COMMERCE, Calif – April 28, 2011 -- AWFS will debut “The Campus,” an area on the show floor focusing on developing or showcasing the skills of woodworkers of America this summer at AWFS®Fair. The Campus will have three distinct areas, all focused on industry skills and training opportunities:
• A WorldSkills Cabinetmaking competition
• The smartSHOP, a fully operational cabinet shop
• The Woodwork Career Alliance professional evaluations.

WorldSkills
Premiering at the AWFS®Fair will be the WorldSkills Cabinetmaking Qualifying Trial. WorldSkills is an international career technical education training organization. Students from countries around the world compete for gold medals. SkillsUSA is the authorized national organization that selects and determines the competitors that will represent the U.S. at WorldSkills Qualifying Trial will determine which competitors will compete in WorldSkills Leipzig (Germany) in 2013. The competition will take place for three days during the AWFS Fair, starting Wednesday. Attendees can watch students build projects showcasing their cabinet construction and woodworking skills.

“SkillsUSA is an important industry education organization and we are pleased to partner with them on such an exciting event,” AWFS Executive Vice President Angelo Gangone, said. “Our intent is to increase awareness of SkillsUSA among our exhibitors and attendees and emphasize the importance of skilled trades to the future of the industry.”

Two students will vy for the chance to represent the U.S. at WorldSkills 2013: SkillsUSA national top-scoring competitor Daniel Berrios, from Bethlehem Vo-Tech School in Bethlehem, PA, the high school gold medal winner from 2010; and a second contestant, the winner of the 2011 cabinetmaking contest at the National Leadership and Skills Conference, June 19-24 in Kansas City, MO.

“The concept of hosting the WorldSkills Cabinetmaking Qualifying Trial at AWFS®Fair is perfectly aligned with our organizational vision and mission,” said Ada Kranenberg, SkillsUSA World Team Official Delegate. “We promote skilled trade careers for students and this event will give the students the opportunity to learn more about woodworking. It will also allow the woodworking industry to see first-hand how hard-working, dedicated and well-trained SkillsUSA students -- future industry employees and leaders -- are.”

smartSHOP
The smartSHOP, a fully operational cabinet shop on the exhibitfloor, will showcase “Simplicity in Automation for the Small Shop.” For attendees that have ever been intimidated by the vast field of woodworking machinery visible at the show, smartSHOP brings automation down to scale for the modest size shops. SmartSHOP will let visitors see how to take less time to do more, with ease and sophistication.
SmartSHOP will be hosted by industry expert Gero Sassenberg and other professionals available to answer questions or show how machinery and software can improve the process of cabinet construction, from data input software to cabinet assembly. While doing demonstrations, The smartSHOP will produce cabinets for the Animal Foundation of Las Vegas (www.animalfoundation.com).

The Woodwork Career Alliance
The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America will debut the Woodwork Passport Credentialing program by offering live operational evaluations using the Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards. The Woodwork Passport – a portable, personal, permanent record of a woodworker’s level of competency in tool and machine operations – a “passport” to career success. These credentials will advance the worker’s knowledge, skill and professionalism needed to sustain and grow the woodwork industry. As the woodworker learns and masters the techniques at the basic level, the path to increased skill is defined in the Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards. Several woodwork professionals and educators will be selected to be part of the demonstration assessments at AWFS®Fair.

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 400 members, including manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, software, tooling, lumber, components, wood products and supplies for the woodworking industry including cabinet, furniture, millwork and custom woodworking products.

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