wmia.org | 2017 | WMIA 5
Educational Outreach: Boot Camp
Boot Camp WMIA-style doesn’t require uniforms or pre-dawn roll calls, but it does offer five-days of intensive ses- sions designed to broaden the understanding of the secondary wood manufacturing
process. The brainchild of the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association in collaboration with
Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas, it
is designed to provide sales professionals, sales
managers, product managers and executives a
shortcut to understanding the industry’s manufacturing process.
Doug Hague along with Charlie Phillips helped
to design and run the program, which is held on
the campus of Pittsburg State University. Since
2015 there have been six Boot Camp sessions and
43 graduates of the program from 23 companies.
Phillips is a PSU assistant professor of Wood Technology. Formerly a PSU assistant professor at the
university, Hague is the education director for the
Architectural Woodwork Institute.
Hague said the Boot Camp idea was born as a
means of saying thank you to WMIA for its support
of the PSU program, and of the industry as a whole.
“We were told that new sales people were good at
selling but didn’t necessarily know about the wood
industry. That was the impetus for developing the
WMIA Boot Camp.”
Each Boot Camp has a maximum enrollment of
12 participants to “ensure that all of the students
can get hands-on time and have a one-on-one ex-
perience,” Phillips said. “The benefit of having 12 or
less participants also ensures that everyone in the
program can utilize the equipment and that we have
time to cover all we want in class.” The dynamic
of having people from different professional back-
grounds adds to the overall experience, he added.
Hague agreed. “The students will be experts in
some areas, but they might not know as much in oth-
ers. Another goal is to make them aware of how every
process affects the manufacturing flow or outcome
of a project.”
The camp is a 50/50 mix of class time and lab
time, with the full-day typically beginning with a
lecture before moving into the lab for further in-
struction. Topics for the Boot Camp include: Auto-
CAD, CAM Software, CNC, Wood Science, Primary
Processing, Finishing, Veneering, Cabinetry, Ma-
chine Woods, Tool Technology, Millwork and Facili-
ties Management. Students also have the opportu-
nity to complete and take home a project, usually a
small table or cabinet. Participants also take home
a Resource Book, designed to familiarize them with
commonly used terms in the industry.
Phillips said they use feedback from participants
in keeping the program relevant and successful.
The two have been recognized for their efforts,
most notably with the winning of the 2015 WMIA
Wooden Globe Award for Educator of the Year.
“Winning the WMIA Educator of the Year Award
was quite an honor in so many ways,” said Hague.
“The fact that we were nominated by an attendee
of the very first WMIA Boot Camp made it especially special. For someone to leave camp and feel
so strongly about the experience to go through the
nomination process, well, as Educators it meant the
world to us and to the program.
“It has been an honor to be a part of the program,” he added.
PSU Wood Tech Graduate Assistants Mark Welle
and Sam Galliart also have contributed to the success of the WMIA Boot Camps, Phillips noted. “They
have been with us all the way, putting hundreds of
hours into the program in the lab portion, and working with equipment,” he said.
The next Boot Camp will take place Jan. 8-12,
2018. Tuition is $1,950 for WMIA members and
$2,400 for non-members, and includes hotel accommodations for five nights, meals, the Resource
Book, lab and project materials, and shipping the
project home. For more information visit WTII.net.
CAMP HELPS MANAGERS BOOT UP SKILLS
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT BY WMIA AND PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY, BOOT CAMP EDUCATES EXECUTIVES,
SALES AND PRODUCT MANAGERS ON WOODWORKING TERMS AND SKILLS.
The five-day intensive Boot Camp provides woodworking industry professionals with a hands-on learning experience to wood processing knowledge, machinery
and applications. To date, there have been participants from more than 20 companies.