A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members February 15, 2007
Professional Development

Countdown to CATE Week – Registration Closes Today

Today is your last chance to register for Winter Career and Technology Education Week, February 21-24, 2007 in Dallas, TX at the Embassy Suites Hotel. 

Advanced Project Management is sold out, but a few seats are still available for: Fundamentals of Project Management, Fundamentals of Estimating, Advanced Estimating, and Contracts.

AWI members receive a discount on registration fees as a benefit of membership. Daily registration fees: $240 AWI members; $420 nonmembers; $190 Texas residents.  To register for CATE online, click here.
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AWI Spring Leadership Conference Focuses on Growing Your Business

Whether your business is small, medium or large in size, there is room for growth.  AWI’s Spring Leadership Conference, April 11-14, 2007 in Minneapolis, MN, will focus on the leadership qualities and strategies needed to lead your company down a path of managed growth.  This AWI leadership forum will expose members to the business philosophies and best practices that can help grow your business, your chapter or community programs in which you are involved.

  • Don’t miss the panel of AWI member experts share their tried and tested recipes for success and growth.
  • Attend the Plant Tours to see and hear firsthand the elements of successful operations.
  • Rachet up your AWI chapter with added training for current and future chapter leaders.
  • Participate in the Power Lunch “Developing Your Credo for Personal Leadership.”

To sign up for the conference, register online at AWI’s Web site.  Registration for the AWI Spring Conference ends March 30, 2007.
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Association News

AWI Members Receive Discount on 2007 AWFS® Fair Education Programs

AWI members are eligible to receive a 10 percent discount on any educational seminar offered at the 2007 AWFS® Fair College of Woodworking Knowledge, which takes place during the AWFS® Fair, Las Vegas, NV, July 18-21, 2007. To take advantage of the discount when registering online, members must provide the association name and special code “AWI599” to receive the discount. Registration for the College of Woodworking Knowledge seminars opens in early March.
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AWI to Offer Plant Scheduling Seminar at the AWFS® Fair College of Woodworking Knowledge

AWILL faculty Jeff Stück of Stück Woodworks, Milwaukee, WI, and Matt Lundahl, Meyer & Lundahl, Phoenix, AZ, will present a seminar on plant scheduling, tentatively called “Scheduling the Custom Woodworking Shop” during the AWFS® Fair College of Woodworking Knowledge, July 18-21, 2007. Attendees will learn about the different types of schedules, how effective scheduling can increase profits, and gain a better understanding of the components required to schedule custom woodwork projects.

Use the special discount code “AWI599” to get a 10 percent discount on attendance to this seminar.

Go to the AWFS® Fair Web site, www.awfsfair.org, in early March 2007 to register for this and other informative seminars, and be sure to check the Web site often for updates.

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Annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey Launches Early March - A Member's Perspective

Many AWI Manufacturing Members know the value of participating in the Annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey (CODBS) for the added rewards and the comprehensive financial management tools it provides.  If you haven’t participated in previous years, why not start this year? 

All AWI Manufacturing Members will receive an e-mail launching the survey on/around March 6.  Follow the links and double your rewards by participating.  The survey and final report is unique to architectural woodwork manufacturing businesses and is not available from any other source. 

A Member’s Perspective
Walt Price, President, Wright Architectural Millwork Corporation

AWI members regularly comment that the Cost of Doing Business Survey (CODBS) is one of their most valuable member benefits.  As an AWI member since 1981, our company has both participated in and used the CODB report for many years, and I completely agree with this sentiment.   There is nothing comparable to this report in our industry...and your participation yields a customized report with your submitted data arrayed against many industry benchmarks.  If you are growing or planning on growing, an understanding of the numbers is key to success and the CODB can help you out here...but only if you participate!  If you are about to approach a lender for financing, with the CODB in hand, you have the opportunity to bolster your case...but only if you participate!  If you want a tool with which to benchmark your company against the most profitable woodworking companies in AWI, this is your answer...but only if you participate!   Yes, I’ ringing a bell...there is strength in numbers!

If you have not participated in the past, please consider getting on board this year.  All it takes is making it a priority item on your “to-do” list and a commitment to the process.  The more participation we have the greater the validity of the results and the larger the group of AWI members who know and understand their numbers.  This benefits your own company and also makes us a stronger industry.  So when the e-mail is delivered around March 6th, please participate...and if you have done so in the past but not in recent years, this is a great time to get back on board.  Thanks!

 
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AWI Scholarships Help Reduce Students’ Financial Burden

The AWI Scholarship Fund assists students in pursuit of careers in architectural woodwork and promotes a well-trained workforce for the future.

Recently AWI scholarship recipient and a WoodLINKS school student Dan Roethle of Rubicon, WI, wrote to Scott Nelson, Dean of the Architectural Woodwork Institute of Lifelong Learning, saying:

I would like to extend a warm ‘thank you’ to you and everyone else at AWI for their support and generous scholarship. These contributions to my education really help to ease the financial burden, but they also do so much more. Knowing that there is someone out there backing and supporting me, like the AWI, helps to inspire me to keep doing my best. Thanks again!

Dan was one of eight recipients of small AWI scholarships this year.  AWI members are invited to contribute to the William Winter Scholarship Fund by sending a check for any amount to AWI, marking it for “scholarship funding.”  Presently, such contributions are NOT tax deductible; however, AWI is investigating the merits of a foundation to receive scholarship and other donations.
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Safety Matters

Annual AWI/CNA Safety Awards Nominations Opened February 1

If you have a strong safety program and consider your business to be a safe working environment for your employees, you could be honored in the 2007 AWI/CNA Safety Awards Program.  AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate and submit their data if no fatalities occurred in 2006. Follow the link provided in the AWI e-mail or fax you received last week to submit an application for your company.

You could be honored at the 55th Annual AWI Convention, October 4-7, 2007, with at least one of the following awards:

  • AWI/CNA Best Safety Achievement Award
  • AWI/CNA Zero Lost Time Accident Achievement Award
  • AWI/CNA Safety Improvement Certificate of Recognition.

Awards will be distributed in four categories that reflect a range of work hours based on company size – small, medium and large.

Participation is easy.  You only need your Occupational Safety & Health Administration forms: 300 and 300A.  Get full details at the safety awards Web site

The filing period for OSHA 300A, “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” in 2006 began February 1, and coincides  with the launching of the AWI/CNA 2007 Safety Awards Program.  The last day to submit data to AWI for the safety awards program is April 1, 2007.
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Industry News

2006 MDF Shipments Set New Record

Producers of medium density fiberboard (MDF) in North America posted record shipments in 2006 with more than 2.6 billion square feet of MDF panels (3/4” basis). This was a 7 percent increase from the previous high of 2.4 billion square feet set in 2004, according to data compiled by the Composite Panel Association (CPA).

North American MDF shipments have steadily increased over the last decade highlighted by
four record-setting years since 2000. US MDF accounted for almost 1.9 billion square feet
of shipments in 2006, a 12 percent, or 192 million square feet (MMSF), increase in shipments from the previous industry record of 2004.

For more information visit www.pbmdf.com.
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New Construction Starts Rise in December 2006; Total Starts Remain Steady with 2005

Despite the downward trend in single family housing starts that began in the spring of 2006, residential construction rallied with a two percent increase in December.  “The worst may be over,” reports McGraw Hill Construction.  Office construction dipped in December, but other nonresidential construction (e.g., schools and healthcare facilities), “showed stronger activity in December.”

Overall in 2006, total construction starts remained about equal in dollar volume ($663 billion) as in 2005.  For greater insight into construction market trends, visit McGraw Hill Construction Analytics. (Registration required)
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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. Tap into your local AWI chapter for vital information that can help your business grow and put you in touch with fellow AWI architectural woodworkers and suppliers.

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
When:  March 21, 2007
Program: “Contract Law Workshop” – 1:00 pm-5:00 pm; followed by cocktail hour and dinner
Presenter: Joe Sorrelli, Aljoe Woodwork Consultants
Where: Holiday Inn West, Lansing, MI
Contact: Pamela Howell, (P) 586.497.7522, phowell@oldenkamp.com
More Information: See attached
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Other AWI Chapter News- Wisconsin and Iowa/Nebraska

The AWI Wisconsin Chapter launched a quarterly online newsletter in January to improve communication among chapter members.  Newsletter Chair and WI Chapter Board of Directors member John Halpin is spearheading the effort.  The chapter plans to conduct its monthly Board of Directors meetings at members’ facilities, chapter president Jeff Ebel announced.  “This gives us a chance to meet and get to know you and your companies,” he said.  The chapter is seeking a chairperson for their Meeting Planning Committee.  Visit the chapter at www.awiwi.org and check out their newsletter.

A member of the AWI Iowa/Nebraska Chapter, Hank Evans of AF Johnson Millwork in West Des Moines, has been named “Citizen of the Year” in West Des Moines, IA. Hank and his wife Ann, are very well respected in the Des Moines area, work hard at their architectural millwork business, and are very active in the affairs of their community.  Hank is very active in the AWI local chapter as well as on a national level.  He was instrumental in the formation of an architectural millwork class at DMACC, our local community college, and serves on the advisory board of the architectural millwork class at DMACC, chapter President Elza E. Sager reports.

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Regulatory Issues

IRS Begins Work on Whistleblower Office

The Internal Revenue Service recently named Stephen A. Whitlock as director of its new Whistleblower Office, where he will be responsible for administering the program designed to receive information that helps uncover tax cheating and to provide appropriate rewards to whistleblowers.

The IRS Whistleblower Office, which was established by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, will process tips received from individuals who spot tax problems in their workplace, while conducting day-to-day personal business or anywhere else they may be encountered. A reward worth between 15 percent and 30 percent of the total proceeds the IRS collects could be awarded, if the IRS moves ahead based on the information provided.

Whitlock’s office will be responsible for assessing and analyzing incoming tips. After determining their degree of credibility, his office will assign the information to the appropriate IRS office for further investigation.

 
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published March 7, 2007. 

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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.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Winter Career &
Technology
Education Week
Feb. 21-24, 2007
Dallas, TX
Registration Ends
Today!

AWI Spring Leadership
Conference

April 11-14, 2007
Minneapolis, MN
Register Today!

Summer AWILL
Sessions at AWFS
July 19-21, 2007
Las Vegas, NV

Fall AWILL Project
Management &
Estimating Seminars
Sept. 14-15, 2007
Seattle, WA

AWI Annual Convention
(featuring the Executive
Learning Forum)
Oct. 4-6, 2007
Louisville, KY

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