ATLANTA - The Woodwork Career Alliance North America released a sample first edition of the industry-wide Skill Standards guide Thursday at IWF.

The organization plans to have a pilot program in place at select plants to test the skill standards by the end of 2008 and gather feedback. It hopes to have some standards at shops throughout the woodworking industry by the end of next year, said Greg Heuer, secretary at the Architectural Woodworking Institute, which is heading the project. The Wood Manufacturing Skill Standards, Evaluations and Credentials Project is a three-pronged project to create an accreditation process for all woodworkers. The project, which began in 2007, is designed to be completed and fully implemented by 2013.

"These standards will provide benefits to so many segments of our industry," said Woodwork Career Alliance member Jerry Finch. "Industry professionals benefit by seeing increased interest in careers in the prestigious, modern woodworking industry." Experienced woodworkers from every segment of the woodworking industry, from furniture to architectural millwork, are being sought to participate in the development of additional standards, Heuer said.

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