Detroit’s state-of-the-art training facility expands

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today’s official opening of the Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Joint Apprentice and Training Fund of the new $30 million Union Carpenters and Millwrights Skilled Training Center in Detroit, Michigan, Further Expands Availability of Solid Wood Installer Training in the U.S. Developed by WoodWorks – Wood Products Council in partnership with training centers and other entities, Installer Training targets team leaders and installers who physically build mass timber structures on site. WoodWorks provides curriculum and training support, as well as mockups and training components for select programs with funding from the Softwood Lumber Board and USDA Forest Service.

“Behind every infrastructure project are the countless men and women who make it happen,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am proud to celebrate them with the opening of this state-of-the-art training center and the partnership between WoodWorks and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. This facility will connect countless Michiganders with opportunities and will help fill highly skilled, well-paying job openings as we rebuild and revitalize Michigan’s critical infrastructure. I am grateful for the partnership between WoodWorks and Carpenters and Millwrights, and look forward to working with them. to invest in skilled trades and prioritize Michiganders.

“We created the Mass Timber Construction Management Program in 2019 to fill a critical gap in knowledge and skills for contractors and installers,” said Jennifer Cover, President and CEO of WoodWorks. “Developers and design teams sought out mass timber for its carbon, biophilia, and other benefits, but contractors used to other materials had no experience on these types of projects. This resulted in budgets and highly skewed estimates to cover unknowns, including risks and perceived liabilities.Our program offers content tailored to the unique needs of project managers and estimators as well as field team leaders and installers, both to help ensure competitive pricing and to contribute to a growing pool of trained labor to construct these innovative buildings.

Intended to increase the availability of skilled hardwood installation labor across the United States, these programs train individuals in the fundamentals of hardwood installation with content for workers of all experience levels. The following US entities offer hardwood installer training in partnership with WoodWorks or have courses in development:

Training centers added in the second quarter of 2022

Training centers offering solid wood installer training from the second quarter of 2022

  • Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Program – Elk Grove Village, IL
  • Northwestern Washington Carpenters Institute – Kent, WA
  • Pacific Northwest Institute of Carpenters – Portland, OR
  • North Atlantic States Apprentice Training Fund – Millbury, MA
  • North Atlantic States Apprentice Training Fund – Rock Tavern, NY
  • Southwest Carpenters Training Fund – Buena Park, CA
  • Philadelphia Apprentice Joint Training Fund – Philadelphia, PA
  • Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky Joint Trust Fund for Learning and Training in Richfield, OH
  • New York City District Council of Carpenters Training Center – New York, NY
  • Iron Workers Locals 40 & 361 Joint Apprentice Committee – Astoria, NY

As part of its own training program, WoodWorks offers a project management program for individuals who evaluate, purchase, and manage new commercial and multifamily construction projects in the United States. The next construction management training can be viewed on the organization’s website.

WoodWorks also partners with universities to provide hands-on solid wood experience and educational resources for the next generation of GC project managers. Partnerships to date include:

WoodWorks is seeking other entities interested in developing university construction management and installer training programs. Training centers, technical community colleges, workforce development programs and many more would be welcome venues for mass timber installation training programs. For more information, contact Brandon Brooks, Construction Management Program Manager.


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Image 1: Photo credit: Alex Schreyer

Design Building John W. Olver, UMass Amherst, Leers Weinzapfel Associates

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  • Photo credit: Alex Schreyer

Milton S. Rodgers