MADISON, Wis. -- Madison College woodworking instructor Patrick Molzahn has received the first Woodwork Career Alliance Diamond credential. This is the highest credential awarded by the WCA, and is the culmination of over 125 skill evaluations. It also requires the completion of three projects.

Molzahn is cabinetmaking and millwork program director at Madison Area Technical College, and is a founding board member of the Woodwork Career Alliance, described the experience as fulfilling a long term goal he wanted to achieve.

“I use the WCA credentialing system to evaluate and reward my students. I have long felt the need to test the efficacy of our credentialing system by experiencing it from the candidate’s perspective.”

In addition to a wide array of skill evaluations on dozens of machines and tools, Molzahn had to complete projects for the three highest credentialing levels: Red, Gold, and ultimately Diamond.

For his Red level credential, Molzahn built a 32 mm cabinet, a design he uses with his students. For Gold, he built a Maple face-frame cabinet with a raised panel door. And for Diamond, Molzahn used as evidence of his skills, the hardest project he has taken on in his career, a historically accurate replacement of six windows and an entry door for a National Historic Landmark.

Now that it’s all over, Molzahn is confident that the WCA standards can be used effectively to measure a candidate’s ability. “For industry, the WCA credentialing system provides a template for recognizing and rewarding one’s skills. Moreover, employers can use the credentialing ladder to develop their talent and encourage continuing education.”


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.