A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members July 19, 2007
Association News

AWI Board of Directors’ Election News – Vote Now

If you haven’t already voted in the run-off election that will break the tie vote for one remaining seat on the 2007-2008 AWI Board of Directors, do it now. Less than six days remain before the voting period closes.

An e-mail sent on July 9 to AWI Manufacturing Members contained important messages from both candidates (Skip Heidler and Rick Kogler) to all AWI members.  Voting opened on July 9, 2007 and closes at 11:59 pm EST on July 25, 2007.

All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible and encouraged to vote in this election. Please contact AWI at 571.323.3636 if you did not receive the link to vote.
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Final CODBS Report Tells AWI Manufacturing Members How to Maximize Its Value

The 113-page AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey and Compensation Study Report is packed full of financial ratios and benchmarks for AWI Manufacturing Members to put to work and improve operations right away.

Here are a few practical applications of this annual study, which this year revealed that the “average” firm has 9.4 employees per $1 million in revenue and a 4.23% operating profit margin.

What Should You Do with the Information in the Report?

• Use the financial ratios and benchmarks to identify areas for operational improvement.
• Use the compensation benchmarks when setting pay levels for new / existing employees.
• Use your comparative financial benchmarks in loan discussions with your bank.
• Use the financial statement definitions to help you better organize your chart of accounts.
• Use the modeling tools to do “what-ifs” and data mining specific to your needs.
• Use the employee benefits information to compare the value of your plans against others.
• Use the human capital information to build a “Best Place to Work” culture.
• Use the overall results as an educational tool for your employees and leaders.

A copy was shipped to All AWI Manufacturing Members on July 2. 
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AWI Seeks Member Views – Respond by July 31

All primary contacts of AWI Manufacturing Member companies are reminded that the deadline for responding to the 2007 AWI Member Survey is 11:45 pm EST July 31, 2007.  The survey is an opportunity to speak out about association programs, projects and products.  Follow the links in the e-mail sent to you July 5 to complete the online survey. 

Survey results will be used by the association’s Board of Directors, committees, and staff to analyze the importance and performance levels of the programs, projects and products rated by AWI Manufacturing Members. 

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Professional Development

Fall AWI Education Program about “Contracts” Tells You How to Protect Your Business and Profit

Join us for the fall session on “Contracts – Protection and Prevention,” September 13-15, 2007, in Seattle, WA. You will learn how not to sign any contract before carefully reading and understanding what you can or cannot do.

Faculty:

* AWI Past President Joe Sorrelli, NY
* Thomas P. Larkin II, Esq., Stafford Frey Cooper, Seattle, WA 
* James T. Yand, Esq., Stafford Frey Cooper, Seattle, WA

"Contracts are promises that the law will enforce, should either party falter," Mr. Sorrelli said.  This workshop has helped so many AWI members fully understand what they are signing and what they can change in a contract.  Sit with other members who have the same problems with contracts and discuss the issues with one another and with the contract attorney who will answer all your questions. See for yourself what everyone has been raving about; sign up today.

Register early – seating is limited to allow for maximum interaction between faculty and attendees and among participants. Please contact Ilaria Fekeza, ifekeza@awinet.org or call 571.323.3636 for registration and more information.
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Industry News

Advocates of Wood as Building Material Speak Out Against LEED®

According to a recent article in Journal Now, private landowners in North Carolina are not embracing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. 

Author of “Wood is Good: Trees are Green Too,” Dr. Robert Cooper promotes home-grown trees for the building industry in NC and touts the attributes of wood as “our only renewable natural resource.”  He is concerned about the threat posed by the LEED marketing program to “more than 600,000 North Carolinians who own private forests.”  Click here for his positive comments about the contribution wood makes to the green movement, and his views about forest certification programs.

Meanwhile, in Oregon another proponent of wood is disputing the LEED program for its high costs and forest certification system that addresses European and South American wood, not U.S. sources.  The opinion piece in the Statesman Journal points to the Green Globes® standards as “less costly, easier to work with and less time-consuming than LEED,” according to a 2007 University of Minnesota study.

An article published by the Composite Panel Association in the 20th edition of Second Wave magazine compares the two systems.  Check out page 28-29 for the article “Wood and Green Building: LEED® vs. GREEN GLOBES®,” which at press time was not yet posted on the CPA Web site
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Non-Residential Construction Starts 19.7% Higher than First Half of 2006

The value of non-residential constructions starts for the first six months of 2007 totaled $152.2 billion, according to figures released today by Reed Construction Data. The report contains a breakdown by market segment.

The report also revealed that starts of non-residential construction were at record-high levels at $31.4 billion. For full details, click here.
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U.S. Forest Lands Face Ownership Turnover

Nearly 60% of America’s vast forest lands are privately owned, and most owners are approaching retirement age. An article in the International Herald Tribune recently pointed to potential mismanagement, subdivision or sale for development when the next generation takes over ownership of family-owned forests. 

For a look at the prospects for private forest land, click here. Inheritance and property taxes may be the enemy.
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Long-Term Prospects for Laminated Veneer Lumber Are Good

According to a recent news item, Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) offers several advantages over typical milled lumber, but production is declining. Although production in North America is “forecast to fall this year from 88.2 million cubic feet to 777.7 million cubic feet,” the long-term prospects for LVLs are brighter.

The author of an article in the Atikokan Progress citied several forecasts for the Canadian developed product.  Click here for more details.
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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 New England Chapter
When: July 23, 2007
What: 15th Annual Summer Outing – Golf, Fishing, and Dinner
Where:
Golf Tournament (1:30 pm) – Wentworth By the Sea Country Club, Rye, NY
Fishing Event (8:30 am) – Captain’s Fishing Parties, Plum Island Point, Newburyport, MA
More Information: Golf – Bruce Chapin, (P) 508.380.2205, Nchapin@atlanticplywood.com; Fishing – Kevin Barlow, (P) 800.733.1999, kevin@keiver-willard.com

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: August 2, 2007
What: Golf Outing & Dinner
Where: Kettle Moraine Golf Club, Dousman, WI
More Information: Click here
Proceeds: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the newly founded Scholarship Fund.

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: August 23-24, 2007
What: Train the Trainer Workshop – Deliver Presentations with Knowledge & Style
Presenters: AWI National Director of Training & Member Services Greg Heuer; Linda Heuer
Where: Adams Mark Hotel, Indianapolis, IN
More Information: Click here
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Regulatory Issues

Reminder: Federal Minimum Wage to Increase on July 24, 2007

A $.70 per hour raise becomes mandatory on July 24, 2007 when employers and their non-exempt employees across the country will experience the first increase in the federal minimum wage in 10 years when the current rate changes from $5.15 per hour to $5.85 per hour.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), included the incremental wage increase plan that begins this July. The wage increases continue for the next two years: on July 24, 2008, the wage will increase to $6.55 per hour; the final increase to $7.25 per hour is slated for 2009.

“At least 30 states have established a minimum wage rate higher than the current federal rate. Where an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two rates,” according to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA).

Every employer subject to the FLSA minimum wage provisions must post a notice explaining the Act in a conspicuous place at all work sites. U.S. Department of Labor resources are available online.
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Legislative News

Contractor Withholding Requirement in Maryland Repealed

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) made final the repeal of a 2003 law requiring all general contractors with contracts of $500,000 or more to withhold 3% of their contract payments to out-of-state subcontractors with subcontracts of $50,000 or more.

“Under the terms of the new legislation (H.B. 1143), the repeal of the withholding requirement is applicable only to subcontracts signed on or after July 1, 2007,” according to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) whose members and allies lobbied heavily on this issue. Withholding will continue for such subcontracts signed prior to July 1, regardless of when final payments to a subcontractor are made for such projects.

The new law nullifies the 2003 measure that was originally designed to increase state revenues, although such revenues amounted less than 10 percent of expectations. The paperwork burdens on general contractors, subcontractors and the state's Comptroller's Office, which were a byproduct of the original measure, will soon be lessened once the effect of the law’s repeal is felt.
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published August 2, 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.

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

Copyright Architectural Woodwork Institute www.awinet.org


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Wood Week 2007
Sept. 3-8, 2007
Blacksburg, VA
Click here for more details.

Fall AWI Professional
Development
Seminars
Sept. 14-15, 2007
Seattle, WA 
See July AWI mail packet
for more details.


AWI Annual Convention/
Executive Conference
Oct. 3-6, 2007
Louisville, KY
See July AWI mail packet
for full details.

___________________

2007 AWI
“Member Recruit-a-
Member” Campaign
Feb. 1 – Aug. 31, 2007
Earn Cash Prizes!
$100, $500, $1,000 and
$2,000
Free Pass to
AWI Convention

For details & recruiter
registration form,
click hereYou must
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in the campaign.

Design Pro Presentations
Build Business Partnerships
with Lunch-n-Learn Programs,
Chapter Presentations

Design Pro is your link to
architects and design
professionals.
For details, contact
Ilaria Fekeza.

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Provider
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Call AWI at 571.323.3636
for updated
AWI - AIA Form B 2007