Industry & Education Partnerships

We're fortunate to have developed mutually beneficial partnerships with some of the leading names in woodworking manufacturing, trade, and education. A skills training school like ours cannot be an island; we must work closely with others to ensure that we're offering the best possible education, utilizing the most updated curriculum, equipment, and techniques.

Architectural Woodwork Institute

NESAW is an associate member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), a national organization that sets quality standards for the woodworking industry. and has been publishing the Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI), that documents the standards, since 1961. All students receive a copy of the QSI and learn how to reference it to insure their projects meet AWI standards. Our staff attends a number of New England chapter and national AWI functions throughout the year to keep up on industry trends. Our association with AWI also gives students more opportunities for job placement at AWI shops after graduation.

Woodwork Career Alliance

NESAW Director Greg Larson sits on the national board of directors for the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) which is a partnership between the industry, education, and government to develop skills standards for the woodworking industry. This effort, funded by the US Forest Service, AWI, and industry partners, will standardize, for the first time, a method of evaluating and eventually credentialing woodworking professionals. As these standards are rolled out, beginning in 2009, NESAW will be on the forefront of testing and integrating them into our program due to our active participation in their development.

Manufacturers and Vendors

Throughout the year, we bring in manufacturers and vendors to help educate our students on the latest industry products and materials.

For example, Atlantic Plywood's in-house finishing expert helped NESAW obtain new state-of-the-art finishing equipment from CA Technologies, a leading vendor of finishing equipment. Atlantic Plywood also provides on-site training at NESAW in spray finishing techniques and provides consulting as necessary.

Our students have also had the opportunity to learn saw blade technology from Tenryu, the selection and installation of cabinet hardware from Hafele and Blum, and techniques for effectively using clamps from Bessey Tools.


We are members of WoodLINKS USA, an organization of high school and post-secondary schools that partner with industry to promote woodworking careers, provide employment opportunities for graduates, industry donations for member schools, and facilitate curriculum development and sharing.

Cabinet and Furniture Shops

Throughout the year, we visit a variety of cabinet shops - large and small - so that students better understand the options available to them as future cabinetmakers or sole proprietors.