We need your help!

We all recognize that there’s a critical shortage of trained workers in woodworking-related fields and very few training programs dedicated to filling that need. As many of you know, we currently offer a 23-week career training course for cabinetmakers. Currently, the bulk of that time is devoted to building kitchen cabinets for members of the local community. Read a week-by-week description of our program here.

This year, we’ve fielded more calls than ever from employers looking for qualified workers, and we’ve realized that it’s time to re-visit the format of our training program to better meet your needs.

We currently graduate 9 – 12  students per year since we only run one five month program per year; this is obviously inadequate to meet the needs of the industry in the northeast, based on the number of inquiries we get. The problem is compounded by the fact that many of our students aren’t willing to relocate to areas where the jobs are, which makes it even more difficult to meet your needs. Finally, a five-month, $11K training program, (plus living expenses in some cases) can be difficult for potential students to commit to.

This is why we’re looking for new ideas. Should we shorten the program and run it more often to graduate more students and meet industry needs more quickly? If so, what should we focus on from a training point of view?

We’ve considered limiting it to the curriculum in the first 8 weeks of our current program. Would this make it easier for you to find young people locally and help sponsor their training here at the school? Is there a bigger role to play for industry organizations in the training arena?

We have always been very proud of our five month program and the high quality graduates that we produce. But given the current situation in the industry, maybe a shorter program with the right content would provide potential employees that are well grounded in the basics and allow you to continue the training in house. We would insure that they are safe, understand the basics, and have a good work ethic.

We’re frankly open to just about anything, including a hybrid model, but need some feedback to make the right decision and make sure we do what’s best for the industry. Working together to develop a better training model can benefit all of us. If you have thoughts or ideas that might help us shape our program in the future, visit our forum, email us, or give Greg a call at 413-561-3284.