Our Roles


The National Hardwood Lumber Association was founded in 1898 to establish a uniform system of grading rules for the measurement and inspection of hardwood lumber.  Since then, NHLA has taken on the role of educator, whose mission is to provide the industry with the training it needs to succeed in a changing and global economy.

As the creator and keeper of the North American hardwood lumber grading rules, NHLA naturally offers lumber grading training. From the Inspector Training School where a career in the hardwood industry takes root to technical short courses to on-site company training by an NHLA National Inspector; NHLA has the experience to further your knowledge and your career.

NHLA educational offerings are not limited to hardwood lumber grading. NHLA is the world’s largest and oldest hardwood industry association, representing more than 1,200 companies and one million hardwood families that produce, use and sell North American hardwood lumber, or provide equipment, supplies or services to the hardwood industry. As such, NHLA strives to offer programs to meet the needs of all sectors of the hardwood industry at all career stages. NHLA currently offers an introductory class, Hardwoods 101 as well as a Leadership, Management and Development Program, perfect for up and coming young managers.

Members of the hardwood industry can turn to the Association for education needs throughout their careers because we know that strong roots, do indeed, lead to a global reach.

Communication & Promotion

We provide relevant and timely information to our membership. We publish Hardwood Matters Magazine, the award-winning flagship publication of the Association; Hardwire, a monthly e-newsletter; NHLA.com, the online source for all things NHLA and NHLA Job Board, a resource for employers and job seekers alike.

  • Hardwood Matters – The voice of the hardwood industry. This award-winning magazine connects NHLA to its members as the flagship communication vehicle of the Association. Hardwood Matters provides members with relevant and timely information that affects all sectors of the hardwood industry. NHLA members receive a complimentary subscription.
  • e-Newsletter – Members have the opportunity to sign up for exclusive members-only e-Newsletters such as Hardwire. E-publications contain breaking news announcements, member events and special notes of interest delivered directly to members.
  • NHLA Website & Online Job Board – NHLA.com is the resource of all things NHLA. Here you will find the most up-to-date Association news, industry information, upcoming events, educational calendar, online registrations and job postings. NHLA members have exclusive rights to post job openings to the online job board, free of charge and Inspector Training School Alumni looking for career opportunities have the exclusive right to post their resume.


NHLA Serves as an advocate of the hardwood industry and promotes to ensure the viability of the industry for future generations.

NHLA makes sure your voice is heard in Washington, D.C. We are a founder and leading partner of the Hardwood Federation. The Federation was created to represent a strong voice on legislative issues impacting the hardwood community. NHLA’s government relations program works in conjunction with the Federation to develop policy positions, provide education to law and policy makers and raise money to support candidates who are industry friendly. As a member of NHLA, you have the opportunity to participate in the Hardwood Federation Political Action Committee.

Networking & Marketing

The role of the NHLA for business communication is networking and marketing

Network at the National Event

NHLA Annual Convention & Exhibit Showcase – For more than 114 years, the NHLA Annual Convention has been the hardwood industry’s premier event. Drawing on average; thousands of industry leaders and decision makers from around the world, to “the global gathering of the hardwood community.” The Annual Convention attracts thousands of hardwood industry professionals from nearly 400 different companies across the United States, Canada and the world. These attendees are decision-makers from the industry's most influential companies.

Get Connected

NHLA has numerous ways to get involved. For more than a century, NHLA rules have set the standard around the world and give North American hardwoods a competitive advantage. The rules are an integral part of NHLA. All “active” category members have an opportunity to vote on any rules changes that may be initiated. Members can also volunteer to serve on a committee with other industry peers and “active” category members are eligible to serve on the board of managers.

Gain Instant Integrity

Strengthen your sales calls, gain recognition and a foothold within the industry that other associations cannot provide with the NHLA logo. As a member of NHLA, you have the exclusive right to use the NHLA logo on all your marketing vehicles.

Market Your Company

Hardwood Matters Magazine – Published 11 times per year, the award-winning Hardwood Matters is distributed to more than 30 countries, including the United States and Canada. Advertising in Hardwood Matters allows your company the ability to effectively reach the broad and diverse hardwood industry. NHLA members receive exclusive discounts on advertising.

Online and eNewsletter Advertising – NHLA.com is an information driven website with news, events, industry information, job board and searchable membership directory. NHLA.com is the source of all things NHLA. Hardwire is an e-publication of the Association containing breaking news announcements, member events and special notes of interest delivered directly to members.

Online and eNewsletter advertising is limited to a small number of companies interested in reaching this niche market. NHLA members receive exclusive discounts on online advertising.

Industry Services

NHLA is a provider of industry services, tools and experts that are unique to the hardwood lumber industry. Specific products made available as member benefits include the LUA VIP Insurance Program and member discounts on inspection services, advertising, merchandise, publications, tools, continuing education and convention registration.

NHLA makes available National Inspectors to ensure loads are on grade and supply financial guarantee against claims.