-CMA. You do not have to be a CMA member to participate.
About the Cabinet Makers Association
The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) was incorporated in 1998 by a group of custom cabinet makers who thought the small to mid-size shop needed to network and help each other grow profitably. Currently, CMA membership is made up primarily of 20 or fewer employee operations, with the vast majority of those being 1-5 person shops.
About Weinig Holz-Her USA
Weinig Holz-Her USA is the industry leader in solid wood and panel processing technology and equipment. Specializing in innovative manufacturing solutions that enable mass-customization and improve efficiency, Weinig Holz-Her USA offers an array of equipment including moulders, cross-cut saws, rip saws, finger jointers, gluing presses, scanners, CNC machining centers, edge banders, beam saws, vertical saws, material handling equipment, along with fully integrated software solutions that manage and optimize production.
Free and highly-discounted products more than cover the annual fee for high school and post-secondary woodworking programs to belong to the Woodwork Career Alliance.
There are many good reasons for high school and post-secondary woodworking programs to become EDUcation™ members of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America.
Most importantly, being affiliated with the WCA’s industry-recognized credentialing program adds credibility to the school’s woodshop curriculum as aspiring to professional standards. In addition, instructors gain access to a treasure trove of training tools including the WCA Woodworking Skill Standards, how-to videos, past SkillsUSA project plans and other online resources. EDU-member instructors also can apply for financial support and scholarships to benefit their students and personal development.
In case those benefits are not compelling enough to justify the modest annual $250 investment for WCA EDUcation membership, then consider the value of the WCA Essentials™ Benefits Package. It more than outweighs the cost to join.
“The Essentials Benefits Package offers useful resources for any woodworking program,” said Patrick Molzahn, treasurer of the WCA and director of the cabinetmaking and millwork program at Madison Area Technical College of Madison, WI. “From consumables such as screws, glue, and veneer, to access to exclusive online information from Taunton Press and training from Stiles Machinery, the package easily offers more value than the cost of the annual membership.”
Tom Hillstead and Mark Smith are just two instructors of WCA EDUcation schools who appreciate receiving the free and discounted products to benefit their programs.
“Being on a tight budget, every little bit helps,” said Hillstead, cabinetmaking instructor at St. Paul College of St. Paul, MN. “We always receive products that we can use in our shop. The donation packages are a great benefit to our program and more than worth the annual WCA membership cost.”
“The support our program receives from industry suppliers through the WCA has been invaluable,” said Smith, industrial technology teacher at Reed-Cutler High School of Braidwood, IL. “We put to use everything that is supplied to enhance the curriculum we are delivering. Though the Reed-Custer school district has been very supportive, my program always needs items that are beyond what the budget can support. The support my program has received over the years from industry has made all the difference.”
The Essentials Benefit Package being offered to WCA EDUcation members for the 2018-19 school year includes:
For more information about becoming a WCA Essentials Benefit Package donor, contact Scott Nelson, WCA president, at 402-610-6043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 over 1,800 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. To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.
Stiles recently unveiled a new program designed to raise up the next generation of leaders in the manufacturing industry. The new Emerging Leader Program, which will focus on equipping a recent college graduate with the knowledge and experience necessary to jumpstart their career, will consist of one year of hands-on training and development both nationally and internationally alongside some of the best and brightest in the industry.
The year-long program will begin at Stiles’ headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI with three months of professional training and job shadowing with industry experts, followed by three months of training at one of HOMAG’s global locations in Germany, Poland or China. This cycle will be repeated with three months back in the United States and an additional three months overseas, for a total of one year of real-life industry experience with a world-leading company.
The selected candidate will be responsible for gaining an in-depth knowledge of the products and services offered by Stiles Machinery and HOMAG to further the success of the organization and the industry. When the program comes to an end, the individual will have the opportunity to relocate throughout the United States to begin a full-time job with a focus on sales and customer relations for Stiles Machinery.
“We are excited to embark upon this unique journey with the next generation of industry leaders and look forward to partnering with them to develop a fulfilling career path at Stiles,” says Elizabeth Williams, Corporate Human Resources Manager at Stiles.
Employee benefits will also be made available to participants of the Emerging Leader Program including medical, dental, vision, 401K, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, housing accommodations and more. Qualified candidates will have a strong sense of adventure with a serious interest in a customer-facing career in the manufacturing industry. They should also be pursuing their Bachelors or Masters degree in Business, International Business, Engineering, Marketing, Communications, or a related field, with an expected graduation date in December 2018 or Spring 2019.
For more information about Stiles Emerging Leader Program, visit www.joinstiles.com/elp
About Stiles Machinery
As the industry’s leading provider of advanced manufacturing solutions, Stiles has been helping manufacturers throughout North America increase their efficiency and productivity for over 50 years. With world-class machinery backed by an experienced and responsive support team, extensive parts inventory, unique upgrade capabilities and a nationally accredited education and training program, Stiles offers solutions that equip companies for success in every area of their business. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Stiles has regional offices in High Point, North Carolina; Bristol, Pennsylvania; Coppell, Texas; and Rancho Cucamonga, California. Stiles is a proud member of the HOMAG Group, a global leader in the production of industrial manufacturing machinery.
Workforce development, an all-too-relevant topic in our industry, was the focus of the November 9, 2018 Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) regional event held at The MiLL National Training Center in Colorado Springs. The event also included a tour of Concepts in Millwork.
The MiLL is the industry’s first national training center where students can learn cabinetmaking and general construction; the evolving program is also soon adding a welding option. Founded by Dean Mattson, the MiLL’s program was initially offered to nearby high schools to complement their curriculum and offer yet another opportunity for their students to gain real-world training.
The MiLL has now expanded its original scope to include classes in the evenings for the Wounded Warrior Project in collaboration with Red Rocks Community College.
The entire program is designed to be replicated throughout the country and plans are already in the works for additional locations.
Students at The MiLL are not simply taught necessary woodworking skills; they also acquire a professional skill set that is quite remarkable. They are encouraged to create business cards as soon as possible, and to network all the time, wherever they are. They are also taught the importance of eye contact and a firm handshake. “These kids make a very strong first impression,” says Amanda Conger, the executive director of the CMA.
Concepts in Millwork, a family-owned commercial millwork company, uses The MiLL to source their workforce. During the CMA event at the MiLL, HR manager Rhynel Evans was part of a panel discussion and explained that she realized the Concepts needed to be creative in their recruiting methods. And so, they began their partnership with The MiLL by offering students an internship program the summer before their senior year. During the 12-week program, the interns are cross-trained in every major area on the shop floor. Concepts has not only had 100 percent placement after graduation but also has a 100 percent retention rate with those employees.
Evans admits that it takes effort. “Managing this generation takes flexibility and patience,” she stated. “They often require customized arrangements, and Concepts has had to learn to adapt to their needs.” One of their employees had trouble getting to work on time in the mornings because he had a new baby at home. After some consideration, they mutually agreed to switch him to the second shift and this has worked out great.
Everyone attending the Colorado Spring event was urged to get involved in their local communities and create a partnership with their respective education programs. Dean Mattson also encouraged companies to establish their own internal education program to train and retain their current employees.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of two scholarships to students of The MiLL by Darryl Hogeback of Savanté Wine Cellars, based in Denver, Colorado. Hogeback was recently awarded prize money by Woodworking Network for an extra-spectacular project, and he chose to donate his winnings to support The MiLL. Upon hearing about Hogeback’s generosity, the management at Columbia Forest Products agreed to match the amount. This development made it possible to offer two scholarships instead of just one. The initiative created the school’s first official scholarship program, and he encourages others to follow suit and make additional contributions.
Hogeback shared his background and passion for training the future workforce in the Fall 2018 issue of CMA’s PROfiles, magazine. The entire article can be read online at bit.ly/CMA-savante
“I came from a high school in Ohio that had a really great shop and taught industrial arts, so I learned woodworking and architectural drawing, and that all helped me in my career path. My teacher would always take students to the state competition, and they would win every year.
“They got rid of that program at my high school about five years ago, and put in a weight-lifting gym instead. It was heart-breaking. It’s a lost opportunity to introduce kids to the trades — woodworking, metal working, welding, automotive work, etc. — and let them find out that they’re good at working with their hands.”
Like others in the industry, he hopes that kids will realize that woodworking offers a great future, reliable work and a lot of satisfaction.
“There’s something powerful about building something with your hands and seeing it afterward,” he says. “I hear that from people a lot. My clients often say they wish they could build something.”
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