For Immediate Release

DCC To Offer Wood Science Technology Degree Program


Gerald Sexton, shown in DCC’s new Wood Science Lab, stands next to the Brandt KDN-340 Optimat Edgebander, which puts the smooth finished edging around boards used for cabinets, desk, tables, etc.

Danville, VA, June 29, 2009 - The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Danville Community College’s new Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Wood Products Technology kicks off another new program – wood science technology. This program, offered in support of the area’s furniture and wood products manufacturers, is expected to be one of its kind at a community college.

“We have designed the program to prepare individuals for advanced manufacturing careers in the wood products industry,? says Gerald Sexton, Instructor and Coordinator of the new Center. “Students just out of high school or adults looking for a career transition or who want to update their skills will benefit from this program.

In addition to area furniture and wood products manufacturers, Sexton says the program is supported by the Danville, Pittsylvania County and Halifax County Public School Divisions, as well as the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and Virginia Tech’s Department of Wood Science.

“This is a true 2+2+2 program offering career opportunities and degrees, beginning with high school and continuing all the way through a four-year university,? Sexton adds.

DCC is also a licensed WoodLINKS USA site, which means the college is a partner in this organization of industry and education leaders. According to its website (, WoodLINKS USA is an industry driven, secondary and post-secondary woodworking training program, helping to build and maintain a strong, skilled workforce so that U.S. manufacturers can remain competitive in today’s challenging economic environment.

With an expected shortage of skilled personnel entering the wood manufacturing industry, WoodLINKS provides the wood industry with the necessary skilled workers to remain competitive at the entry and middle management levels. Individual companies support the local program by providing advice, encouragement, materials and opening doors to make students and teachers aware of the technologies being used today.

DCC’s program, which can be taken by full-time or part-time students, requires the completion of a minimum of 65 credits. The program outline includes general education, technical foundation, content, skills and knowledge components as well as work-based learning or an internship. An Associate in Applied Science Degree in Technical Studies – Wood Science Technology is awarded. Sexton says students who successfully complete the DCC program have the opportunity to transfer to Virginia Tech to pursue a bachelor’s degree in wood science.

Students will train in DCC’s new Wood Science Technology lab, located on the main campus. Sexton says the lab contains a variety of state-of-the art equipment, including a Weeke Venture 1M CNC Machining Center for point-to-point boring and machining of flat components; an HPP 230 Panel Saw; and a KDN-340 Optimat Edgebander.

“We have the industry and school partners in place to support the program; we have a brand new lab, and now all we need are the students who are interested in this advanced manufacturing career,? Sexton says.

Registration is being conducted now for Fall Semester classes, which begin August 24. For more information, contact Gerald Sexton, Coordinator of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Wood Products Technology, at 434.797.8565, or click here.

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