LIVONIA, MI -- Kelly Victor-Burke, owner of Burke Architectural Woodwork, will discuss how she launched the nation's first woodwork manufacturing specialist apprenticeship in her Southeastern Michigan shop in an upcoming Woodworking Network webinar. Titled, "Grow your own: Training your future skilled woodworkers," the webinar will be held Thursday, December 10 at 2 p.m. Eastern.  The webinar is aimed at showing how others can set up a Department of Labor-registered woodworking apprenticeship program.
Victor-Burke drafted the initial framework of the program to address the employment gap in the wood products industry through cross-training and upskilling new and existing employees in a combination of CAD, mechatronics, wood processing, coatings, estimating and project management. 
“Woodwork manufacturers need to attract workers who are flexible, innovative critical thinkers, willing to master a variety of skills necessary to become valued employees within their organization,” Victor-Burke said. “This registered apprenticeship allows these employees to become leaders in their workplace. As well, this combination of highly sought after and in-demand technical skills will result in an employee earning a higher median rate of pay throughout their career, which will help with retention.”
Victor-Burke and other panelists will discuss the scope of the program and how to get started with a Department of Labor-approved Woodworking Manufacturing Specialist program in your area. Other panelists include: Mark Smith, educator at the secondary and post-secondary level; and Janene Kelley Erne, Regional Apprenticeship Administrator at the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN).
The presentation is sponsored by Casadei-Busellato, and will be moderated by Woodworking Network.

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