A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members February 16, 2006
Industry News

FMI 2006 Construction Forecast on Growth & Labor Shortages

Overall, the forecast for the construction industry for 2006 appears at first glance to be very similar to last year’s forecast, continued growth, says FMI, the nation’s largest provider of management consulting and investment banking to the worldwide construction industry. That optimistic forecast portends a few challenging trends arising from continued growth.

The challenge that is becoming more and more of a concern to contractors and owners alike is the need to find talented employees. Labor shortages continue to grow across the job spectrum for construction industry firms, according to the newly released FMI 2005-2006 U.S. Markets Construction Overview.

According to FMI, while some of the demands for new employees have been filled by non-traditional sources like women and the Hispanic community, those sources will be insufficient to fill the positions soon to become vacant when the Baby Boomers retire. The construction industry must rise to the occasion and take a hard look at their recruiting and training programs or be left scrambling to find enough workers to meet the demands of a growth market.

Growth can bring as many challenges to the industry as declining markets, including rising prices for materials, possible spot shortages in some markets, and lower profits, even as backlogs are growing.

Overall industry growth does not mean that the growth will be even in all markets. The Overview details trends for industry sectors and regional U.S. markets. The coming year offers great potential for contractors armed with good information and strategies to tackle both old and new challenges.

FMI has released its 2005-2006 U.S. Markets Construction Overview, a national report that paints a candid picture of the construction industry as offering plenty of potentially profitable work into the foreseeable future, but also as needing to "rise to the occasion and take a hard look at ... recruiting and training programs or be left scrambling to find enough workers to meet the demands of a growth market."

FMI's report is available for $135 on the FMI web site at www.fminet.com.  Click on "Information Resources."
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A Few Facts about Certified Forests from the Forest Stewardship Council

The FSC is working to realize its mission: Create a marketplace that promotes well-managed forests by ensuring forestry practices that are environmentally responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable.  Here are some facts that support the organization’s progress.

168 million - Acres of FSC-certified forests globally (66 countries)

22 million - Acres of FSC-certified forests in the United States

4370 - Chain-of-Custody certificates issued globally (73 countries)

592 - Chain-of-Custody certificates issued in the United States
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Association News

AWI Spring Leadership Conference to Feature Manufacturing Business Sessions Too

In addition to dynamic and interactive leadership training sessions during the AWI Spring Leadership Conference, April 5-8, 2006, AWI members can expect several provocative workshops for increasing efficiency and safety in their operations.

Workshops on Safety, Lean Manufacturing and Time Management have been added to the conference events. Members can also look forward to visiting several AWI Manufacturing Member facilities in Maryland and Virginia on the AWI Plant Tours segment of the conference.

In addition, you will gain new perspectives about leadership in the training programs planned for Friday, April 7, but you’ll have great opportunities to network with fellow AWI members and association and industry leaders at the “Leadership Link Banquet” scheduled for Thursday, April 6.

The AWI Spring Leadership Conference will be held at The National Conference Center in a wooded campus setting near historic Leesburg, VA in Landsdown. The facility is only 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and offers shuttle service from the airport to the Center. 

Registration details will be available soon.  Meanwhile, mark your calendar for this important event!
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AWI Accepting Cost of Doing Business Survey Data

By now all AWI Manufacturing Members should have received an e-mail announcing the opening of the Annual Cost of Doing Business Survey period conducted for AWI by Inverra. 

Ranked as the Number One Manufacturing Member Benefit of Choice AWI Manufacturing Members receive from AWI, the CODBS and Report is expected to show regional differences in operating costs this year, provided enough members submit data. Increased participation is more important this year because of the improved economy in 2005 and the impact on architectural woodworkers will vary by region.

The survey period is open until April 1, 2006.  Visit http://www.inverra.com/awi/2006codbs.htm   to download the instructions and submit your data. Benefits of participation are listed in the February issue of NewsBriefs.
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Professional Development

Do You Lean Toward Lean?

Your expertise is needed. One of the breakout panels on Thursday afternoon, April 6, 2006, during the AWI Spring Leadership Conference, April 5-8, 2006, in Landsdown, VA, will be “Lean for the Custom Shop.”

Member interest in this topic is high and there is an equally high need for general knowledge about the subject. Will YOU volunteer to participate on the panel of experts from the AWI membership who will share research and experience in Lean Manufacturing with your AWI colleagues and fellow leaders?

This program will take place the afternoon after the Plant Tours of AWI member plants in Maryland and Virginia, so you will have another reason to be at the Conference that day. Let Greg Heuer know you will help: gheuer@awinet.org.
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About QCP

QCP Extends Enforcement Deadline for Minimum Label Fee Increase

QCP is pleased to announce that the deadline for complying with the increase in the minimum label fee has been extended and is now effective on all projects bid on or after April 1, 2006.

The extension will give all certified firms ample time to comply with the increase in the minimum label fee. In October 2005, the QCP Board of Review voted to raise the minimum label fee to $500 per project. Questions may be directed to kthorp@awinet.org.

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Safety Matters

AWI/CNA Safety Awards Program Invites Applicants

Have you entered the AWI/CNA Safety Awards Program yet?  Go to http://www.inverra.com/awi/2006safety.htm and enter today.  All AWI Manufacturing Members are invited to apply. All applicants will receive confirmation of their submission and their final status.  Application is quick and easy. 

Take advantage of this annual awards program to gain recognition for a safe working environment for your employees and boost their awareness of safety on the job.
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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

Check out the AWI chapters sponsoring important education programs in your area...the Carolinas, New England, New Mexico, Florida, and the Great Lakes.

AWI Carolinas Chapter
Feb. 24, 2006
Program: Holzma Tour and “Tricks of the Trade” presentation on panel saws, mechanical handling, optimizing software. 
Where: Holzma, Gastonia, NC
Contact: Ken Leitch at kleitch@solidsurfaceproducts.com or call 704.896.8677 x16 for more information and to register.

AWI New England Chapter
March 1, 2006
Program: “Cost Saving ‘Best Practices’ for Woodworkers”
Speaker: Edward F. Johnson, Jr., CPA
Where: Wyndham Hotel, Westborough, MA
Contact:  www.neawi.org – New England Chapter web site

AWI New Mexico Chapter
  March 1, 2006
Program: AWI National News Update
Speaker: AWI National President, Rick Kogler, Architectural Wood Products, Inc.
Where: OGB Architectural Woodwork, Del Norte, New Mexico
Contact: Shelly Harwood at sharwood@acie.com
Reservation: Deadline: Feb. 27, 2006

AWI Florida Chapter
March 10, 2006
Program:  Plant Tour of Manufacturing Facilities of Featherlite Trailers; Turnberry and Millwork International
Where: Depart from Orlando Marriott Downtown, FL
Contact: Register online at http://www.awiflnet.org/

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
March 22, 2006
Program: “Case Systems Lean Manufacturing” Plant Tour & Seminar – Part I
Where: Midland, TX
Contact: Pamela Howell at 586.497.7522
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Regulatory Issues

Hurricane Victims Have More Time to Claim Losses on Prior Year Returns

Victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita or Wilma wishing to claim disaster-related losses on their prior year federal income tax return will have until October 16, 2006, to make this choice, according to an announcement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Taxpayers suffering disaster-related losses in certain areas of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas due to the hurricanes can choose to claim those losses on their current or prior year return. The original deadline for choosing this option is the due date of the taxpayer’s current year return.

For example, individuals wishing to claim disaster-related losses on their 2004 federal income tax return instead of their 2005 return will have an extra six months, until October 16, 2006, to make this choice. The original deadline for individuals choosing this option was April 17, 2006.

To speed processing of these claims, taxpayers should write the name of the hurricane in red at the top of their return. Those who have already filed their prior year return can make this choice by filing an amended return (Form 1040X for individuals).

An explanation of the liberalized disaster loss rules and special instructions for claiming these losses can be found in Publication 4492, Information for Taxpayers Affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. This publication, along with other disaster-related information, is available on IRS.gov or can be obtained by calling the special IRS disaster hotline toll-free at 1-866-562-5227.

This announcement does not affect the regular tax-filing deadlines for either 2004 or 2005 federal income tax returns.

Technical guidance will be available soon in Notice 2006-17, which will appear in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2006-10.

Visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=147085,00.html for more information for hurricane victims needing tax assistance.

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Next Issue of AWI e-briefs

The next edition of AWI e-briefs will be published on March 2, 2006.
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Founded in 1953, AWI is a nonprofit organization representing over 3,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and design professionals in the architectural woodwork industry.

AWI Mission:
The authoritative resource for excellence in architectural woodwork.

Copyright Architectural Woodwork Institute www.awinet.org

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AWILL Winter Career & Technology Education Week
Feb. 22-25, 2006
Charlotte, NC

AWI Spring Leadership Conference
Apr. 5-8, 2006
Landsdown, VA

AWILL Summer Career & Technology Education Week
Jun. 20-24, 2006
Williamsport, PA