Want a Job? Become a Wood Finisher!
The National Institute of Wood Finishing
In an age when technology and software dominate the job market, why choose a career in finishing? Who wants to spend their days mixing chemicals and bearing the frustration of color-matching pieces of wood? Apparently, the students at the National Institute of Wood Finishing~a program within the Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount, Minnesota~wholeheartedly made that choice.
This program ignores the recession with a 100% job-placement rate for its graduates.
Finishing is “a blend of chemistry and art”
Mitch Kohanek teaches this unique program, “the only certified Wood Finishing Technology Program in the United States.” He properly describes finishing as “a blend of chemistry and art.” In other words, it requires professional, resourceful, and creative people. They adjust to wood’s unique properties with the various chemical tools at their disposal and by applying their knowledge and experience. You can’t stand back and look at your software with the same satisfaction as a finisher looks at his cherry serving board and its subtle color and sheen.
Finishing enhances the wood. It requires chemistry, but its application is an art. In fact, it elevates the piece (furniture, door, moulding, stair parts) itself to a finished work-of-art. Just as a piece of pottery requires a glaze to be complete, a chair requires a finish. Mitch says, “Color is the first thing [a person is] attracted to, the first thing they touch.”
Two forms of finishing
The National Institute of Wood Finishing graduates people qualified to work on high-end pieces and in custom shops. Midwest Prefinishing supports this desire to make something good, something more beautiful. But Midwest fulfills it in a different form: the efficiency of high-production augmented with custom booths. The challenge is to produce a consistent, durable, and beautiful finish in quantity. And, it must be a value.
The economy needs both forms, each benefiting from the Institute’s work. So, Midwest Prefinishing salutes the Institute for attracting and training a new generation of people proud to work in the finishing industry.