EASTHAMPTON, MA — The New England School of Architectural Woodworking (NESAW) is making changes to better prepare the school and its graduates for the challenges of cabinetmaking in the 21st century, according to Greg Larson, the school’s new director. 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.

Last week the school launched a newly redesigned Web site, at www.nesaw.com, 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.

“NESAW’s emphasis is on ‘readiness to work,’ which means preparing students to meet the needs of the industry immediately after graduation,” said Larson. “To accomplish this, we are upgrading our equipment and curriculum in the career training program and developing more and better industry partnerships.”

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