GRAND RAPIDS, MIStiles Machinery announced that it is aligning the courses offered through its Stiles Education arm so that training will be in compliance with the new woodworking industry skill standards.

The standards are under development by the Wood Career Alliance of North America (WCA).

The WCA skill standards are being developed to provide a means for employers, employees and educational institutions to determine at what level a worker should be in order to execute tool and machinery setup, operation and troubleshooting. The standards cover skills ranging from properly feeding material to performing complex troubleshooting. The initial standards cover 33 woodworking tools; WCA plans to add dozens more.

During Stiles Education classes, students will be taught how to operate machinery at a level to meet the published skill standards, which validates their ability to produce work at a required complexity or quality. Duane Griffiths, manager of educational services for Stiles, says that companies from all sectors of the wood industry, small and large, need employees that meet these standards. Working to set standards will better assure employers that personnel can successfully complete their job assignments, he adds.

Stiles Education will release its 2010 course catalog shortly. It will identify the courses that are aligned with the Woodwork Career Alliance skill standards.

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