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Ontario woodworking teachers gather in Kitchener

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Photos: Contributed
Mark Braemer of Conestoga College talks to teachers.

The Wood Manufacturing Council organized a one-day event for Ontario high school woodworking teachers recently, to inform them about sector skills needs, career opportunities and the educational pathways to careers in the wood manufacturing sector.
Some 35 teachers from more than 10 Ontario school boards participated in the program.
Presentations and discussions covered such issues as sector demographics, wood sector human resources issues, key occupations and sectoral skills requirements. Three former Conestoga students, who are now in industry, Holly Clayson, GK Interior Solutions Inc, Sandy McClintock, Planit Canada, and Jeff Heppinstal, Felder Canada, provided their perspectives on their training and how it supported and influenced their careers. Nancy Branco, AYA Kitchens, provided an HR-manager’s perspective on skills needs, as well as employer expectations and experiences.
There was a special focus on the educational opportunities in the woodworking sector. Four Ontario colleges, Conestoga, Humber, Georgian and St. Clair were present to introduce their programs, provide information and network with the teachers throughout the day. There was a demonstration on Cabinet Vision and an opportunity to tour the shop facilities and speak to students at work on their projects.
The day finished up with the teachers rotating through four stations in the shop, covering such things as veneering and the Virtual Spray Program.
The event was held at Conestoga College’s Woodworking Centre of Ontario on March 28, 2014. It compliments a related session – Wood Tech Summit - being planned for October 2014, which will provide opportunities for high school students and representatives of the industry to learn and come together. Further details will be available soon.
Thanks to all the teachers who attended, to everyone at the Woodworking Centre of Ontario, to the presenters and to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, who sponsored the day.
For more information on the WMC, its members, programs and activities, please visit or connect with us on social media (LinkedIN, twitter and FaceBook). 

Three former Conestoga College students who now work in the industry: Jeff Heppinstal, Sandy McClintock and Holly Clayson.

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