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Wood Products Education

Project Completed!

This project successfully conducted five educational support workshops at the Wood Education and Resource Center in Princeton, West Virginia as part of the outreach effort of the WERC to support the forest and wood products industry in the states east of the Great Plains.

Each of the workshop support webpages contains a pdf download copy of the workshop's speaker slideshows and additional educational handouts.

Link to Support Webpage

New Business Strategies for Cabinets, Furniture, Millwork
Held on Tuesday, November 7th, 2011

Link to New Business Strategies Workshop Webpage

Profitable Drying of Small Quantities of Lumber, Held on Wednesday and Thursday, November 8th and 9th, 2011


New Technologies for Cabinets, Furniture, Millwork, Held on Thursday, June 7th, 2012


Profitable Small Sawmill Business Strategies, Thursday, June 14th, 2012



Profitable Firewood Processing, Held on Thursday, September 27th, 2012



Project Sponsors

USDA US Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center-located in Princeton, West Virginia. This organization supports the thirty-five Eastern US states in the area of hardwood forest management and utilization. For additional information about the Wood Education and Resource Center use the sponsor link at the top of the page.

Wood Products Extension, North Carolina State University-located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wood Products Extension is the educational and support outreach arm of the university to the wood products industry and the citizens of North Carolina. This project allows the staff of the WPE to support the wood products industry in the 35 Eastern US states. For additional information about the Wood Products Extension Department at North Carolina State University use the sponsor link at the top of the page.

Grant Funding From WERC

The Wood Education and Resource Center annually provides grants that promote the improvement of the management of hardwood forests and the hardwood lumber and processing industry. This grant provides education assistance in the areas of lumber drying in dry kilns, business strategy for small sawmill operations, business operations for value added wood products manufacturers and knowledge of new technologies for value added wood products manufacturers.

This project is possible through a grant by the US Forest Service's Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, WV. It is also supported by the Wood Products Extension Department at North Carolina State University.

Problems in the US Hardwood Markets

The current US recession and problems in the global economic condition today have depressed the US hardwood forest products industry. Today the volume of economic activity from the forest through manufacturing is approximately half what it was in the eary 2000's in terms of total $ and employment. The decline has been both broad and deep, with every hardwood economic sector in decline. At the same time, imported wood products from foreign manufacturers have taken more market share and in some cases, are equal or greater than that of US domestic manufacturers. This project is an experiment in looking at developing a local marketing system for wood products that can support greater manufacturing, distribution and retail sales in the US.

Outreach Effort Elements on Business Actions and Strategies That Pay

This project has the following objectives to support wood products manufacturers grow their sales, profitability and employment by selling more products in their local and regional markets. Overall the goal is to implement actions that pay off on the bottom line. These goals and objectives include the following:

1. Small sawmill production practices, marketing and business strategies that can lead to success in growing sales, profitability and employment.

2. Kiln drying and yard practices that pay off in higher valued uses of green lumber.

3. Small valued added wood products business production practices, marketing and business strategies that can lead to success in growing sales, profitability and employment.

4. New technologies available to small valued added manufacturing shops to improve sales, profitability and employment.

Workshop Wood Education and Resource Center 
Workshop Grant Project for Promoting Locally Made US Wood Products

The Wood Education and Resource Center is also sponsoring a related support project for forest and wood products processors and manufacturers that promotes stronger efforts to market products locally. This local marketing grant project seeks to apply lessons learned from the successful local food movement and the Phase I grant project for studying local marketing of wood products in three metro Eastern US metro regions-Atlanta, Georgia, Charlotte, North Carolina and Charleston, West Virginia. This grant found few local wood products manufactuers were taking full advantage of local buyers who purchased the majority of their wood products from US manufacturers outside of the local metro region and from global manufacturers.

Phase II efforts involves working with public and private leaders in the forest and wood products industries in order to promote the growth of US hardwood lumber and plywood products. This growth can come from replace imported wood products with US made products as well as sales growth through developing new product lines and new businesses.

Outline for Leadership Conference for Promoting Local Wood Products

On Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 we will be hosting a leadership conference on promoting local wood products whose goal is to gather the leaders from the private forest and wood products industry as well as from supporting organizations, such as the US Forest Service, state forestry divisions, state forestry and wood products associations and industry support assocations. This conference would transfer the successful techniques learned in Phase I, seek the input from participants from their experiences in local marketing, strengthen the acceptance of the concept of local marketing, and network these individuals to multiply the effect of this project.

North Carolina State University Non-Discrimination Policy Statement-It is the policy of the State of North Carolina to provide equality of opportunity in education and employment for all students and employees. Educational and employment decisions should be based on factors that are germane to academic abilities or job performance. Accordingly, the North Carolina State University (“NC State”) does not practice or condone unlawful discrimination in any form, as defined by this policy.

USDA/USFS Non-Discrimination Policy Statement -The work upon which this website is based was funded in whole or in part through a grant awarded by the Wood Education and Resource Center, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service.