Lizzy Conley awarded WCA Diamond Credential
Woodwork Career Alliance

Lizzy Conley receives her Diamond Credential flanked by WCA board members Greg Larson, vice president, left; Scott Nelson, president; Bruce Spitz, director; and Kent Gilchrist, director.

LINCOLN, Neb. – Lizzy Conley, program director of Cabinetmaking & Millwork at Madison College, recently became only the second person to earn the Diamond Credential from the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA).

Conley joins Patrick Molzahn, her predecessor at Madison College, to earn this distinctive honor.

“The Diamond Credential is the most prestigious award that the WCA can give to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication to mastering the craft of woodworking,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “It is a great privilege to present this award to Lizzy. It is a testament to all of the hard work that she did to earn it.”

The Diamond Credential is the fifth and final level of the WCA’s credentialing program for woodworking professionals. In addition to successfully accumulating 240 skill points by demonstrating her proficiency to set up and operate a wide variety of woodworking machines, Conley had to complete a project in which she created engineered drawings as well as material and cutting lists.

Conley graduated from Madison College’s Cabinetmaking & Millwork program in 2018. Not only did Molzahn mentor Conley, he had the added privilege of evaluating her skills throughout each leg of the credentialing process.

Woodwork Career Alliance
Lizzy Conley receives her Diamond Credential from Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. Joining in the celebration is Patrick Molzahn, Conley's woodworking mentor.

“I was pleased that Lizzy took on the challenge of completing the Diamond Credential,” said Molzahn, who is retiring at year’s end after a 23-year-run directing Madison College’s nationally recognized cabinetmaking program. “It shows her dedication to the industry and is a testament to her skills and knowledge of our craft. This accomplishment puts her in a great position to serve as a role model for the next generation woodworkers.”

“The Diamond Credential has been a valuable goal to work toward along the winding road of my woodworking career,” Conley said. “It has helped direct my efforts and has informed me about areas where I need to improve. Though my learning continues, I now have a clear, easy-to-communicate credential that helps quantify my skills.”

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America was founded in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The WCA’s mission is to develop and administer a unified set of Skill Standards for the wood products industry. Since 2011, WCA has developed observable and measurable performance standards and assessments for more than 300 woodworking machine operations. In addition, WCA has issued over 6,000 Passport credentials, a portable, personal permanent record documenting each holder’s record of woodworking skill achievements. More than 160 high schools and post-secondary schools throughout North America are WCA EDUcation members and a growing number of woodworking companies have joined the WCA as MANufacturing members. To learn more about the WCA visit


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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]