WCA begins passport program

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The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America has introduced the Woodwork Passport, which is a personal record of a woodworker's level of competency in tool and machine operations.

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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, will strengthen wood-based industries and increase the professionalism of the woodwork manufacturing work force, according to the WCA

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

The Woodwork Passport program will be rolled out in stages beginning this year and be fully operational in 2013. The WCA Passport will be similar to a U.S. passport - a tangible booklet with pages on which to obtain "tool" stamps, like country stamps, that verify the individual's tool proficiencies allowing them to "document their travels," according to the WCA. When fully operational, this credential program will offer skill certifications/passport stamps each with levels in line with the subcategories of the Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards. Certifications will not be tied to specific occupations or jobs. Rather, WCA will provide a menu of certifications from which employers can select the tools and machine operation level relevant to their jobs or training needs.

The WCA is a nonprofit organization actively promoting a skilled work force for the advanced woodworking industry in the United States and Canada. For information, visit http://woodworkcareer.org

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