State-of-the-Art Detroit Training Center Further Expands Availability of Mass Timber Installer Training to US Workers

Photo credit: Alex Schreyer

Today's grand opening of the Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Joint Apprentice and Training Fund's new $30 million Union Carpenters and Millwrights Skilled Training Center in Detroit, Michigan further expands the availability of mass timber installer training in the U.S. Developed by WoodWorks - Wood Products Council in partnership with training centers and other entities, installer training targets crew leaders and installers who physically build mass timber structures on site. WoodWorks provides curriculum and training support, as well as training mock-ups and components for some programs with funding from the Softwood Lumber Board and USDA Forest Service. 

"Behind every infrastructure project are countless men and women getting it done," 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 opportunity and help fill high-skilled, good-paying job openings as we rebuild and revitalize Michigan's critical infrastructure. I am thankful for the partnership of WoodWorks and Carpenters and Millwrights, and I look forward to working with them to invest in the skilled trades and put Michiganders first."

"We created the Mass Timber Construction Management Program in 2019 to address a critical gap in knowledge and skills among contractors and installers," said Jennifer Cover, WoodWorks President and CEO. "Developers and design teams were pursuing mass timber for its carbon, biophilia and other benefits, but contractors accustomed to other materials had no experience on these types of projects. This resulted in budgets and estimates that were skewed high to cover the unknowns, including risk 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 contribute to a growing pool of labor trained to build these innovative buildings."

Intended to increase the availability of trained mass timber installation labor across the U.S., these programs train individuals on the fundamentals of mass timber installation with content for workers with all levels of experience. The following U.S. entities are offering mass timber installer training in partnership with WoodWorks or have courses in development:

Training Centers Added in Q2 2022

Training Centers Offering Mass Timber Installer Training as of Q2 2022

As part of its own education program, WoodWorks offers project management curriculum for individuals who estimate, procure, and manage new commercial and multi-family construction projects in the U.S. Upcoming construction management education can be found on the organization's website.

WoodWorks also partners with universities to provide hands-on mass timber experience and educational resources to 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 others would be welcome locations for mass timber installation training programs. For more information, contact Brandon Brooks, Construction Management Program Manager.



Source: WoodWorks, Wood Products Council