Industry "takes” over school wood program for MFG Day
October 28, 2021 | 12:11 pm CDT
Saúl Martín of AWC (right) talks with students at Desert Oasis High School on Friday, October 22 with Instructor Tim Wenzel (left).

Saúl Martín of AWC (right) talks with students at Desert Oasis High School on Friday, October 22 with Instructor Tim Wenzel (left).

ANAHEIM, CA − October 28, 2021 – Eleven wood industry professionals were guests of Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas on Friday, October 22 for a special “MFG Day” (Manufacturing Day) event. The guests led three periods of instructor Tim Wenzel’s woodworking program through a project featuring current industry joinery techniques and shared information about their careers in the industry with the students.

Industry pros connected with students
Brian Herrick of Herrick & O'Herron assists a student using the Lamello Zeta P2 biscuit joiner. The day began with an advanced level 3 class with 23 students (mostly seniors), followed by two intermediate level 2 classes of over 50 students total, consisting of sophomores and juniors. Through the guests’ attendance, the students were able to learn about different local employers and types of companies within the industry, including machinery and materials suppliers. “It was a pleasure to have this special event for our students,” says Wenzel. “It reinforces what they are learning throughout the year and adds excitement about continuing their woodworking education and considering a wood-related career pathway.” In addition to Mr. Wenzel, Assistant Principal Jennifer Giusto and Clark County School District Career Technical Education (CTE) Department team members Tristan Hays and Craig Brockett supported the event.

The event was initiated by Reborn Cabinets and was originally intended to take place at their new showroom in Las Vegas. However, due to the substitute teacher shortage, students were not able to leave campus and thus the industry guests were invited to the classroom. “We are so excited to be in Las Vegas to connect with the students directly,” says Diana Ramirez, Director of Community of Relations at Reborn Cabinets. “The woodworking facility at Desert Oasis High School is impressive and the students are in good hands with Mr. Wenzel. We were happy to support the program and facilitate a fun day for everyone, all done with the goal of inspiring future generations about the many woodworking opportunities available to them.”

Students build shelf
The student project was designed by Saúl Martín of Architectural Woodworking Company (AWC) Los Angeles and Adam Kessler of AWFS®/SWM. The project took approximately 60 minutes for the students to complete, which was a small shelf made with 2-sided high pressure laminate (HPL) panels.Students build shelf with these plans.

Over $500 in material was donated by Royal Plywood for the project. Martín pre-CNC’d the material and the students then band-sawed and routed flush. A Lamello Zeta machine was loaned from AWC for the event and another was borrowed from Colonial Saw Company. Colonial Saw also donated nearly $300 in Tenso connectors for the project. The students were led through machining and installing the Tensos in the shelf to connect the parts together.

“We look for any opportunity to introduce students to brands and companies within our industry and the skills and techniques that we use in professional shops,” says Martín. “This was a fun opportunity to showcase new joinery technology and the students really enjoyed the process, especially feeling the ‘snap’ when the connectors came together!” In total, 74 shelves were completed by the students.

Industry donations
Several companies also provided items to give students in “goodie bags”, including tape measures and pens from Royal Plywood; pens, notepads, and other accessories from Peterman Lumber; water and cookies from Reborn Cabinets; and a notebook from SWM. Pizza was also provided for the students by Reborn and AWFS® so that the students could network with the industry pros during their lunch break.

The companies and representatives who were in attendance were: 

  • Saúl Martín, AWC (Architectural Woodworking Company) Los Angeles
  • Adria Salvatore, AWFS® (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers®)
  • Adam Kessler, AWFS®/SWM (Society of Wood Manufacturing)
  • Mike Lind, Complete Cutting Solutions
  • Jose Jimenez, Herrick & O’Herron
  • Brian Herrick, Herrick & O’Herron
  • Mary Arbutina, Nevada Industry Excellence (NIE) MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership)
  • Joe Lombardi, Peterman Lumber
  • Diana Ramirez, Reborn Cabinets
  • Vinny Nardo, Reborn Cabinets
  • Richard Alanis, Royal Plywood

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user larryadams
About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).