Evaluator training offered to NH educators May 10

DERRY, NH – A new program is being offered by the Northern Forest Center and the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) within the secondary and post-secondary education system to promote certification in skills required in the advanced wood products manufacturing industry.

On Saturday, May 10 from 9am to 1pm at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, the partnership is sponsoring a training session for woodworking and building trades instructors who would like to become accredited skill evaluators for the program. The event qualifies for 6 hours of continuing education credit toward annual teacher re-certification.

The goal of the session is to introduce the program and explain how educators can integrate it into their curriculum. Through hands-on simulation, the session will train educators to assess student progress on industry-approved performance standards.

The Woodwork Manufacturing Skills Standards have been developed by an industry-education partnership and the program is also offered nationally. WCA has developed more than 150 operational standards for over 50 commonly used machines and tools in the advanced woodworking industry. As a person gets certified on different woodworking operations, he or she is awarded stamps in a Woodwork Passport. The passport serves as a permanent and portable record of their skills that they can continue building throughout their career. Schools can become accredited training facilities and can issue the industry-approved credentials.

The partnership is now working with high school and technical education programs and at the college- level to help identify the skills required in the region’s woodworking industry. “A career in modern woodworking requires skills as basic as reading a tape measure and as advanced as programming automated CNC (computer-numerically-controlled) routers, and everything in between,” said Collin Miller, director of wood products initiatives at the Northern Forest Center. Miller said that thousands of people are employed in the secondary wood products industry in New Hampshire.

“Many U.S. manufacturing sectors, including wood products, are projecting a skills gap in the coming years,” he said. “They expect to have more openings than qualified workers ready to fill them. This program follows similar trade-certification efforts in other industries designed to retain and expand a skilled workforce to compete in the 21st century.”

Grants from the Citizens Bank Foundation and the federal Economic Development Administration are supporting the Northern Forest Center’s initiative in New Hampshire. The Center’s initiative in partnership with the Woodwork Career Alliance has also been launched in Vermont and Maine. For more information on this training, visit the event page at http://tinyurl.com/lks9epd


Contact: Kelly Short, Communications Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 603-229-0679, ext. 105