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.”
The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) is pleased to announce their shop tours the day before the Wood Pro Expo in Lancaster have sold out. However, they will host another event in November in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The registrations for the full day of shop tours in Lancaster on October 17 has reached the allotted capacity. This event will be held the day before the Wood Pro Expo and will visit local CMA members in the Lancaster area.
The CMA will host one more event this year on November 9 in Colorado Springs at The MiLL that also includes a tour of Concepts in Millwork. Register now to reserve your spot before this event sells out too. For more details and registration information, please visit www.cabinetmakers.org/events
The CMA has been hosting high-value events like this since 1998 as a means of connecting similar-sized shops around North America with the purpose of sharing best practices and business acumen, while learning how other businesses do what they do. In addition to the agenda, the regional events also encourage networking by providing an opportunity to talk shop and share issues, solutions, and even projects.
About the Cabinet Makers Association
Celebrating 20 years, the Cabinet Makers Association 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. For more information, visit www.cabinetmakers.org.
Chris Corrales, the owner of CNC Factory (CNCFactory.com) in Santa Ana, California, will address the Cabinet Makers Association October 17, one day before the Wood Pro Expo Lancaster event. Cabinetmakers from around the area will learn:
The conference will be held at The Warehouse Hotel at the Nook, 75 Champ Blvd. in Manheim, PA.
CNC Factory designs, builds and manufactures CNC machines in their Orange County, California facility. “With CNC Factory located in the United States, we integrate new technology into CNC systems quicker and more skillfully than any other CNC manufacturer in the world,” Corrales says.
After breakfast at the Warehouse Hotel, the CMA group will tour:
CNC Factory is demonstrating its new Python XPR at Wood Pro Expo October 18 and 19 in booth 205. This robust CNC machine reaches a pinnacle of engineering that combines third generation (3G) robotic loading, spoil board cleaning, unloading and now CNC Factory Printing and Labeling. Users benefit from multi-directional graphic and text labeling instructions on nested materials. With these in place, woodworkers always know which edges need post production attention, and operators never lose track of cut pieces. In addition, Cabinet Vision software allows printing in various orientations.
The Python XPR is designed for profitability, speed and ease-of-use. It is the workhorse of all CNC machines saving users’ backs and delivering a host of grow-as-you-grow features.
Corrales, who designed the Python XPR, notes that he, “included an automated 12-tool rapid carousel that changes tools in just four seconds, and moves 1,800 inches per minute. The Python conquers long, complex, multi-tool tasks efficiently from one to fifty sheets, with just one push of a button. It’s ergonomically, user-friendly, and needs only one operator to run in either robotic or manual mode.”
The Python XPR sells for $69,900 and includes training and life-long customer support. CNC Factory promises that "nobody supports customers better!" See the Python XPR and all the company’s routers, edge banders, thermofoil presses and Lockdowel drilling inserting machines at www.CNCFactory.com
WPE is a regional event for woodworking businesses that brings together suppliers and experts for a localized presentation of equipment and supply solutions. WPE includes a strong educational program on best practices for shop production - including CNC basics, employee recruitment, finishing, lean manufacturing, business management, software, and shop safety - and an expo floor with equipment and supplies geared to small and medium-size shops. To register with free expo hall admission, go to this link and enter CNCFAC18 when prompted: https://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/events/wood-pro-expo-lancaste
Ten wood industry associations are pleased to announce the formation of a coalition aimed primarily at perpetuating the long-term growth of the industry by sustaining an engaged workforce. Since its formative two-day brainstorming meeting in November 2017, the group has chosen to organize under the name Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC). Pronounced “Work,” the name does a great job maintaining the group’s mission and goals.
The collaborative group is a consortium of trade associations, all related to the woodworking or the wood products manufacturing industry. The group’s purpose is to provide a collection of tools and solutions for the wood industry to attract and retain employees, while improving the perception of the industry. This group exists to connect industry associations with one another and support and strengthen the woodworking industry and their associations’ members by sharing information and resources.
The charter members of the collaborative group agreed to the following goals and identified those influencers who can effectively drive interest in the wood industry as a career path (e.g. parents, teachers, social media, and financial resources):
The primary target for the group’s efforts will be Generation Z―people born between 1995 and 2014 who are the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.S. Fifty-five percent are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American and 4% are Asian. In addition to the youngest generation, the group will also target Millennials and possibly Gen Xers (parents).
If a trade association would like to participate in the group, they are represented by their executive-level staff. Among the benefits of membership in the collaborative group are: inclusion in the ongoing conversation about industry-wide topics, such as workforce development; and access to resources and information developed or shared by the group.
The collaborative group meets monthly via phone and semiannually in person to explore and prioritize the goals and tactics for achieving them. “The group is working to identify what each association brings to the table, and what each needs for their members to change corporate culture and attract and retain good employees,” said group organizer Adria Torrez, Education Director of AWFS®. For more information about WIRC, visit www.woodindustryed.org/wirc.
Charter Member Organizations
Forum organizers and charter members include executive level representatives from the following associations: AWFS® (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers); AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute); CMA (Cabinet Makers Association); HMA (Hardwood Manufacturers Association); NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association); WCMA (Wood Component Manufacturers Association); WMIA (Woodworking Machinery Industry Association); WMMA (Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America); WPMA (Wood Product Manufacturers Association); and WMMPA (Moulding & Millwork Producers Association).
This year’s trade show in Atlanta was amazing, to say the least. Attendance was the best it's been in 10 years, and you could tell: the aisles and booths were quite crowded.
We began the week with shop tours of local CMA shops on Tuesday. The tour sold out and the bus was full! The day
concluded with a BBQ at Dark Horse Woodworks – an amazing example of Southern hospitality and a great way to connect with other members before the show began.
In addition to welcoming CMA members who visited our booth when the show opened on Wednesday, we also began hosting our seminars – there were 12 throughout the show, and they were well-attended and well-received.
Wednesday evening we continued our tradition of hosting a “What’s Your Problem?” roundtable discussion. We filled the room, and the conversations were lively and lengthy. Many members’ takeaway was their relief that other cabinetmakers have the same if not similar problems.
On Thursday, we held the Wood Diamond Awards ceremony and recognized members and the superb quality of their work.
That evening, we gathered for our Annual Membership Appreciation Banquet at Gordon Biersch Brewery in Buckhead. Throughout the evening, we offered tours of the nearby SubZero showroom. It was another great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and also see the amazing craftsmanship of Exclusive Woodworking in the SubZero showroom.
All in all, it was a great show. Connecting with other members and learning from each other is what we are all about, and participating in trade shows like IWF is one of the ways we fulfill the mission of the CMA.
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