Value-Added Woodworker Direct to Work Program

Free Training Program Available to Those Looking to Start a Career in BC’s Value-Added Wood Industry!

Looking to start a new career? You might want to consider a career in BC’s value-added wood industry. BC Wood is excited to announce the launch of the Work Ready Program, a four-week no-cost training course that equips participants with the required knowledge and essential skills to promptly enter the value-added wood industry.

This free training opportunity will be offered at the beginning of 2024 at various institutions around BC. The program is open to anyone looking to pursue a career in the BC’s value-added wood industry (no previous experience or education required). The program materials are designed to get prospective workers ready to enter BC’s value-added wood industry in four weeks and includes hands-on technical skills training, site visits, and industry led presentations. Participants will also have the opportunity to network within the value-added wood industry and potentially connect with jobs opportunities upon completion of the program.

Why Pursue a Career in the Value-Added Wood Industry?

Careers in BC’s value-added wood industry provide a number of benefits including:

  • Desirable careers with hands-on work and creativity
  • Predictable pay, benefits, and the chance to work in your local community
  • Promising career prospects in a pivotal sector of BC’s economy
  • Lots of growth opportunities

What is Value-Added Wood?

Value-added wood refers to the process of enhancing the value of wood products through various manufacturing, processing, and customization techniques. It involves taking raw or semi-processed wood materials and transforming them into higher-value, finished, or semi-finished wood products. Value-added products include treated lumber, engineered wood products, shakes and shingles, posts, poles, log and timber-frame homes, mouldings, pallets, boxes, cabinets, furniture, art and other finished or semi-finished goods.

The value-added wood industry adds value by increasing the versatility, performance, and market appeal of wood products. This not only benefits consumers by providing more diverse and specialized wood products but also supports the sustainable use of wood resources, as it encourages efficient processing and minimizes waste. As such, pursuing a career in the value-added wood industry allows individuals to be at the forefront of innovation, sustainability, and economic growth within the wood sector.

What are Some Job Opportunities Within the Value-Added Wood Industry?

From Operations Managers to Machine Operating, there are a lot of different jobs within the VAW sector. These are some that are the most in demand:

CNC Operators

Set up, program and operate computer numerical controlled (CNC) woodworking machines to fabricate components for a variety of wood products from cabinets and furniture all the way to building elements for mass timber construction.

Machine Operators

Select, cut and shape wood in a value-added way, working in a fast-paced environment to make wood products using a variety of machinery.


Assemble components to form subassemblies such as prefabricated structural wood products or complete articles such as furniture.


Fabricate all components of a modern timber structure in a prefabrication plant—from mass timber products to steel connectors, cables, and castings, and integrated structural panels complete with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems pre-installed.

Mass timber Installers

Collaborate in the design and pre-construction of buildings, use 3D virtual models in building information modelling (BIM), and erect and connect the prefabricated mass timber elements.

Operations Managers

Plan, organize, direct and evaluate daily wood manufacturing operations. Contribute to the development and monitoring of operational budgets, and promote efficiencies and high quality products through all manufacturing processes.

Program Curriculum and Content

The Direct-to-Work program is designed to prepare participants for an exciting career in BC’s Value-added Wood Products Industry. The Industry is a diverse collection of manufacturers creating a variety of products such as: Kitchen Cabinets, Furniture, Millwork, Remanufactured Wood, Log Homes & Timber Frame, Factory Built Homes, and Engineered Wood Products which includes Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) & Trusses. The Program is designed to be delivered over 4 weeks (140 hours) in both a classroom- and shop-setting.

Participants will learn:

  • Health & Safety inclusive of some First Aid;
  • the correct, safe use and maintenance of entry-level hand- and power-tools which in turn will be used to create a project;
  • interpretation of Shop drawings inclusive of measurements and layout;
  • work communications and collaboration techniques;
  • Recognition of wood grades and species, types of fasteners and finishes used.

These will be all be complemented with Industry tours and presentations. Upon completion, participants will receive a First Aid Certificate as well as Certificate of Completion recognizable by Industry Members.

Apply for the Value-Added Woodworker Direct to Work Program

Host institutions are to be announced soon. To express interest in participating or to inquire more about the Direct to Work program, please email