Program at Pitt State brings together students and industry pros

PITTSBURG, Kans. — The semester hasn’t started yet at Pittsburg State University, but people are already taking advantage of all it has to offer — getting a new insight into the woodworking industry.

“We’re not training students in our degree here at Pitt State, but we actually have industry professionals in here, and kind of giving them an overview of our program and the wood industry as a whole,” said Charlie Phillips, PSU AMMT Associate Professor.

Students aren’t the only ones getting an education at Pittsburg State University. For the past week, professionals in the woodworking industry have been getting hands-on experience in their field.

Since 2015, the Wood Tech Boot Camp has been a staple of the Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology Labs.

“It was actually suggested by some of our industry supporters, they wanted some place where they could send some of their new sales associates that maybe didn’t have a lot of experience within the wood industry, or any experience at all, get a good overview of various aspects of it so they would be more informed when they go out and speak with their customers.”

Twice a year, the boot camp has become a resource itself for companies hoping to provide insight to its staff.

“As a company, we’ve sent the most people to this woodworking class. I deal with moving material, instead of just moving machines and what they can do, but it’s understanding what the customers’ needs are and when they talk about certain techniques, then I understand that and I can better serve the customer with their needs,” said Matthew Smith, Wood Tech Boot Camp Participant.

Each participant will go home with a reference notebook once the program comes to an end.

“I would say ‘the book is the Bible,’ and then we’ve also got all the notes and references.”

“I mean it’s always changing, but of course it’s changing at a much more rapid pace,” said Phillips.

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