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Installers setting mass timber beams, John W. Olver Design Building, UMass Amherst
Setting beams at the John W. Olver Design Building, UMass Amherst / Photo: Alex Schreyer

Jun 15, 2022 WoodWorks

The Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Joint Apprentice and Training Fund has opened a new $30 million Union Carpenters and Millwrights Skilled Training Center in Detroit, Michigan. Their partnership with WoodWorks marks an exciting expansion of our Mass Timber Construction Management Program and the availability of mass timber installer training in the U.S.  

“Behind every infrastructure project are countless men and women getting it done.”

– Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Governor

“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,” said Governor Whitmer. “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.” 

Why Installer Training?

With so many developers and design teams pursuing mass timber, there is a need for practical training and education to help general contractors successfully bid and complete projects. In 2019, we created our Mass Timber Construction Management Program to address the critical gap in knowledge and skills among contractors and installers by providing curriculum, training support and mock-ups to programs, with funding from the Softwood Lumber Board and USDA Forest Service. Our installer training program specifically targets crew leaders and installers who physically build mass timber structures on site.   

“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,” said Jennifer Cover, WoodWorks President and CEO. ”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.”  

WoodWorks Mass Timber Installer Training Partners

Training Centers with programs in development as of Q2 2022

The Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute in Portland with their mock-up for mass timber installer training.

Training Centers Offering Mass Timber Installer Training as of Q2 2022 

Ongoing Mass Timber Education

WoodWorks also offers project management curriculum for individuals who estimate, procure, and manage new commercial and multi-family construction projects in the U.S. We have several regional events in June focused on construction management. See education coming up in your area here

We also partner with universities to provide hands-on mass timber experience and educational resources to the next generation of GC project managers. Partnerships to date include: 

Partner with Us

We’re always seeking partnerships with other entities interested in developing workforce or university construction management and installer training programs. Training centers, technical community colleges, workforce development programs, and other entities would be welcome partners for mass timber installation training programs.

For more information, contact our Construction Management Program Manager, Brandon Brooks.