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JA certification [Was: Tony Baldwin]

Hi Mark,

Since we talked about the tracking software the other day my head
has almost been spinning. Some really good ideas you were willing
to share and I appreciate it. Please let me know how its going with

As for the certification; I think it will help the whole industry.
Too many people out there claiming to be the masters of this craft.
The public has a bad taste for us because of some bad experiences.
Mark Mann and Noel Wolfensberger of the JA, (and I’m sure there are
others) have set up a controlled testing system to evaluate the
individuals level of abilities.

The testing was done in the presence of a proctor to keep it all
legit. I had to allow for about 40 hours total to take the test. I
was able to spread that out over a period of time though, so
business did not really suffer because of it. The projects were set
up to show your knowledge and ability to work through given tasks.
So if you ARE able to pull off those impossible requests, your
customers can be assured that you truly are the master you claim to
be. Even someone new to the bench could benefit since they would
have someone recognized in the jewelry industry to back-up their
claim they are a jeweler. Potential employers gain by not hiring
someone untrained or who may just be a hack.

For me it was something I wanted to do for myself. My customers in
wholesale could advertise that a certified benchie is doing their
work, so it could be good for business, especially new accounts. It
wasn’t cheap and it certainly does not mean that I alone can do
these things. There are a lot of really great bench jewelers out
there. This is just one way of helping to backup our own claims and
give the public (our real customers) a little peace of mind.

If you are interested in more info give the JA a call at
800-223-0673. If I can help or answer any questions don’t hesitate
to contact me.

My address is:
Tony Baldwin
P.O.Box 542
Marietta, Ohio 45750