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AWFS fair will offer seminars targeting small shops

Responding to feedback from show attendees, the AWFS fair has created a new track for the 2011 College of Woodworking Knowledge education program, "Small Shops Ten & Under." Topics in this track will be specific to the needs of the shops with 10 or less employees.

AWFS conducted a survey of all 2009 show attendees who self-identified as coming from shops with 10 or fewer employees to identify what topics they most wanted to see in this category. The survey results showed that more than 86 percent wanted such a track and a vast range of potential ideas were submitted. Subjects chosen for 2011 will be based on survey suggestions, according to the AWFS.

The development of the education program is led by an industry-wide advisory committee, which met in June for an all-day planning meeting in Chicago. Chaired by Philip Martin of Hafele America Co., the committee is comprised of representatives from machinery and related tooling, software, millwork, hardware, wood products, independent furniture makers and the trade press. Associations represented included the Architectural Woodwork Institute, Cabinet Makers Association, Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association and The Furniture Society.

The College of Woodworking Knowledge includes eight educational tracks in total, including Business Management, Cabinet & Millwork, Software & Technology, Techniques & Applications, Handcrafted Furniture, Safety & Environment, Teacher Track and the new Small Shops Ten & Under.

Classes at the AWFS fair will begin on July 19, the preshow day, and continue throughout the four days of the show. The 2011 roster will include the SMART program (Special Machinery and Relevant Technology), which are the more technical sessions conducted at machines on the exhibit floor before the show opens.

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