ANAHEIM, CA - AWFS is pleased to announce the second poster in the “Meet the New Face of Manufacturing” campaign, a comprehensive marketing effort to acquaint and interest young people in careers in wood products manufacturing. In an attempt to dispel outdated myths about jobs in manufacturing and build the number of young skilled workers who will consider wood products manufacturing in their career choices, the poster is designed to portray 21rst century manufacturing as modern, high-tech and with a variety of challenging careers available for young people today.
 
Initiated in Fall 2014, the New Faces campaign kicked off with a poster touting jobs in manufacturing. Over 1,600 copies were requested and distributed to teachers, principals, counselors, superintendents and state directors of Career Technical Education, as well as chambers of commerce and industry companies who are hanging the poster in their HR departments and taking them to local schools. Outcomes of the first phase of the campaign included an invitation to present a webinar about careers in manufacturing to New York state counselors and a quantity request from the California Department of Education for distribution at a conference event on manufacturing-related courses.

 Poster two has been produced in a much larger volume, thanks to quantity requests from six industry associations who will share the poster with their members. Those associations include Architectural Woodwork Institute, Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, North American Building Material Distribution Association, Wood Component Manufacturers Association, Wood Product Manufacturers Association and Woodwork Career Alliance.
 
The new edition features fourteen individuals who hold a variety of job titles, from design to sales, software engineering to furniture makers. A nod is given to the personal interests of each New Face to illustrate to students that successful careers can support contemporary and fun lifestyles. Strategic sponsors mentioned on the poster acquaint teachers and students with the types of companies in the industry --Vero Software, Blum, Inc., Casadei-Busellato, Stiles Machinery and Bessey Tools. There is also reference to the industry skill standards (Woodwork Career Alliance) and to SkillsUSA, the nation’s largest Career Technical Education Association, which trains students in woodworking and cabinetmaking among many other skilled trades.  A QR code on the poster takes them to a page on the AWFS.org web site that hosts resources for teachers, counselors and students –- as well as shares guidelines for industry companies wishing to start an internship program, train teachers in industry practices that can be incorporated into their curriculum, or do outreach to schools.
 
A number of manufacturers have responded with enthusiasm to the New Faces effort and have been inspired to reach out to local schools. “I love the idea of this campaign,” says People and Culture Specialist Brandi Yanulavich of Timberlane, a high quality exterior shutter manufacturer in Pennsylvania. “We are hoping to attract young people to work in our wood shop and introduce them to the growth potential they could have here. I am finding the resources AWFS has created and posted on their web site to be helpful in this effort.”
 
The AWFS Public Policy Committee has made Career Technical Education (CTE) one of their main talking points with legislators. This month AWFS participated in a fly-in to Capitol Hill to call on members of Congress asking their support of legislation that supports the skilled trades classes in public schools. Committee members called on 17 various House and Senate representatives, delivering the New Faces poster and expressing the needs of manufacturing companies for a skilled workforce.
 
The labor shortage for our and other manufacturing industries is very real and could be the next immediate hurdle that your company must face. Taking action, getting engaged in the issue, whether it be with your local legislators or your local schools, may be what will ultimately separate you from your competition in the very near future.
 
For a FREE copy of the “New Faces” poster, send a note to: nancy@awfs.org. Include your name, mailing address and the number of posters you would like.  You can hang the poster in your facility or share it with local career counselors, parents, school administrators or others who guide students in career choices.
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ABOUT AWFS®
The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS), founded in 1911, is a non-profit organization that wholly owns and produces the biennial AWFS®Fair. The largest trade association serving the entire home and commercial furnishings industry, AWFS has more than 300 members, including manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, software, tooling, lumber, components, plastics, wood products and supplies for the woodworking industry including cabinet, furniture, millwork and custom woodworking products. To learn more, visit http://www.awfs.org/.
 
 

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