NELLYSFORD, VA - WoodLINKS USA and The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA) announced that the Board of Directors of each group have formally approved combining the two organizations.
The two wood industry educational organizations announced in February they were studying a merger.
Finalized this month, the organizational merger enables WoodLINKS USA members to become education members of WCA. The WCA has developed industry-recognized skill standards and a certification system for the wood industry. This agreement also furthers the partnership created in 2010 between these two organizations.
The Woodwork Career Alliance’s Credentialing program, established in 2011, is rapidly being adapted by industry as the standard for training and evaluating personnel in the wood industry.
An educational arm of the WCA has been established to develop new recruits for the industry primarily at the secondary and post‐secondary levels. Merging these two organizations provides a stronger network to train and evaluate current and future woodworkers.
WoodLINKS USA has received significant industry support and developed a strong network of schools since it was first established in the U.S. in 1999. Its members are active in 16 states around the country and work with thousands of students each day.
Under the merger, all current school members of WoodLINKS USA will become Education Members of the merged organization and will be provided with the same benefits afforded them under their membership terms with WoodLINKS USA. The Education Membership is also open to new schools for a $250 annual fee.
“Overall, this merger allows both organizations to expand their reach through shared resources,” said Patrick Molzahn, president of WoodLINKS USA. A special Woodwork Career Alliance credential for high school students, the Saw Blade certificate, has been created to help students begin their credentialing journey and career path.
An Education Committee was created to help develop enhanced membership benefits and training materials for participating teachers. The new committee also is charged with:
• Aligning high school and post-secondary curriculum with industry standards that address domestic needs and international competitiveness
• Enhance and record the skill level of incumbant workers through the equitable, observable, and measurable criteria of the standards and assessments.
• Increase the supply and proficiency of skilled workers coming into the industry
Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee Members
Bill Esler (Chair) – Vance Publishing
Patrick Molzahn (Secretary) – Madison College
Jonathan Adams – The Adams Group
Mark Smith - Morris Community High School
Bill Riebau - William L. Riebau, LLC
Nancy Fister - AWFS
Josh Bartlett – Applied Adhesives
Mark Roberts – Mesa Community College
Tim Fixmer – Cabinetmaker+FDM