Supporting High School Woodworking Programs in Communities Across Canada
WoodLINKS was created with the objective of developing a certification program which would facilitate collaboration with high schools to train more skilled entry level workers for the wood industry. Another key objective of the program is to engage students interested in hands-on educational pathways including the trades. WoodLINKS encourages students to consider entering woodworking careers (either directly or through further education) and to enter into the sector workforce after they graduate from high school.
WoodLINKS was developed in the early 1990s as a partnership between industry and high school educators in BC. WMC took ownership of the program in 2006 and since that time, has undertaken several WoodLINKS-related initiatives, including an initial project to revamp the core curriculum and create the sub-sector modules. The core curriculum contains the fundamentals for entry-level employment in woodworking such as fundamental woodworking, safety, essential skills and technical skills. A major component of the course focuses on work readiness skills, core wood manufacturing skills and career exploration. Sub-sector modules allow schools to tailor their program to the local industry. The sub-sector module is a project in one of ten product-specific areas, such as cabinets and millwork, windows and doors, fine woodworking, or manufactured housing.
The WoodLINKS material can be aligned with the ministry-approved curriculum in most provinces. The program outlines the entry-level skills and knowledge students need to successfully pursue a career in wood manufacturing. It also provides teachers with the necessary, proven resources and assessment tools to ensure their students start out on the right path. WoodLINKS-certified graduates are equipped to either enter the workforce directly, enter a post-secondary woodworking program, or start an apprenticeship.
Providing Resources to Develop the Future Generation of Skilled Workers
A valued partnership between education and industry, WoodLINKS provides an industry-educator developed high school curriculum that leads to woodworking certification. WoodLINKS graduates are highly sought after in the industry, and have the passion and drive to be immensely successful in their careers.