The State of Kentucky has adopted the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) Passport and Credential Program as the state-wide certification program for woodwork students in the wood manufacturing programs of all five area high schools and the state’s only technical college,” Scott Nelson, WCA President announced.
“Adoption has been a year in development since state officials contacted the WCA. We had to work with government officials to understand their education and regulatory systems and then mould our credential program to work effectively within state parameters, but without compromise. Training came next, and coordination with industry will follow,” Mr. Nelson explained.
AWI Chief Learning Officer Greg Heuer and Mr. Nelson conducted a hands-on training session on May 24 at the Green County Technical Center, Greensburg, KY. The Kentucky Tech state career and technical education coordinator, four high school wood manufacturing teachers, and one community college teacher learned how to use the WCA Registry to buy assessment credits, enter assessment results for their students, and order WCA Credentials.
“The teachers also served as a focus group to help the WCA improve support for student achievements as well as add more tools and operations to the ever-growing Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards,” Mr. Heuer said.
“Recent completion of the WCA ‘Candidate Management System,’ a cloud-based online registry of the permanent records for every Passport holder, is a key factor in maintaining a North American database of all students and employees who demonstrate their woodwork manufacturing skills,” Mr. Nelson said. The WCA Passport is the personal, portable evidence of achievements. The WCA Registry is the official record of those achievements. The Registry permits Passport holders to print and e-mail their “transcript” to family and employers.
“Having an industry certification enhances the health of school wood manufacturing programs and helps the schools qualify for additional federal and other funding. The students benefit not only by having industry credentials as they enter the workforce, but also by being rewarded for their achievements as woodworkers,” Mr. Heuer said. “Local woodworking firms look to these highly developed programs for entry level employees with the skills they need to be productive from day one.”
State by State
Other states are expected to follow Kentucky’s lead. Mr. Nelson reports that he is working with nine states that have expressed interest in adoption of the WCA Credential Program. “Now that I have a template of how to work with state governments and industry, I can adapt it to other states. There is no one-size-fitsall; however, there is a process for working throughout the country to complete implementation of the WCA Skill Standards Program that began only five years ago,” he said. This new development is a prime example of individuals, associations, education, and industry working together for the future of fine woodworking in America.
To learn more about the WCA and to get involved, visit www.woodworkcareer.org.
Source: Woodwork Career Alliance
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