The discussion around the table at the Monday, October 18, 2010, meeting of the Joint Education Committee was still in the “storming” phase of the old saw about committees: forming, storming, norming, performing. They were concerned about accountability and ROI. They seemed to hear, but perhaps not internalize, the key factor in all this, i.e., where is the advanced woodworking workforce going to come from in 2020 and beyond?

The pervasive atmosphere of gloom created by the past two years of low sales, low profits, low morale creates a dangerous breeding ground for bad decisions. Those of use who’ve been around this industry for 30+ years have seen it happen before. When under stress, postpone long-range decision making.

The Woodwork Career Alliance has both the optimism and the horsepower to be a vital part of the future of our industry. Perhaps the time is now.