WCA experiences a year of accelerated growth
December 12, 2022 | 2:35 pm CST

LINCOLN, Neb. – 2022 was a banner year for the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America.

Through the first 11 months of the year, the WCA:

  • Enrolled 1,419 new candidates in the WCA Passport Credentialing program, nearly twice as many as were enrolled in 2021. More than 5,000 Passports have been issued since the program was created.
  • Enrolled 60 new schools as EDUcation members bringing the total to 160.
  • Enrolled eight new woodworking companies as MANufacturing members bringing the total to 28.
  • Added 35 woodworking instructors as Accredited Skill Evaluators, using the online training platform that was launched last year.

In addition, WCA created the new Core credentialing program to recognize the accomplishments of more serious-minded woodworking students who expand their skill sets and tackle more challenging projects beyond the Sawblade Certification requirements.

WCA presented a well-attended half-day workshop at the International Woodworking Fair focused on helping woodworking companies to establish or enhance in-house training programs. This followed up a similar program the WCA conducted at the 2021 AWFS Fair.

WCA continued its partnership with the annual SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking competition on the national and state levels.
Finally, WCA continued to expand its industry outreach through news releases and the quarterly Pathways newsletter.

Looking ahead to 2023, the WCA plans to place more emphasis on developing new credentialing programs for the woodworking industry to rival professional certification programs in metalworking, automotive, welding, and other skilled trades. The overarching goal is to create viable career pathways in woodworking.

“As a self-funded 501c not-for-profit organization, we would not be able to go the extra mile without the generous support of our industry partners and sponsors,” said WCA President Scott Nelson. “Everyone knows that U.S. and Canadian wood products companies are desperate to find qualified candidates. I think the WCA’s growth is a clear indicator that more and more industry players are viewing our programs as a valuable resource to help recruit, train, and retain great employees.”

WCA sponsors
WCA publicly thanks each of the following organizations and companies for their financial support since Jan. 1, 2021.
•    2021 AWFS Fair Silent Auction
•    2022 International Woodworking Fair Silent Auction
•    Sherwin-Williams for donating $5,000 beyond the company’s annual Gold Sponsorship

2021-22 Gold Sponsors
Air Handling Systems ● AWI Quality Certification Program ● Blum ● Cantek America ● Daniels-Olsen/Metro Hardwoods ● Diamond Vogel ● Friulmac USA ● KCD Software ● Kerfkore ● M.L. Campbell ● Newman Machine ● NBMDA ● PantoRouter ● Rev-A-Shelf ● Roseburg Forest Products ● Safety Speed Manufacturing ● SawStop ● SCM Group USA ● Sherwin-Williams ● ShopBot Tools ● Smartech ● Stiles Machinery ● Thermwood ● Weinig USA ● WoodEd Table by Mimbus ● Woodworking Network ● Würth Group NA

2021-22 Silver Sponsors
Accu-Router ● Aiken Controls ● Bessey Group ● Black Bros. ● Brookhuis America ● C.R. Onsrud ● Castle USA ● Colonial Saw ● Daubert Chemical ● Deerwood Fasteners ● Eagle Mouldings ● GDP Guhdo ● Gemini-Coatings ● Hafele America ● IMA-Schelling ● Kreg Tool ● Leitz Tooling ● PaintLine ● Sorrelli Woodwork Consultants ● Super Thin Saws ● WDLusk Consulting ● Weima America

To learn more about the WCA and how to get involved with its programs, including sponsorship opportunities, visit WoodworkCareer.org.

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About the author
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).