With funding from the USDA Rural Development program, the Center is underwriting a series of profiles in Northern Woodlands magazine to showcase innovative wood product manufacturers. Read about Lyndon furniture in the fall issue,  and Maine Wood Concepts in the winter edition. The magazine kicked off the series with a feature article on how the industry has changed.

The Maine Wood Products Association will present its Pine Tree Award to Maine Wood Concepts, a family-owned and operated custom wood products company in Franklin County, in August for its contributions to innovation in the local forest-based economy. The Fletcher family has guided the business since it started 40 years ago, right through their recent acquisition of a line of gourmet kitchen products. Bangor Daily News

The Center is offering, through the Regional Wood Products Consortium, new financial support to help wood products companies implement innovations that have the greatest potential for transformational change, with special emphasis on Lean Manufacturing, Mass Customization, and Company Culture and Organizational Development. Wood products companies in the Consortium's 4-state region have the potential to receive direct financial support of up to $20,000 from the Center’s Wood Products Innovation program. Smaller projects are also welcome.

In conjunction with the Woodwork Career Alliance and other partners, the Center launching a new workforce development program for the secondary wood manufacturing industry. The initiative's goal is to build the robust, highly skilled workforce necessary for the industry to be economically competitive in the global marketplace of the 21st Century. The program will benefit manufacturers, woodworkers and educational/training institutions.