Words To Live By

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These past several months I’ve been on the road for the Association, and it’s been wonderful seeing and speaking with you. What hasn’t been so wonderful is hearing that labor issues continue to impact your operations, and that a resolve to the labor crisis, unfortunately continues to elude many in our industry.

Yes, technological advances are being made to lessen staffing concerns. But for the here and now, it’s clear that we simply need to grow our own workforce. How do we do that?

I’ll remind you of the employee training opportunities, open to all industry stakeholders, being offered by the Northcentral Technical College (NTC) at their 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art Wood Technology Center of Excellence, in Antigo, Wisconsin. The courses and workshops, designed to help fill the labor gaps haunting the Hardwood industry, are affordable, flexible, and they’re happening NOW.

Hardwood Sawmilling Certificate Program – June 6-July 1

This unique 4-week/5 credit program is an excellent opportunity to enhance the skills of your A+ employees. It will focus on Hardwood Lumber Inspection; Sawing, Edging and Trimming to Maximize Profits; Hardwood Log Scaling and Grading; and Species Identification for Hardwood Lumber and Logs. Check ntc.edu for updated information.

Hardwood Log Scaling & Grading Workshop – June 11-12

In this two-day hands-on workshop, conducted in the classroom and off-site at a local sawmill, participants will learn how to apply log scaling principles and grading criteria used by industry professionals to merchandise Hardwood logs. Call 715-675-3331 to check availability.

Hardwood Manufacturers Certificate Program – August 29-November 18

Upon completion of this 12-week, 14.45 credit Program, certificate holders will be able to identify Hardwood species; scale, grade and value Hardwood logs; inspect Hardwood lumber applying NHLA grading rules; breakdown logs and edge/trim lumber; investigate slicer and rotary veneer manufacturing; examine the physical and mechanical properties of wood; and operate a conventional dry kiln. Visit ntc.edu or call 715-675-3331 for additional course information.

Bottom Line: The College is a wonderful resource that’s providing us a means to help ourselves. So, if there is a promising employee within your organization, wanting to grow and looking for more, but lacking the industry training to do so, take a close look at the programs being offered at NTC.

Remember, “Good luck is the result of good planning.” I can’t recall who said that or where I read it, but for sure, words to live by.

By Linda Jovanovich

Executive Vice President, Hardwood Manufacturers Association, Pittsburgh, PA 412-244-0440 HMAMEMBERS.ORG

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