The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America seeks to reward the workforce while helping to sustain and grow the woodworking industry.
In May 2007 the USDA Forest Service awarded the Architectural Woodwork Institute a grant of $92,000 to develop the Wood Manufacturing Skill Standards, Evaluations and Credentials Project. The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Potomac Falls, Virginia, was selected to be the Secretariat for The Woodwork Career Alliance.
"These standards, evaluations and credentials will provide a lifeline to struggling new business people and their employees, and will serve all levels and sectors in the industry while advancing knowledge, skill and professionalism of the workforce needed to sustain and grow the woodwork industry," the grant application stated.
The Skill Standards Project is a three-pronged effort taking place from 2007 to 2013. Phase One, currently complete, was aimed at creating a framework for development. Phase Two, also complete, focused on development of skills criteria and evaluation documents. Phase Three, the rollout, is underway. Skill Evaluators are being accredited, and the Passport Program is being adopted by schools and industry.