A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members May 18, 2006
Legislative News

Making Health Care an Affordable Option for Employers and Employees

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), rising costs of health care can impede a manufacturer’s ability to compete and are a “disincentive to hiring new employees and establishing new jobs.” 

But help could be on the horizon as the U.S. Senate considers legislation that would allow well-established trade associations to offer affordable health insurance coverage to their members through Small Business Health Plans (SBHPs). 

Senate bill 1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act, “would reduce the cost of health insurance for small employers by 12% or $1,000 per employee,” NAM reported.  “While allowing employers to control costs, the legislation would also give many employees more options in health care than they have now,” NAM advised.
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NAM Sees Pro-Growth Tax Relief in the Future

A 54-44 vote by the U.S. Senate sent a compromise tax reconciliation bill (HR 4297) to the President for signature, possibly today.   According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), enactment of this pro-growth tax relief is a victory both for manufacturers and the entire American economy.

Included in the bill are:

  • Extensions of the lower tax rates on capital gains and dividends through 2010, and
  • International tax reforms including an extension of deferral for active financing income.

NAM will push Congress for a renewed and strengthened R&D credit which was not part of HR 4297.  NAM fears that if Congress fails to act soon on the credit, “the United States could slip further behind in the crucial economic battle for this key investment.”
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Immigration Law Impacts Construction Contractors and Subcontractors

An immigration crisis has captured the highest levels of attention in the Administration and in Congress, as the U.S. Senate grapples with a U.S. House of Representatives measures that past last December (HR 4437) and President Bush’s plan released this week.

The construction industry will be affected by immigration reform.  In Senate bill 2611, proposed by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, subcontracts would need to include a requirement to comply with immigration law, and would also require anyone hiring a subcontractor to "exercise reasonable diligence to ensure" that the subcontractor complied with immigration law. “The potential costs of such a requirement are enormous,” says the American Subcontractors Association (ASA). “For subcontractors to fully support S. 2611, it needs to be amended.”

The House bill contains a key provision that offers some protection for subcontractors.  “A subcontractor's client would not be liable for penalties unless it ‘knew that the subcontractor hired or continued to employ’ an illegal worker, thanks to an amendment named after Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). 

ASA cautions that “If the Senate bill does not ultimately include the Westmoreland amendment language, which penalizes only for actual knowledge of immigration violations, the construction industry could suffer the financial consequences of a work force verification requirement imposed on anyone hiring a subcontractor.” 

For more information about the issues and a copy of ASA's position paper, visit the home page of ASA’s web site.

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Professional Development

Fees Going Up Nearly 55% for Summer Career and Technology Education Week; Early Bird Fees in Effect Only through May 26

It’s not too late to register for the Architectural Woodwork Institute of Lifelong Learning (AWILL) Summer Career and Technology Education Week (CATE). And, it’s not too late to save nearly 55% off the already-discounted AWI member registration fees for the program, June 20-24, 2006 program in Williamsport, PA.

Save money to attend and increase your profits from what you learn during the 17 comprehensive, profit-building sessions for your shop personnel and managers.  Plus, there are four outstanding Plant Tours that include visits to Lewis Lumber, Bentley and Collins, Wheeland Sawmill and Lumber, WoodMode, Northway, and Mohawk Wood Door.

A brochure with full details about the program and a registration form were included in your May AWI mailpack.  To sign up now, click here. Capacity is limited.  Learn how to trim costs and boost your profits even more.

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Association News

AWI Introduces Member Search Engine Feature on Upgraded AWI Web Site

Searching for fellow members, AWI key contacts and existing and potential business partners just got easier on the improved and enhanced AWI web site.  An advanced member search engine feature is now incorporated as an upgrade to the site.

Each member company’s primary AWI contact person’s name can be searched by first, last or both. Visit www.awinet.org for the latest AWI member profiles, products and services.

Another upgrade to your packet of AWI membership benefits....

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AWI Membership Resource Directory on the Way to Your Mailbox

They are in the mail...3,000 copies of the 225-page 2006 AWI Membership Resource Directory have been mailed to every Design Professional, Manufacturer and Supplier Member company of AWI.  Be on the lookout for your copy of the 2006 resource guide for AWI member company profiles, their products and valuable services.  The AWI Membership Resource Directory is a virtual “Who’s Who” of the architectural woodwork industry. 

AWI thanks all of our sponsors and advertisers who contribute and make our annual directory a success. Please consider them as potential business partners.
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Last Chance for Comments, Suggestions for Next QSI

Do you have any suggestions for improvement of the Quality Standards Illustrated?  If so, the AWI Quality Standards Board of Review (QSBOR) wants to know about them.  At its meeting on May 31, 2006 the QSBOR will be reviewing Page 10 “Suggestions for Improvement” submitted by members from the 8th edition of QSI currently in circulation. 

The QSBOR has begun work on a 9th edition that will incorporate the best of the 8th edition of QSI as well as the Woodwork Institute (California) Manual of Millwork.

Let us hear from you – comments, ideas are welcome.  Download a QSI “Suggestion for Improvement Page 10 Submittal Form” PDF, print it out, write your suggestions on the form, and fax to AWI at the number on the bottom of the form.  Thanks for your input!

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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  Check out the informative AWI chapter programs sponsored in your area...Carolinas, Texas, Florida, Central Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley.

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: May 19, 2006
What: “More, Faster...and, Better;” Associate Member Table Top Display
Presenter: Ed Ligon, SCMEP
Where: Kingston Plantation Resort, Myrtle Beach, SC
Contact: (P) 843.497.1500

AWI Texas Chapter
When: June 2, 2006
What: Presentations on LEED and AWI Quality Certification Program
Presenters: AWILL Ambassador Rob Ziegelmeier and AWI’s Randy Estabrook
Where: Houston, TX
Contact: David Pena of WoodArts Systems, Inc., David@woodartsystems.com

AWI Florida Chapter
When: June 9 -10, 2006
What: Business Seminar, “Human Resource Practices for Success” & Forklift
Where: Punta Gorda, FL
More Information: www.awiflnet.org

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter & AWI National
When: June 22, 2006 – 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm, (during AWILL Career & Technology Education Week)
What: Quality Standards Illustrated/Quality Certification Program Workshop
Where: Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA
More Information: Audience - Design Professionals and Woodworkers; Two Learning Units for AIA National Members; Limited to 60 seats
Registration: Free of charge, Click here

AWI Northeast Ohio Chapter
When: June 22, 2006
What: 15th Annual Golf Scramble
Where: Fowler’s Mill Golf Course, Chesterland, OH
Contact: Frank Zorman, (P) 216.831.0303

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
When: June 23, 2006
What: "Lean Manufacturing Symposium – Learn for Profit”
Presenter: Brian Brashaw, Natural Resources Research Institute
Where: Traverse City, MI
Contact: Pamela Howell, (P) 586.497.7522

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
July 22, 2006, 8:00 AM
Format: Four Person, Best Ball Scramble
Where: Legendary Run Golf Course, Cincinnati, OH
More Information: www.awiohiovalley.org

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Industry News

UBC Wood Products Processing Program 10th Anniversary

Celebrations to commemorate 10 years of the Bachelor of Science in Wood Products Processing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada, were held on April 28, 2006 at the UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing. 

Students hosted guests and gave tours of the Forest Sciences Centre.  Guests observed presentations and demonstrations in the $2 million wood products manufacturing facility, and enjoyed a barbeque celebration.

The program is a fusion of science, engineering and business that prepares graduates for careers in the wood products sector and related fields. Students gain a solid understanding of wood as they explore business and advanced manufacturing operations.  They can also choose to complement their science degree with a Minor in Commerce.  Co-op is another exciting option that integrates career-related experience into their academic studies.

Accomplishments of this award-winning program include: 8 graduating classes, 116 alumni and 518 co-op placements. There are currently 105 enrolled students and the demand for co-op students and graduates is strong.  Graduates are highly sought after by employers for entry-level management positions with excellent starting salaries and opportunities for advancement.

The program was developed in direct response to the need for university graduates qualified to become the leaders of tomorrow in the Canadian wood products sector.  The extensive facilities of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing support the delivery of this unique program by UBC’s Department of Wood Science.

To learn more about the UBC and its wood program, visit www.wood.ubc.ca.
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Safety Matters

OSHA Upgrades e-HASP Software

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated the computer software for generating a site-specific health and safety plan (HASP) for hazardous waste sites required under the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard.

The e-HASP2 program is more practical and user friendly to health and safety professionals for providing "model" language acceptable to OSHA in preparing a site's HASP. It also features an updated chemical database and embedded decision logic to assist in identifying hazards associated with site-specific contaminants and choosing effective site controls for worker protection.

AWI members who do factory finishing work will want to check this out.

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Next issue of AWI e-briefs

The next edition of AWI e-briefs will be published on June 1.
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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 Summer Career & Technology Education Week
Jun. 20-24, 2006
Williamsport, PA 
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International Woodworking
Machinery & Furniture
Supply Fair-USA®
Aug. 23-26, 2006
Atlanta, GA
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AWI 54th Annual Convention & Meeting
Oct. 4-7, 2006
New Orleans, LA
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