All colleges in Ontario have steering committees for their various programs to help them keep curriculum and content relevant and current to ensure effective workforce development. Read on to learn how the BWA is connecting members to future employees!
The Bluewater Wood Alliance is pleased to chair the steering committee for the cabinetmaking and carpentry programs at Georgian College in Barrie. Our recent meeting took place on April 9, 2014.
Since starting on this committee, BWA Manager Mike Baker has offered a strategy to ensure that the wood industry’s needs are heard and that the college and students have a chance to interact and have structured and informal dialogue with both manufacturers and the supply chain.
First, the strategy is to get industry engaged and provide their input at the meetings. The BWA brings both a manufacturing and a supply chain member to provide their perspectives. This leads to ongoing relationship development for these companies with the college. BWA members Jim Hill from Arbour Hill Cabinets an Ian Christie from Upper Canada Forest Products participated in the meeting this month, and their diverse perspectives added value to the mix of the committee.
Second, we have created an agenda that includes a review and feedback on program outlines, and course outlines for the various courses in both the cabinetmaking and the carpentry/woodworking programs. It is acknowledged that there are important skill sets from both that can be transferred to industrial settings. Diverse members of the committee will be providing feedback on various aspects of their course outlines and how they can continue to serve the industry through the program’s graduates.
Finally, the dates of the meetings were scheduled so that committee members can have a shop tour and meet with the students and talk about opportunities and share examples of what to expect when students finish their programs.
This is a valuable tool for workforce development that the BWA is very pleased to be participating in to support its members in the wood industry!