ATLANTA -- The National Academy for Wood Education has a home. A location has been chosen in Colorado Springs. This was just announced at IWF.

The training center will be located near the Peyton Woods Manufacturing Program.

Dean Mattson, director of Woods Manufacturing for the Peyton School District, and Tim Kistler, superintendent of the Peyton School District, announced the location at IWF Thursday.

The training center will be in the district of Scott Campbell. He is superintendent of schools for Widefield School District 3 in Colorado Springs.

Campbell toured the Peyton program last fall and was impressed. Plans are still in the early stages, but Mattson said the target date for opening the training center is August 2017, the start of the school year.

Industry was a major part of the Peyton school's success, and the new school will need a lot of involvement from woodworking manufacturers and suppliers.

Last year, Mattson had brought his experience in business and education, and his own enthusiasm, to a new program to train high school students in manufacturing and other skills.

Peyton Woods Manufacturing Program came together quickly, with support from educators, students, and many industry representatives that not only contributed equipment and supplies, but also have matched Mattson’s enthusiasm.

What has resulted is not a typical educational effort, but a special program that is the result of close cooperation between educators and industry. It’s also a model for other schools around the country to follow.

In 2013, Mattson won the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association Wooden Globe Educator of the Year Award. When accepting the award, he challenged industry executives to help build a brand-new high tech training center to help them address a critical shortage in qualified employees.

The Peyton Woods Manufacturing Program started in a year ago, in August 2015, and started with about 40 students attending either a morning or afternoon session. The program provides entry level to advanced cabinet manufacturing, including wood manufacturing skills, math, problem solving and teamwork.

Mattson said the goal is turn out a student who is ready for secondary education or can move into the workforce. Students will work toward gaining a Woodwork Career Alliance passport, a national certification credential.

Kistler said that having a building available to house the training center was an important part of the formula. The Career Technical Center building has already had several roles, serving as an elementary, junior high and high school before a new high school was built in Peyton in 2004.

Close to 40 companies are exclusive partners or supporters, and are providing machines, materials and technology. Machines on the floor are identified with the sponsoring company’s name. Other company’s contributions (tooling, hardware, clamps, etc.) are in wall-mounted displays, and all companies are represented by banners hung on the walls.

One of the first to respond was Kreg Tools and Fasteners, which made a generous contribution of equipment. Stiles Machinery was also an early supporter, promising a wide range of equipment and support.

Other industry partners include TigerStop, Triton Power Tools, Timesavers, Ironwood, Bessey clamps, Nederman dust collection, FastCap, 3M sanding, adhesives and safety equipment, Columbia Forest Products, Cabinotch, Blum hardware and boring machines, Belfab, JLT clamping, Grex fasteners, QuickScrews, Veritas Lee Valley hand tools, Cabinet Vision software, Microjig and Leitz tooling.

Partner companies include Williams & Hussey Machine Co., Bosch power tools, Rikon power tools, Felder Group, SawStop, Barbo Machinery, Elder Construction, JDS Multi-Router, Drillnado dust collection, Conquest Industries and CTD saws.

Education partners include FDMC Magazine, WMIA, AWFS, Oregon State University, Woodwork Career Alliance, Custom Source Woodworking, and Vance publications.

For more information, contact Dean Mattson,, or Tim Kistler,

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