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AWFS Fair’s College of Woodworking Knowledge opens

The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers announces the opening of its educational program, the College of Woodworking Knowledge, which will take place at the upcoming AWFSFair, July 17-20, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Designed to meet the current needs of the show audience demographics, the 50 sessions will span topics to strengthen corporate culture and grow your workforce, enhance business management expertise, improve skill sets, and increase knowledge of the latest technologies.

Track highlights

Business Management: Hear from expert Tom Grandy on mastering your cash flow. Marketing pro Jonathan Mills breaks down digital marketing, including the role of social media. Learn how to work on your business rather than in it with Jeff Finney. Two-time SHINGO Prize winner Gary Conner walks through lean case studies for applicable information. Dr. Cindy McGovern, the First Lady of Sales, will explain why every job in a company is a sales job and building customer relationships must be the foundation in your business.

Workforce and Culture: Expanded programming includes perspectives from experts and woodworking business owners. Highly rated returning speaker Paul Downs will share his process on transforming his company’s culture. Jason Quis and consultant Patrick Heidrich tackle communication as core to culture, and the millennial conversation. Lisa Ryan of Grategy shares the importance of engaging employees for better retention.

Cabinet, Millwork and Furniture: Paul Downs brings back his popular session on introducing CNC to the furniture shop. Owain Harris and John Conrad of ISFD discuss life as a furniture maker. Creative furniture designer/maker Judson Beaumont shares his fun and innovative design process.

Software & Technology: Hear from exhibitors during SMART sessions in their booth on nested CNC optimization, digital technologies in the wood industry, automation to address your labor shortage, robotic applications, and processing solid wood on CNC. The SMART sessions take place on the show floor in exhibitor booths and before the show opens, from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Seating is limited, and registration is capped at 25 per session.

• Techniques & Applications: Woodworking pro Scott Grove returns to offer two sessions on veneer technique, and one on using resin with wood. Highly rated speaker Diane Shattuck joins us again to address problem solving in finishes and color consistency. Hear from Jim Larin of Fuji Spray on choosing the correct HVLP spray system. Louis Jasso of Elite Fine Finish discusses the importance of training in finishes. In addition, SMART sessions on sanding and edgebanding are offered.

• Teacher Track: The Teacher Track is expanded to seven sessions on WCA for the classroom, tool safety, CAD training, accessing curriculum and resources, teaching design/build, marketing your program, and program funding.

AWI, CMA and WCA hosted sessions

Architectural Woodwork Institute will present three sessions on estimating, project management, and an overview of the new AWI Standards Suite. Cabinet Makers Association will host a session featuring Guy Bucey from Inova on leadership, and sessions on investing in a bigger machine, diversifying your business, maximizing your nested based router, and their flagship “What’s Your Problem?” event. Woodwork Career Alliance will offer three complimentary sessions: two on how to find, train and retain workers, and creating an in-house training program, and one for teachers on WCA standards for students.

Free sessions

In addition to complimentary sessions hosted by other associations, AWFS once again offers complimentary sessions for attendees. Sessions include regulation impacting the woodworking industry, focused on the EPA TSCA Title VI and workforce development initiatives in our industry.

Woodworking Network Symposia

Woodworking Network presents an expanded offering of their popular full-day symposia on Tuesday, July 16 which will complement the CWWK programming with current topics and an impressive lineup of speakers. The four symposia are: CNC Technology, Finishing, Closets, and the Under 40 Leadership Conference. All symposia attendees receive complimentary show registration and access to the 40 under 40 Reception on Tuesday evening.

The full program is accessible at, including complete session descriptions and speaker bios.