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Sloan Center to host lean manufacturing workshop in May


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 6, 2007 – Virginia Tech's Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center will be co-sponsoring the 8th Lean Manufacturing workshop on May 7-9, at the Wood Education and Resource Center in Princeton, W.Va. Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy of continuous improvement focused on reducing costs, production time, and other wastes during processing.

The workshop has been updated with new learning simulations and industry examples applied to primary and secondary wood products manufacturers. The workshop includes a tour of a local wood products manufacturer facility that has successfully adopted the lean philosophy to improve their operations. The workshop will include activities and lessons that can help businesses in the wood products industry to identify target opportunity areas for improvement and how to use “lean” tools to improve quality, safety, productivity, and efficiency of operations.

Earl Kline, Virginia Tech professor in the College of Natural Resources and co-director of the Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech, will lead workshop activities and lessons with Brian Brashaw, director of the wood materials and manufacturing program at the Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth.

The three-day workshop fee is $625, which covers registration, instructional materials, continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunch, and dinner. Registrations should be received no later than April 23. Registration will be limited to the first 20 applicants.

For online registration information and program details, please visit the Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech or contact Earl Kline at (540)231-8841.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development.