National Woods Board to Launch Skilled Trades Pilot Program

The National Woods Board (NWB) recently visited Next Step of West Michigan’s new space for the wood product manufacturing education program.

In collaboration with the school district for Kent County, Michigan, Next Step is participating in a piloting program for the NWB curriculum, slated to commence this Fall. Through this innovative partnership, local students will benefit from enhanced educational opportunities and practical skills development in woodworking.

“We are proud to align with Next Step and support their vision of fostering inclusion and empowerment through woodworking education,” said Thomas Allott, executive chair for NWB and director of talent for Stiles Machinery. “This collaboration underscores the crucial role of community support in advancing trades education and expanding the industry. As we unite to nurture this partnership, we eagerly anticipate its positive impact on the growth and development of skilled trades. Together, we are shaping a future where the trades sector thrives and flourishes.”

NWB says endeavors such as the Next Step program underscore the pivotal role of local communities in driving industry change. NWB stands by its commitment to bolster organizations like Next Step, recognizing their crucial role in empowering individuals and communities through woodworking education and vocational training. The vision of the NWB is to bridge the gap between education and the trades by creating advanced career opportunities that fulfill the industry’s massive workforce needs. Learn more at

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