ATLANTA --

The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCANA) announced the launch of the Woodwork Passport, a portable, personal, permanent record of a woodworker’s level of competency in tool and machine operations during the International Woodworking Fair.

The Woodwork Passport provides a skill certification/passport stamp for individuals in the woodwork industry to quantify and qualify their ability to operate specific woodwork tools properly and safely to create high-quality wood products. The Woodwork Passport, together with the Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards, are intended to strengthen wood-based industries and increase the professionalism of the woodwork manufacturing workforce.

“The Woodwork Passport will advance the knowledge, skill and professionalism of our workforce that is essential to sustain and grow the woodwork industry,” said Scott Nelson, president of WCA and CEO of Central Plains Millwork in Lincoln, NE. “We realize that a strong woodworking economy is predicated on an educated and skilled workforce at every level.”

WCA has already developed Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards - observable and measurable standards - for 33 tool and machine operations.

The Woodwork Passport program will be rolled out in stages beginning this year and be fully operational in 2013. Plans call for participating woodworkers to receive a WCA Passport, similar to a U.S. Passport. A woodworker who is certified for a particular skill standard and level will receive a corresponding certification "stamp." These stamps will help an employee demonstrate his proficiencies to his current or future employer.

The WCA sees multiple benefits to the program, including to individuals, companies, educators, and consumers. According to the WCA:

  • Industry professionals benefit by seeing increased interest in seeking a career path in the prestigious, modern woodworking industry.
  • Company owners and managers benefit by getting help in recruiting, training and retaining skilled employees.
  • Educators benefit by having access to guidelines for class planning and industry outcomes.
  • Woodworkers benefit by documenting their knowledge and skill with the Woodwork Passport.
  • Students thinking about their future are able to discover a rewarding career and learn at they need to know to succeed.

Learn more at woodworkcareer.org.

Read the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America's press release.

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