Maplewoodshop Partners with the Northeast Carpenters Apprenticeship Fund to Introduce Middle School Students to the Trades

Partnership to utilize Career Connections curriculum to grow the pipeline for high school CTE programs

(East Orange, N.J.) July 26, 2022 – Maplewoodshop, a leader in teaching woodworking to elementary and middle school students, announced its partnership with the Northeast Carpenters Apprenticeship Fund (NCAF), one of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters’ Training Funds, to help increase the number of high school students in CTE programs throughout the Northeast. With this partnership, schools that work with Maplewoodshop will now also have the opportunity to utilize the Carpenters International Training Fund (CITF) Career Connections curriculum from NCAF.

“We’ve worked together with dozens of schools to offer hand tool versions of CITF Career Connections projects,” said Mike Schloff, CEO of Maplewoodshop. “Growing this partnership is very exciting as it will allow us to introduce the trades to more students and expand potential apprenticeship opportunities.”

The Maplewoodshop program, now in more than 120 locations nationwide, trains non-CTE educators to teach woodworking with hand tools via digital and live teacher training, curriculum, and ongoing support. Maplewoodshop also provides hand-powered tools, proprietary workbenches, and a purpose-built tool chest to enable any classroom to become a woodshop.

“I am very excited by the fact that we are reaching down to the middle schools to open pathways to high pay, high skill, and high demand careers,” said Tom Sommers, Director of Outreach and Development for the Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Funds. “And, along the way, we can create opportunities to engage in work-based learning programs, potential apprenticeships, and lifelong learning. Students can even earn up to 34 college credits while taking the NCAF apprenticeship with Thomas Edison University. We are excited to show young students all the potential opportunities they can have.”

​NCAF is committed to training the most highly-skilled and efficient workforce necessary to remain competitive in today’s construction market. The organization believes that training and training alone will determine the degree of employability for its members.

Maplewoodshop’s partners, including NCAF, make it possible to continue to build confidence, creativity, and community in all children through woodworking.  To learn more about Maplewoodshop’s partners, visit

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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