In a very positive development for the wood products manufacturing industry in Grey and Bruce counties, the Bluewater District School Board has decided to adopt the WoodLINKS™ curriculum in their high schools in Chesley and Kincardine.
Brent Beck will lead the program at Chesley District High School and Bryan Derksen will integrate the curriculum into his construction program at Kincardine District Secondary School. The programs will help train students for entry-level jobs within the industry, as well as give them a good background knowledge base to take into post-secondary programs in wood products production that are available through schools like Conestoga and Georgian College.
WoodLINKS™ is a well established program that teaches basic wood science, safety, machine operation and woodworking skills. As the industry ramps up and the economy improves, there will be a strong demand for good workers who want careers in the wood industry. Moreover, the aging workforce in our industry will create job openings as they retire.
This proactive decision on the part of the school board is most appreciated by the members of the Bluewater Wood Alliance, who promise to support the teachers and provide co-op placements for the students coming through the two-year program.