The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS) has announced the opening of its leading educational program, the College of Woodworking Knowledge (CWWK), which will take place at the upcoming AWFS Fair, over four days, July 22-25, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Designed to meet the needs of the show audience demographics, the nearly 50 sessions span topics to enhance business management acumen, improve skill sets and increase knowledge of the latest technologies as well as provide the latest in safety, sustainability and legislative updates.
Here are some of the highlights from the eight educational tracks:
Business Management: Industry boomers will appreciate the session on “Managing Multi-generational Teams,” delivered by a best-selling author and thought leader on the millennial generation. Those wishing to expand their reach on the Web can attend the “Secrets to Internet Marketing,” given by a tech expert and trainer. Other popular topics include “Effective Leadership,” “Increasing Sales,” and more.
Cabinet/Millwork: Shop owners can explore emerging trends in “Domestic Manufacturing of European-style Windows” as well as in “Cabinetry for Today’s Needs” which focuses on the changes to environments due to aging-in-place. This session includes a sneak peak at the AGE EXPLORER suit, which simulates aging and enables the wearer to feel what it’s like to be 70+ years old and experience what happens to our bodies as we age.
Sure to draw some attention is “The Great Face-Off: Face Frame vs. Frameless Construction,” delineating the pros, cons, tips and realities of working with both. Also offered are “Creating a Showroom” and “The New Normal in Mass Customization” which will reveal how contemporary living space design is dictating consumer changes.
Furniture: “Outsourcing CNC Services for Furniture Production” will illustrate the advantages of partnering to both the small and larger shop; an “Introduction to Mass Production” covers the “need to knows” for bringing a piece to the production market, and will be delivered by a successful designer in the field.
Handcrafted aficionados won’t want to miss the “Pierced Carving” or “Compound Bending” delivered by an outstanding craftsman while those challenged by hand finishing methods might want to check out “Wood Dyes and Greene & Greene Coloring Methods“ given by a seasoned pro. Sure to enlighten is a session on “Developing your Personal Brand in the Luxury Furniture Market.”
Small Shops Ten & Under: Small shop owners can choose from sessions on “Knowing When to Grow,” “Planning for Retirement Success,” “Designing a Finishing Room for a Small Facility” and other topics designed with the smaller shop in mind.
Software & Technology: Software will play a large role in the program with sessions on “Understanding your Options”—a software 101 style class, a round table of “Candid Conversations on Software” delivered by practitioners of various software and “Taking your Shop to the Cloud,” which demonstrates new ways to collaborate. A special new feature of the show, the AWFS STAGE, will showcase mini-software presentations delivered by various exhibiting software companies. Other sessions include “Smart Manufacturing,” a session delineating single-piece flow, and “Automated Nesting” which will address the proper Nested Base Solutions for your manufacturing strategy.
Techniques & Applications: There is always something to learn and information to gain in these sessions including “Achieving Consistent Sanding Quality,” solving “Chronic Finishing Problems” and “Keys to Plastic Routing.” A special round table on finishing repair, aimed at solving finishing dilemmas, will be led by three finishing experts who are members of the Professional Refinishers Group. “Acrylic Manufacturing” and “Flat-line Spraying” are also offered.
Safety & Environment: This track offers two free sessions to all attendees. “Legislation Affecting the Industry” is a panel of guest speakers from OSHA, CARB and the Department of Justice, to talk about combustible dust, formaldehyde emissions and the Lacey Act. “Developing a Written Workplace Safety Program” is an OSHA-compliant safety plan that can be applied to any size shop. There will also be programs on “Dust Collection” devoted to both small and large shops as well as “Operating a Green Plant” and “LEED and FSC Certification.”
Teacher Track: Teachers attending the show will find courses specific to their needs, with sessions on “Implementing CNC across Disciplines,” “Preparing Students for Industry,” “Process-Driven Projects with Industry Application” and “Making Industry-Education Partnerships a Reality.”
And be sure not to miss an AWFS®Fair first--a Special Guest Speaker Event being inaugurated at the 2015 show. Mr. John Bassett, III, long-time veteran of the furniture industry and head of the top-selling wooden bedroom furniture company in America, tells his enthralling personal story of standing up to, and winning, a fight against the dumping of cheap Chinese furniture into the American market, as portrayed in the New York Times bestseller, “Factory Man,” by Beth Macy. Bassett speaks at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 23. This special event is free to all attendees.