IWF contributes dollars to MiLL Academy woodworking training
The MIll National Training Center

The International Woodworking Fair, which is North America’s largest global wood industry technology and design event, is contributing $12,500 in unrestricted funds to the Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab (MiLL | Colorado Springs, Colorado), for the advancement of its mission to promote a stronger trade workforce in Colorado.

MiLL exists to expand opportunities for learners and offer students trade career paths in Cabinet Manufacturing, Construction Technology and Welding Technology. This year, more than 420 students are in trade programs at the MiLL, which is the most since the mill started in 2017, according to a video report from KOAA 5 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

MiLL students receive hands-on experience using state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines. With the potential for completing four school years of training before entering the workforce, MiLL students begin their career paths fully prepared for immediate productivity. MiLL Cabinet Manufacturing and Welding Technology students have the opportunity to enter into internships with Colorado businesses. MiLL students enrolled in Cabinet Manufacturing are tasked with producing the cabinets needed for the Careers in Construction (CICC) home build project. Upon completion of year-one Cabinet Manufacturing study, students learn additional skills, including electrical and plumbing. Students who have completed two years of Cabinet Manufacturing classes have the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized certification called the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) certificate.

The $12,500 IWF contribution was unanimously approved by the IWF 2022 Management Committee members who are representatives of the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA) and Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA), the owners of the IWF show. 

The training center, which is part of the Widefield School District 3, is a public-industry partnership that is supported by a network of industry partners including Woodworkingnetwork.com.

In the video below, another industry partner, Stiles Machinery, takes an inside look at the training center and what it has to offer the next generation of workers.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).