BWA reaches out to educators in Meeting on November 18.

BWA reaches out to the Bluewater District School Board to promote WoodLINKS.

Members of the Bluewater Wood Alliance hosted a group of tech teachers from the Bluewater District School Board on November 18 to give them an idea of what students might expect to see if they choose careers in the wood products manufacturing industry.

The tour started out at Speke Klein Inc. in Durham, where owners Robin Speke and Thomas Klein gave the teachers a tour of the high tech manufacturing plant and described their business, which includes customers in both Canada and the United States.  Speke Klein manufactures custom furniture and millwork, often working directly with architects and designers to create one-of-a-kind solutions.  Although the company has only five employees, it uses the state-of-the-art in machinery and software to manufacture the products.

The second stop on the tour was West Bros. Furniture in Hanover, a company known across North America for producing high quality solid wood furniture.  Owner Paul West took the teachers around his high production plant, where the latest in manufacturing technology is used to produce a variety of home furnishings, from bedroom and dining room suites to furniture for the hospitality industry.

The final stop on the tour was at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre, where Richard Lipman gave the teachers a presentation on the WoodLINKS program, a school-to-work certificate program that gives students a basic education in working safely in the wood products manufacturing industry.  The BWA supports WoodLINKS and the idea of getting young people in the Grey and Bruce region excited about the careers that are available to them in the companies of the Alliance.  Adam Hofmann, president of Bogdon & Gross Furniture, spoke to the teachers, as did his Human Resources Manager, Laurelyn Nielsen.

It is hoped that this kind of outreach by the BWA will build a successful relationship with the education system in the area to promote cooperation in education for the industry.  With an aging workforce in many of the companies, it is of primary importance to plan for the future of the industry by education today’s students for fulfilling careers in the Bluewater Wood Alliance companies.