Conestoga news

July 23, 2023 10:58 AM

Networking event supports wood manufacturing industry

On June 21, Conestoga’s Woodworking Centre of Ontario welcomed members of the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario (WMCO) to the Kitchener - Doon campus for a quarterly networking event. 

Members from more than 70 companies participated in activities that provided professional development, industry contact growth, and an opportunity to engage in discussions with Conestoga woodworking faculty and staff.

WMCO’s partnership with Conestoga provides an important source for sector workforce development through upskilling and training new entrants. In addition to courses offered to WMCO members, Conestoga provides career-focused programs for learners to develop skills specific to the wood manufacturing industry, including Woodworking Technology, Woodworking Technician, Woodworking Techniques - CNC and Cabinetmaker (Apprenticeship).

According to WMCO, the advanced wood manufacturing sector in southwestern Ontario accounts for approximately 1,400 small- and medium-sized enterprises representing 22,500 employees with $5.2 billion in revenues out of $6.6 billion for all of Ontario. As a consumer and further processor of Canadian wood bio-mass products, the sector is extremely valuable for job and wealth creation to the Canadian economy. The cluster generates collaborative relationships within the sector to share knowledge, stimulate innovation, and foster new mindsets and ways of working together to strengthen the performance, innovation and agility of Ontario’s value-added wood manufacturing industry.

Established in 1988, the Woodworking Centre of Ontario at Conestoga is one of the largest facilities of its kind in North America and counted among the leading training centres for woodworking. At approximately 50,000 square feet of space, students have access to custom woodworking and production training as well as the latest in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and computer drafting technology.