Partnership Expands Woodwork Skill Standards and Credentialing Program

Late spring, two trainings were held in New Hampshire and Vermont to certify twelve woodworking and building trades teachers in a new industry-recognized skills training and credentialing system for the wood manufacturing sector. Teachers from ten different schools received training in how to use the Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards as a formal evaluation tool their classrooms. To address a growing need for skilled workers in the advanced woodworking trade, the standards and passport program were developed by an industry-education partnership called the

Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) in partnership with the Architectural Woodwork Institute. In 2013, the Northern Forest Center – based in Concord, NH – partnered with the WCA to deploy the program within industry and education through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

“What this system provides us is a template with which we can teach skills and know that they are valued by the industry,” says Steve Sackmann, a woodworking instructor at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH. Sources at the Center report that currently, there are over 50 skill evaluators in the U.S. and Canada and that this is the first major initiative to implement the program in the northern New England states. Discussion is also underway to potentially pro vide significant underwriting to send students to the New England School of Architectural Millwork for their five-month intensive training program in millwork manufacturing.

Steve Sackmann at he hopes to make some better connections with the jobs creators in our region’s woodworking sector and get some new students fired up about advanced woodworking as a potential career option.

For more information about the Skilled Workforce Initiative for Wood Manufacturing and how it can help your business contact Collin Miller, at 603-229-0679 ext 110 or email

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