The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA) isoffering Accredited Skill Evaluator training during IWF in Atlanta. Trainingwill be available all four days of IWF August 20-23, 2014.

Scott Nelson, WCA president, told CabinetMaker+FDM that WCAevaluator training will be offered in seven four-hour sessions, mornings andafternoons of the first three days, and in the morning of the last day.

Visit the Woodwork Career Alliance at Booth 7912 at IWF2014.

Last year, at AWFS in Las Vegas, WCA trained 14 evaluatorsduring the show itself.

People interested in getting the evaluator training duringIWF should do three things in advance. They must 1) Enroll in WCA to obtain a WCAPassport if they don't already have one, 2) Apply to be an Accredited SkillEvaluator, and 3) Answer a few questions online. Once that is done, they canregister for a time for training at the show.

IWF is giving each candidate a $100 scholarship toward theirtraining fee. Evaluator training tuition during IWF is reduced to $150, a 40 percent discount.

The WCA Passport is a lifetime, personal, portable record ofaccomplishments for each woodworking professional. The program is not tied tospecific occupations or jobs. Woodworkers receive their individual passportwhen they enroll in the program. As they pass evaluations throughout theircareer, more tool stamps are added to their own personal passport.

The passport itself is kept by the woodworker, and the permanent record is also in the WCAdatabase. Professional recognition of skills helps to identify the skillsrequired, provide benchmarks for performance, help trainers respond to industryrequirements, provide a foundation for credentials, and achieve validation ofaccredited training programs.

The Woodwork Career Alliance has more than 450 passportholders in more than 25 states and two Canadian provinces. Different levels ofcertification are indicated by different colors, starting with a GreenCredential requiring 30 tool stamps and 800 hours of experience. A BlueCredential needs 60 tool stamps and 1,600 hours to qualify for. Red, Gold andDiamond credentials require more tool stamps and a skill demonstration. So far,33 candidates have reached the Green Credential, and seven have reached theBlue Credential.

As of mid-April, there were 88 Accredited Skill Evaluators(ASE) in 22 states and one Canadian province. ASE guidelines are published foruse by current evaluators and as a framework for future ASE training andcertification.

WCA has created an EDUcation membership for schools. In thelast six months school membership has increased from 10 to 53 schools. Thereare 44 secondary schools and nine post-secondary schools located in 20 statesacross the country.

Also, WCA’s Sawblade Certificate may be earned by anystudent at the high school level. This certificate requires the candidate toenter the Passport program, pass the layout requirements of the Passport(calipers, tape measure and combination square), pass 10 tool stamps and score80 percent on a 40-question test.

Upon completion of high school the goal is to help thesestudents to continue their woodworking career by promoting the programs of ourpost-secondary schools or to help them enter the workforce.

The group has also created a WCA INDustry membership formanufacturers. This membership includes a streamlined multi-employeeregistration process, access to training materials, 50 free Tool Stamps peryear for each company, and one free ASE training session per year.

According to WCA, Woodworking Skills Standards are publishedfor more than 150 operations on the 50 tools and machines most commonly used inwoodworking. Work on writing standards for additional tools and machines,especially those requested by WCA’s industry partners, is continuing.

WCA is a non-profit organization actively promoting askilled workforce for the advanced woodworking industry. Anyone can get moreinformation by going to the website, http://woodworkcareer.org/.

For general questions and comments, email Greg Heuer, atgheuer@woodworkcareer.org or Scott Nelson at snelsonwca@gmail.com, or mail to:Woodwork Career Alliance of North America, P.O. Box 636, Nellysford, VA22958-0636.

For questions about the evaluator training at IWF, contactScott Nelson, snelsonwca@gmail.com.

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