NELLYSFORD, Va. --  Woodworkers attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta can compete for prizes by entering the WCA Bandsaw Skills Challenge. The competition will be held all four days of the show, August 22-25, at the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America’s Booth #4154.

Through special arrangement with Mimbus and Taurus-Craco, contestants will put their bandsaw skills to the test by operating the Wood-Ed Table, a virtual reality training system.

Mimbus Inc. of Chicago offers the Wood-Ed Table as a training tool to teach students and novices how to operate basic woodworking machinery in a safe, dust-free environment. In addition to the bandsaw, the Wood-Ed Table features three other woodworking machinery simulation modules: a ripsaw, jointer, and shaper.

“The Bandsaw Skills Challenge will be a great way to attract woodworkers into our booth and spark conversations about the WCA’s Woodworking Skill Standards and credential Passport program,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “It will be fun to watch contestants operate a virtual reality bandsaw that functions much like the real thing but without the sawdust.”

The WCA Bandsaw Skills Challenge will be held continuously at the WCA’s booth. Participants will don a virtual reality headset and complete a brief bandsaw exercise on the Wood-Ed Table. The Vulcan software that operates the Wood-Ed Table will score each contestant on cutting regularity, hand positioning, time management and more. A leader board will highlight the competition’s high scores.

The WCA also will showcase its woodworking skill standards and programs through its participation in IWF’s educational conference.

The WCA will present, Growing Your Skilled Workforce, 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 22. The seminar will pair Nelson with Kent Gilchrist, director of operations and design for Purposeful Designs of Indianapolis. The presenters will discuss how to use the WCA Woodworking Skill Standards and training resources to train new hires and develop the skills of current employees. Register at http://iwfatlanta.com.

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