Wood Design program at Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute in Adrian, MI


Woodwork Career Alliance of North America - Learn Woodworking at the Sam Beauford Woodshop

In partnership with the Woodworking Career Alliance of North America (WCA) and the Lenawee Intermediate School District (LISD), the Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute trains employable workers in the skilled trades, particularly in the fields of the woodworking design and manufacturing.

We offer credentialed and accredited skill based job training for the woodworking, manufacturing, and construction industry. Through the WCA and LISD, the SBWI offers training and certification for a unified set of skill standards. These skills are recorded through the Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute WCA Passport Program. We offer educational opportunities which are otherwise unavailable locally.


What is the Passport Program?

Everyone starts by enrolling and getting their WCA Passport — portable, personal, permanent records of their achievements as a professional — a “Passport” to career success. 

  • The Passport is a portable credential for individuals in the woodwork industry to quantify and qualify their ability to operate woodwork tools properly and safely to create high quality wood products.

  • Certificates are not tied to specific occupations or jobs. Rather, the Skill Standards empower employers to select the tools and tool operation levels relevant to their jobs or training needs.

  • A WCA Passport verifies the individual’s tool proficiencies allowing them to “document their skills”. WCA maintains a national database of passport holders and their achievements.

  • Woodworkers receive Points through a performance assessment that is fair, defensible, clear, teachable, observable and measurable. A woodworker’s skills and knowledge are assessed by a WCA Accredited Skill Evaluator who observes the candidate as s/he uses a tool and then inspect the final product, ensuring that the woodworker’s technique and product complies with WCA standards. Skill Evaluators record and submit their evaluations to WCA electronically and issue the appropriate Points in the Woodwork Passport

  • Woodwork Industry benefits by offering a career path in advanced woodwork manufacturing.

  • Employers get a tool for recruiting, training, evaluating, and retaining skilled employees.

  • Educators benefit by having access to guidelines for class planning and industry outcomes.

  • Students thinking about their future, are able to discover a rewarding career and learn what they need to know to succeed.

  • Woodworkers benefit by showing knowledge and skill through performance of comprehensive standard operations, and by having a portable credential linked to strong career paths.

  • Every Passport Holder as access to the WCA REGISTRY of his/her personal records



1. Teach participants practical and employable skills.
2. Show a sustainable career path
3. Document the skills of existing employees
4. Greatly increase the confidence of participants.
5. Enhance labor value and mobility.



1. Prospective woodshop participants will enroll in WCA Passport Program.
2. Participants will learn how to use and properly set up woodworking and construction tool, gaining an intuitive understanding of safe and productive working processes.

Wood Manufacturing Design classes at the Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute - teaching the careers of tomorrow!

Credentialing Advantages for Employers

  • Document of the skills of existing employees

  • Evaluate the credentials of new employees

  • Identify and target training needs

  • Show a career path in the Industry

  • Motivate employees to upgrade their skills

  • Reduce costly employee turnover

  • Create a culture that increases employee pride for their work at the company.

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Wood design and manufacturing program at Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute in Adrian, MI
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What are the Standard Levels?

The Standards are defined in 2 Levels:

Level 1 is Output oriented: This might be seen as Entry Level skills. This person would be able to safely produce wood parts using machines and tools that are set-up and ready for them. They can produce parts to specification, but are not expected to have in-depth knowledge of the tools or machines they are using. Safe working procedures are stressed here.

Level 2 is Setup oriented: We could call this Intermediate skill level. The woodworker at this level will have greater knowledge of the machines and tools they are using and will be expected to complete their own setups and tool preparation. Given plans and specs, they will be able to select and use jigs and fixtures and use appropriate materials to complete the task.

Machine Specialist and Area Specialist: This person has Advanced skills. The final criteria for this Certificate are still being developed. The objective is to reward a person with in-depth knowledge about a specific machine or set of machines.

Relation of Tool Points to Levels: Every “level” of every “operation” qualifies as a Tool Point. On a particular Tool/Machine and Operation, most people will pass Level 1 and Level 2 at the same time. That means they spend two Assessment Credits and earn two Tool Points. As you will see in the Credentialing section, it only takes 30 Tool points to earn the Green Credential. That could be done in as few as 15 operations


How does the credentialing process work? 

Everyone in the program carries a Personal WCA Passport. Woodworkers earn WCA Credentials by accumulating Tool Points in the Passport and by time-on-job. Tool Points are earned by demonstrating competence on tool skills defined in the Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards, published by the Woodwork Career Alliance. The skill demonstrations are watched by a Skill Evaluator, a person specially accredited by the WCA to issue Tool Points. Both the Tool Points and Hours are cumulative, each Credential adding to the one above. The Red, Gold, and Diamond Credentials require a practical demonstration of acquired skills, which will be custom tailored and related to the candidate’s real world working situation and experience.

The Green and Blue Credential could be earned by students in a qualified training program, which may include some time in a manufacturing shop or plant. By the time a candidate applies for the Red Credential s/he is assumed to be employed in the industry.


Summary of Credential Progression:

  • Sawblade Certificate – 10 tool points, >80% on Sawblade Quiz, Enrolled at a WCA EDUcation™ school.

  • Green Credential – 30 tool points, 800 hours (education and/or work)

  • Blue Credential – 60 tool points, 1600 total hours (education and/or work)

  • Red Credential – 120 tool points, 3200 total hours employed, skill demonstration

  • Gold Credential – 180 tool points, 4800 total hours employed, skill demonstration

  • Diamond Credential – 240 tool points, 6400 total hours employed, master project

  • Every Passport Holder’s credentials are backed up in our database, called the WCA Registry. A person can access their personal record online at the WCA website, using their unique user name and personal password. Passport Holders can export their transcripts to send to educators and/or employers

The Sam Beauford Woodshop is proud to partner with the following organizations to increase educational opportunities and awareness for those entering the skilled professional trades: