Southwest explores National Hardwood Lumber Association partnership
Leaders from Southwest Tennessee Community College and the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) met recently to discuss opportunities for Southwest students to learn more about using hardwoods in construction.
Southwest Architectural Engineering Technologies Program Coordinator Robert Tom says the potential partnership is a great opportunity for Southwest students to gain knowledge about hardwood sustainability, hardwood types and the process of how lumber is graded. “Such a first-hand experience will give our students a better scope of how hardwood fits into the overall building process,” Tom said. “This organization is an excellent resource, and we are fortunate to have them in Memphis.”
NHLA offers a three-month lumber inspector training program that brings in students from around the globe. Upon entering the industry, inspectors can find lucrative careers or have the ability to become hardwood processors or enter a variety of related fields. “Most people are unaware that Memphis is considered the hardwood capital of the world,” said Dana Spessert, chief inspector at NHLA and dean of the Inspector Training School. “NHLA is the only organization in the world that trains and certifies hardwood inspectors.”
Spessert is excited to learn about Governor Bill Lee’s focus on trade school education. “His goals are consistent with NHLA’s, which have been providing trade school education since 1946,” he said. “We also appreciate Senator Dolores Gresham’s support of our efforts to become more integrated into the local community through partnerships with colleges like Southwest.”
NHLA was founded in Chicago in 1898 and moved its headquarters to Memphis in 1979. To learn more about the NHLA and its inspector training school, visit nhla.com