ACAWT provides hands-on training
PHIL CAMPBELL – When a company in the staining and finishing industry needs employees to enhance their woodworking skills, a center in Franklin County is the likely place to find that training.
Last month the Alabama Center for Advanced Woodworking Technology, based at the Phil Campbell campus of Northwest-Shoals Community College, hosted more than 40 employees from the North Carolina-based Mohawk Finishing Company.
The workers participated in classes led by ACAWT instructors and other experts in woodworking and rotated through six stations of wood furniture to learn how to stain and finish the more than 6,500 different products manufactured by Mohawk.
The center has three full-time employees, including director Jimmy Glasgow, production and finishing specialist Bruce Jackson and secretary Denise Hester, who are responsible for providing a group of woodworking experts that teach hands-on workshops at the center and give presentations about their specialties in woodworking.
In addition to classes and hands-on training, the center provides guidance to developing businesses and research and consulting services to wood industries. ACAWT also produces its own training videos and DVDs thanks to an in-house video production center and part-time technology assistant and NW-Shoals student Andrew Reed.
The wood industry is the leading industry in Alabama and includes primary and secondary sectors. Primary industries are wood producers such as loggers and tree farmers, while secondary industries include manufacturers of wooden cabinets, doors and furniture.
"The state formed the Alabama Forestry Team with people from the University of Alabama, Auburn, the Alabama Development Office and Alabama Forestry Commission that looked at the state as a whole to help the secondary wood industry," said Glasgow, who has directed ACAWT since 2000. "The center was designed to promote the wood industry, workforce development and career development for the state."
For more information about the center, visit www.acawt.org.