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AWFS Donates $50,000 to WoodLINKS USA

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Barry Howerton, president of the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®), presented a check in the amount of $50,000 to Keith Malmstadt, president of WoodLINKS USA at the Education Forum held on April 22, 2005 during the 14th Annual Woodworking Industry Conference in Destin Beach, Florida. Howerton also announced that AWFS® would once again be sponsoring up to 40 teachers, covering their travel and hotel expenses in order for them to participate in this year’s WoodLINKS Teachers Forum to be held at the AWFS®Fair, July 27-30 in Las Vegas. “We are very thankful for AWFS®’ support of WoodLINKS, USA,” said Keith Malmstadt, who is also CEO of Great Lake Woods, Inc. “Our teachers are working to create a high quality instruction environment with limited resources. With industry support like this, we are able to be more effective in developing quality woodworking employees.” “The woodworking industry needs more skilled workers in order to be competitive in the global marketplace,” said Barry Howerton, also of Leggett & Platt. “WoodLINKS’ role in helping teachers keep up with current trends in the industry, as well as working for a National Skill Standard for students, is a high priority for AWFS® and our goal of ‘strengthening industry education’.” AWFS® has long supported WoodLINKS with a number of initiatives, including funding and distributing the WoodLINKS “Careers in Wood” kits to teachers; and providing scholarships to students graduating with the WoodLINKS USA Certificate. In addition, AWFS® encourages all attendees to the AWFS®Fair to support the program by adding a donation while registering for the Fair. WoodLINKS USA is an industry-driven and supported program that certifies students to a National Industry Standard for the wood industry. By developing a modern, consistent curriculum across in high schools, vocational, and career-training programs in the U.S., WoodLINKS aims to provide entry-level skilled personnel to the industry or to post-secondary education wood manufacturing programs. Programs are currently offered in over 50 schools. For more information, contact Wilf Torunski at (616) 796-9556 or email wusa@charter.net. Founded in 1911, AWFS® is the largest national trade association in the United States representing companies that supply the home and commercial furnishings industry. AWFS® has an international membership that includes manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, lumber, upholstery, materials, bedding and other supplies to furniture, cabinet manufacturers and custom woodworkers. The AWFS®Fair is a biennial event in which buyers and manufacturers gather from around the world to buy and sell the latest products and services related to the wood and home furnishings markets. For more information about AWFS®, call 800-946-AWFS or email info@awfs.org.

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