John Ratzenberger, of the iconic NBC television show Cheers and Pixar movie fame, will keynote the AWFS Fair at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday July 20, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event is open to all registered AWFS Fair attendees. Doors will open at 7:00 a.m. Limited general seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Prior to his career in the entertainment industry, Ratzenberger was a finish carpenter and has a strong connection to his skilled trade roots. He has been involved in multiple organizations, which support manufacturing in America and encouraging young people to learn skilled trades. He produced and starred in The Travel Channel Show “John Ratzenberger’s Made in America” which showcased products and workers throughout the U.S.
Ratzenberger has a genuine focus and concern for the future of skilled trades. “Kids today are not making things,” he said. “We just need to teach kids the skills. Many today do not even know how to use simple tools, hammers and screwdrivers. Manufacturers today say high school kids can’t even read a ruler. How are they going to build airplanes, build homes, or even perform simple household repairs?”
Ratzenberger recently announced a collaborative partnership with the American Museum of Manufacturing, the American Libraries Association and the Young Adult Library Services Association to launch America’s Workshop, an ongoing, hands-on educational experience to teach kids vocational skills in libraries nationwide. Through woodworking curriculum, students will learn how to use basic tools, read plans, develop critical thinking and put real-life skills to work on their own project from concept to completion. Ratzenberger will rally woodworkers to support this effort to introduce these valuable skills to young people and consider career opportunities in our industry.