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NESAW prepares for the future

The New England School of Architectural Woodworking is currently making changes to better prepare the school and its graduates for the challenges of cabinetmaking in the 21st century, according to the school's new director.

Greg Larson, who became the director at the start of the current school term, is adding to and upgrading NESAW's woodworking equipment and facilities, improving training on topics such as panel fabrication, veneering and understanding the characteristics of wood, and forging new industry relationships.

The school offers a 37-week course for individuals seeking careers in architectural woodworking and for artisans and others to learn cabinetmaking skills. The school recently launched a newly redesigned Web site at, to better acquaint potential students, prospective employers and the woodworking industry with the school and its programs. The site features photographs and descriptions of the school's program and course offerings as well as students' projects and a shop tour.

As a member of the board of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) National Skills Standard Initiative, Larson is preparing the school to be one of the first to incorporate international skills standards. Current NESAW students are undergoing skills testing on woodworking machines and techniques to help develop and refine evaluation criteria. The standards project is overseen by the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America, which was formed by the AWI in partnership with the Wood Education and Resource Center, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service.

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