LAS VEGAS - The Cabinet Makers Association is pleased to bring a new professional credentialing program to the cabinet making and custom woodworking industry. Using both live and web based technologies; this unique program will allow industry professionals to earn both basic and master level professional certification credentials.

“When we looked at the industry, we saw a gaping hole,” said Dave Grulke, the CMA’s Executive Director. “While there are other professional educational and standards programs available that address design, technique, construction standards and a smattering of other areas, there was nothing that seemed to address the entire business of running a successful custom woodworking or cabinet shop. That’s where CMA’s Professional Certifications differ. We address the entire business, and include the all important customer’s perspective in our program.”

The CMA’s program requires testing in major areas of business operations, and classroom instruction will be offered. All participants in the program will begin with an intensive business ethics session, then enrollees will move into basic certification curriculum. The basic level graduate will exhibit advanced knowledge in business management, machinery, wood physics, design, finishing, safety education and the basics of measuring. Master level graduates will show expert knowledge in at least seven of the following areas:

? Tools
? Portable Power Tools
? Machinery (Master Level)
? Shop Drawings/Design Drawings
? Software
? CNC Machinery
? Marketing
? Lean Manufacturing
? Finance & Computer Assisted Bookkeeping
? Shop/Job Site Safety
? Green Manufacturing

Once an enrollee has passed required testing, they will also be interviewed face to face by the CMA Certification Board before being conferred their certification. Certified individuals will be authorized to add their professional designation to their name, which include a three letter acronym (CCM=Certified Cabinet Maker, CCW=Certified Custom Woodworker, MCM=Master Cabinet Maker, MCW=Master Custom Woodworker).

To be eligible for the program, the applicant must remain a CMA member in good standing, and earn annual Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to keep their knowledge fresh and up to date. The CMA currently offers many seminars and workshops where attendees can earn CMA CEUs, including four sessions here at AWFS 2011.

“Let’s face facts. Without customers, none of us would have businesses. Custom cabinet shops and woodworking
businesses can now be among the first to set themselves apart from their competitors by earning CMA credentials. CMA certifications for cabinet makers and custom woodworkers are designed by industry experts and will allow them to prove to everyone they are the trusted, local experts in their field. That unique type of competitive advantage can catapult their businesses forward to even greater heights,” Grulke said.

“Once enrollees have exhibited their professional technical knowledge, business acumen and ethical practices in the various courses we will teach, they'll earn something that they will always have...the recognition from peers of their superior industry status. Imagine just how impressed a CMA certified member’s clients will be knowing they are working with the best of the best! Imagine what that status can do for that member’s bottom line!”

Development of this program was done by an outstanding group of CMA member volunteers. It was no small task to bring this program to life. We want to heartily thank the following certification committee members for their tireless efforts in developing this program:

Leland Thomasset, committee chair of Taghkanic Woodwork, Holmes, NY, and committee members Jim Falk, Progressive Wood Works, Rye, NY; Brendan Mathews, Foothill Cabinetworks, Vista, CA; Scott Comstock, Woodperfect Custom Cabinetry, Forney, TX; Jeff Mitzel, Green Award Custom Woodworking, Austin, TX and John Langley, John Langley Cabinets, Baldwin City, KS.

Full details about the CMA Professional Certification program are available at the CMA’s AWFS booth (#1563) and at its website www.cabinetmakers.org.

General membership in the CMA is open to any cabinet or woodworking business or professional. Associate membership is limited to firms that supply materials, tools, machinery, services or supplies to general members. CMA’s educational speaker’s bureau provides expert, entertaining speakers on a wide variety of topics facing the cabinet and woodworking industries, and delivers more educational seminars to more woodworking professionals across the U.S. than any other organization. The CMA is a non-profit association and was incorporated in 1998. The CMA’s mission is “to uphold the highest level of professionalism in the industry by providing its members with networking opportunities, continuing education and ongoing professional development.” For more information about the Cabinet Makers Association, contact Big Dave Grulke, Executive Director, at 414.377.1340 or director@cabinetmakers.org, www.cabinetmakers.org

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