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AWFS to feature 46 educational sessions

More than 50 industry professionals will deliver 46 educational presentations July 20-23 during the AWFS fair at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Included in this year's College of Woodworking Knowledge program will be an all-day hands-on lean manufacturing workshop and a wide range of courses falling under Business Management, Cabinet/Millwork, Software & Technology, Techniques & Applications, Safety & Environment, Handcrafted Furniture, and a Teacher track.

A new track, Small Shops Ten & Under, was added for 2011. Topics for the track, ranging from automation to management, sales techniques and using Google Sketch Up, were based on a survey done of all 2009 attendees in the 10-and-under employee category, according to the AWFS.

"Many businesses feeling the crunch of a severe economy haven't had the opportunity to get out of the trenches in the last few years," says Philip Martin of Häfele, chair of the College of Woodworking Knowledge advisory committee. "This program is structured to provide attendees with ideas, strategies, skills and resources to jump-start their thinking, planning and actions."

The Special Machinery and Relevant Technology program offers a dozen technical courses that take place on the exhibit floor before the show opens in the morning, combining lecture and visual demonstrations that allow attendees to see machines in action, understand complex processes and applications. The sessions range from nested base, fixtures, dowelling, configuring work cells, optimizing solid wood setup and more. These sessions have space restrictions so early registration is advised.

The College of Woodworking Knowledge program also includes seminars on bidding, financing, strengthening your work force, aging in place, social media, diversifying to capitalize on a new market economy, converting to water-base finishing, OSHA safety, LEED for woodworkers , furniture design and many more, as well as a series developed for wood technology teachers who attend the show.

AWFS offers a discount on all seminars to a host of fellow trade associations' members whose leaders have participated in the development and delivery of the program. For 2011, these groups include the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals, the Architectural Woodwork Institute, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association, Cabinet Makers Association, Construction Products Association, Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association, KCMA, Sustainable Furnishings Council, The Furniture Society, Wood Component Manufacturers Association, Wood Products Manufacturers Association and the Woodwork Institute. Members receive a code from their association to use when registering to receive the discount.

Classes begin on July 19, the pre-show day, and continue throughout the four days of the show. All seminars are priced individually. The full program will be available online in mid- to late-March at

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