AWI Secures $92,000 Grant to Develop Skill Standards

RESTON, VA – The Architectural Woodwork Institute was awarded a $92,000 matching grant by the USDA Forest Service for its Wood Manufacturing Skill Standards, Evaluations and Credentials Project.

The project is aimed at meeting the need for skilled woodworkers in an increasingly competitive global market. In applying for the grant, the AWI indicated the need for wood products manufacturers not only to retain and make optimum use of their current workforce, but to train and retain new workers on the latest woodworking machinery and techniques.

The Wood Manufacturing Skill Standards project is a three-phase effort, scheduled to take place between 2007 and 2013. The first phase will create a framework for development of the skill standards and is expected to be completed in 2008. Phase two will focus on the development of skills criteria and evaluation documents, and is scheduled to be completed in 2009.

The third phase involves development of a credentialing process for individuals to demonstrate that they meet the skills criteria. Work on phase three is expected to take place between 2009 and 2013 before full implementation in North America can take place.

“These standards, evaluations and credentials will provide a lifeline to those struggling new business people and their employees,” the AWI stated in its grant application.

Projected expenses for the 2007-08 fiscal year are $184,000. The AWI is establishing a not-for-profit corporation to apply for additional federal funding for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

The AWI has committed $67,000 to the matching fund requirement of the grant for the current fiscal year. In addition, it has received pledges of $5,000 each from the Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers, the Wood Machinery Industry Assn. and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America. The AWI is seeking donations from other trade associations or companies to raise the remaining $10,000.

AWI is seeking volunteers to assist with the working advisory group, establishment of the not-for-profit corporation governing board and technical writing teams. Contact Greg Heuer at [email protected] for further details.


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