Wood industry members, teachers, principals, and even students across the nation gathered to build industry/education partnerships, educate teachers, and promote the wood industry as a career of choice at local WoodLINKS USA teacher in-service events over the past few months.
WoodLINKS USA sponsored nine local teacher in-service events in Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Kansas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Ohio. Michigan and Illinois in-services will be held in the spring and one in Texas during the summer of 2012.
To promote these events, an invitation was sent to every high school in each of the nine states. The in-service events were held in a variety of locations: Mesa Community College-Arizona, Madison College-Wisconsin, Theodore Roosevelt High School-Ohio, Tiger Stop-Washington, Pittsburg State University- Kansas, and the Virginia Higher Education Center-Virginia.
Topics at the in-service events covered a wide range of industry related skills and concerns including public perception of the wood industry, veneering, inexpensive project ideas for the classroom/lab, CNC equipment, LEAF-Forestry Education Curriculum, Woodwork Career Alliance of North America Skill Standards, the impact of the wood industries “carbon footprint”, trends in adhesives, economic impact of the wood industry, software programs, spray finishing, cutting tools, applied math, and project management were some of the topics covered at the various locations.
Adjunct Professor Pat Connelly shared his reason for attending the Ohio inservice, “I wanted to learn more about teaching CNC concepts with my program and I know WoodLINKS is a big proponent of that.” Several hundred teachers, administrators, principals, and students descended on the in-service events over the past couple of months. Troy Spear’s students at Theodore Roosevelt High School gave a demonstration of Cabinet Vision driving their Omni Tech CNC router.
During the Wisconsin in-service, Patrick Molzahn hosted a WCA Skill Standards Evaluator Training session. Attendees also toured Wisconsin Built, a leading manufacturer of fixtures, casegoods, and specialty products.
Doug Hague of Pittsburg State University (PSU) exposed attendees to high tech wood manufacturing equipment used in the PSU program. One of the key ingredients to hosting a relevant teacher in-service event is industry partners. Industry partners bring expertise and business understanding to the table.
The in-service at Pittsburg State University dealt with the problem of skilled worker shortage in their, “Industry’s Perception/Demand” session. Industry partners can also help change the public’s misconception of the wood industry. Mark Roberts in Arizona said, “Our goal is to change the perception of the woodworking industry by focusing on those things that hit the parent’s pocketbook, showcase highly motivated and productive students, and the relationship with our industry partners”.
The teachers need to see and hear about the latest equipment, products and processes. At the Ohio inservice, attendees were also treated to a live video conference with Travis Allen, an instructor at Northcentral Technical College in Antigo, Wisconsin. “Video conferencing with Travis was a spectacular opportunity that I wanted to share with the attendees,” stated Theodore Roosevelt instructor Troy Spear.
“While I know there are other schools out there, NTC’s facility is a great example of industry education partnerships, as it (the NTC program) was funded in part by industry. Many of my industry partners made the comment how nice it would be if there were a program was like NTC,” Spear added.
The following is a list of some of the industry in-service partners:
Bennett Supply-Cleveland Tool & Cutter
Bernie Bottens-Wurth Louis Company
Carl Paasche-Woodcrafters Portland
Dave and Jeremy Snook-Snook Saw Service
Dave Anderson-Anderson Design Woodcrafting
Dean Mattson-North Salem High School
Don Bigelow, Mike Littlejohn, and Sally Perrin-Planit Solutions
Doug Hogue and Jim Snyder-Pittsburg State University
Glenn Wirgau-Meyer and Lundahl
Greg Heur-Woodwork Career Alliance of North America
Jack Regan-Tiger Stop
Jeff Hilber-Jeff Hilber Furniture
Jeff Norris-Top Solid/Grandview Technologies
Joel Simpson-Allies Millwork
John G. Weber Company
Jonathan Thompson-Synergy Custom Woodworking
Josh Bartlett-National Casein
Ken Morgan-Morgan Lumber Company
Largare Fisher-Lange Brothers Manufacturing
AWI Oregon Chapter
AWI Wisconsin Chapter
Paul Winistorfer-Virginia Tech
Russ Carlson-S&S Industrial Marketing
Terry Mace and Steve Hubbard-Wisconsin DNR
Tony Slaven-Stiles Machinery
Travis Allen-Northcentral Technical College
The following companies donated to the in-service events:
Tiger Stop donated a Saw Gear
AWI Oregon presented checks to both WCA, WoodLINKS USA and Dean Mattson
of North Salem High School
Saw Blades by Snook Tooling
FastCap gave tape measures and Flex Tool Bag
Kreg Tool Company-Kreg Jig K4 Master System
Robert Bosch Tool Corporation-Sander
Franklin International donated adhesives
Stiles Machinery supplied pads of paper and pens
Veneer Tech gave veneer samples
Woodcrafters donated a variety of items
Planit Solutions gave out an I-Pad
Mark Smith is The National Director of WoodLINKS® USA, an organization that works with industry and education to produce skilled entry level employees for the wood industry and post-secondary students for wood related fields. Previous to WoodLINKS USA, Mark Smith was an industrial technology instructor at Shiloh High School where he ran a computer integrated manufacturing facility teaching design, manufacturing and production using CAD/CAM programs, CNC equipment, and the eco-friendly material, wood. His production class ran a School-Based-Enterprise designing, manufacturing and installing kitchen cabinets for home owners, contracting CNC work with local industry, and wooden sunglasses for iWood Ecodesign. He used and taught various CAD/CAM programs over the last 12 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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