A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members September 6, 2007
Association News

AWI, AWMAC & WI Agree to Form Single Architectural Woodwork Standard

AWI has signed a historic operating agreement with two industry associations to develop a single architectural woodwork standard that will be developed by a Joint Standards Committee.

The three associations – AWI, Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute (WI) – are equal partners in this important endeavor, according to an agreement signed August 7, 2007 by AWI President Ed Brewer. 

The operating agreement results in a historic cooperative project that will ultimately produce new, unified architectural woodwork standards for the entire North American industry. The project will proceed within the Joint Standards Committee whose membership will be comprised of representatives appointed by each association.

For details about the agreement and how the project affects the industry, watch for the September issue of AWI NewsBriefs coming to your mailbox around September 14.
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Have You Registered?

AWI member executives will soon be convening, October 3-6, 2007, for the 55th AWI Annual Convention in Louisville, KY.  The “Executive Experience” will take members to another level of learning and networking.  

Click here for full details about the convention workshops, the AWI Product Fair, woodwork plant tours, and other convention events. Check out the September issue of AWI NewsBriefs for highlights of the upcoming convention. NewsBriefs should arrive in your mailbox around September 14. Registration forms are available online or by contacting Katie Allen, kallen@awinet.org or 571.323.3636.
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Professional Development

Woodwork Career Alliance Board Schedules First Meeting

The work on a unified North American woodwork manufacturing skill standards, evaluations, and credentials moves ahead with the first meeting of the board of the corporation established under the strategic plan put in place in 2005-2006. The new board will meet via web conference on Monday, September, 19.

Funded by a grant from the USDA Forest Service and matching funds from industry sponsors, the skill standards project will be administered by the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA), which was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable and educational foundation in Virginia on July 17, 2007.  The WCA is setting up writing and editing groups and partnering with woodworkers and educators to benefit the advancement of the woodworking industry.

Click here to learn more about the project.

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Well-Received AWI Seminar Draws Accolades for Presenters, Attracts New Members

It was a home run!  AWI member presenters Jeff Stück and Matt Lundahl received over 25 e-mails from attendees following their workshop,“Scheduling the Custom Woodworking Shop” on July 20 in Las Vegas during the AWFS® Fair.

One attendee wrote: “I really liked your presentation and am in the process of improving the scheduling in my shop. You had mentioned that you would possibly share the excel spread- sheet that you showed during your presentation. I would greatly appreciate a copy of your scheduler. As soon as I left your seminar I walked to the AWI booth and joined up. So far, I think it is an incredible tool for my company.  Also, I will be attending the professional development classes in Seattle this September. I am looking forward seeing you and the rest of the AWI faculty.”

“Congratulations to Jeff and Matt for a superlative job delivering education at AWFS in July. As soon as your session ended, 5-6 of your students came directly to the AWI booth and joined. You can take pride in being the driving force for AWI’s most successful new member registration at a trade show in the past 10 years. AWI gained 13 new Manufacturing members on the floor, PLUS other new members who joined after the show, and they’re still coming in. We don’t yet have a final count, but as of today, AWI is proud to have 1,092 Manufacturing Members worldwide,” AWI Executive Vice President Phil Duvic said.

 
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Regulatory Issues

Dept. of Homeland Security Issues Final Rule On Employment Verification

On August 15, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced several employment verification changes, particularly related to hiring illegal immigrants.  The announcement included a revised process for dealing with Social Security Administration "no match" letters generated by the W-2 process, as well as increased civil fines for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Visit the DHS web site to review the final revised rule.

There is a step-by-step process that employers should take to reduce their liability upon receipt of a no-match letter. No-match letters are triggered when an employer's W-2 earnings report contains information that does not match Social Security Administration records.
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Warning – Phishers Could Catch You


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued an alert regarding a new, two-step e-mail scam that falsely promises recipients they will receive $80 for participating in an online customer satisfaction survey.  In the scam, an unsuspecting taxpayer receives an unsolicited e-mail that appears to come from the IRS. The e-mail contains a URL linking to an online “Member Satisfaction Survey.”

"The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers through e-mail.” In this scam, the e-mail notifies the recipient that he or she has been randomly selected to participate in a survey. In return, the IRS will credit $80 to the taxpayer’s account. There are references to the IRS in the “from” line and the “subject” line of the e-mail. The link to the survey and a copyright statement at the bottom of the e-mail also reference the IRS. The survey form features the IRS logo.

Tricking victims into revealing private personal and financial information over the Internet, telephone or other means is a practice known as “phishing.”  Recipients of questionable e-mail that appears to come from the IRS should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the e-mail. Instead, the e-mail should be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.
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Member News

VT Industries Inc. Acquires IDEAL Architectural Doors and Plywood

VT Industries has announced the acquisition of IDEAL Architectural Doors and Plywood of New Albany, IN as of August 31, 2007. The IDEAL product line will be manufactured by the new IDEAL Door Division of VT Industries with production capability that complements the current products manufactured by VT Architectural Wood Doors. Together, VT Industries Architectural Wood Doors and the IDEAL Door Division will continue to produce fine wood veneer, high pressure decorative laminate, stile and rail, profiled, and specialty doors.  Visit www.vtindustries.com for more information.  VT Industries has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1983.  IDEAL Architectural Doors and Plywood has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1976.

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Community Colleges Choose ETemplate’s Digital Measuring and Templating System for Their Curriculum

ETemplate Systems has entered into a partnership with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) of Des Moines, IA, and Salt Lake Community College of Salt Lake City, UT, to provide the ETemplate Photo Digital Measuring system for use in their woodworker and countertop fabrication training curriculum. 

“We are proud to partner with these schools in providing their classrooms with the most advanced digital measuring technology available today.  We welcome the opportunity to work with any school that sees a need to incorporate digital measuring technology into their curriculum,” said Paul Hansen, the company’s President.

ETemplate Systems, an AWI Supplier Member since 2006, is a recipient of the IWF 2006 Challenger Award.  It is also a member of the International Solid Surface Fabricators Association (ISSFA) and recipient of the 2005 ISSFA Associate of the Year Award.   The company is located in Raleigh, NC.  For more information call 919.676.2244 or visit their Web site at www.etemplatesystem.com.

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New Biesse Product Area Manager to Direct Growth in Toronto

As part of a far-reaching plan to grow its Canadian subsidiary, Biesse Canada, Biesse recently appointed sales veteran Matthew Fleming to the role of Product Area Manager. Fleming will direct sales efforts and strategies within Biesse Canada’s key Toronto territory. He brings a decade of experience in sales and product management to the role. With aggressive expansion plans underway for Biesse Canada, Fleming will be integral to developing and executing sales strategies. Primary among his responsibilities will be providing the Toronto area sales force with in-depth knowledge of Biesse machinery. He will also be involved with Biesse Canada’s ongoing educational efforts geared to end users.  Visit www.biesse.com. Biesse America, Inc. has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1989.

 
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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.  See what the AWI Great Lakes and Central Pennsylvania Chapters are planning.

The editors regret that the August 16th edition of e-briefs erroneously referenced the AWI Great Lakes Chapter event on November 8 as the AWI Washington Chapter. 

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
When: Thursday, November 8, 2007
What: Three Seminars:  1) QS 8005 Veneer Solution; 2) QS 8006 Finishing; 3) Woodworking Contributions to “Green” Building Projects
Presenters: Matt Gaglio, Mod Interiors; Frank Moceri, Madiera Woodworking, Inc.; Chuck Cady, Strata Design, Inc. – all chapter leaders
Were:  Midwest Expo, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, MI
More Information:  Programs are targeted to architects, design professionals, contractors and woodworkers.  Click here for more details.

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When:
Wednesday September 19, 2007 – 2.30 pm, Check-In; 3:00- 5:00 pm, Meeting
What: 1) “Economic Development in the Forest Products Industry” Presentation; 2)Tour of
”Award of Excellence” Forrest Resources Building featured in AWI Design Solutions; and 3) Light Reception 
Guest Speaker: Dr. Charles Strauss, Director & Professor of Forest Economics, Penn State School of Forest Resources
Where: Penn State New Forestry Building 117, University Park, PA 16802; 814.865.7541 (p)
More Information: Garry Asltes at gastles@northwayind.com; (See attached)
Registration: Member Fee - $25.00 (See attached)

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When:
Thursday, November 15, 2007 (all day)
What:  LEAN Manufacturing Program; Tabletop exhibits featuring Supplier Members
Presenter: Mike Rothmeier, Simple Solutions
Where: Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
More Information: For more details and to exhibit, contact Garry Astles at gastles@northwayind.com

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Legislative News

Retainage Reform Law Signed in North Carolina

On August 17, Governor Mike Easley (D) signed into a law a bill (S.B. 1245) that will prohibit retainage on public projects under $100,000 and limit retainage to 5% on other public construction projects.

“Effective Jan. 1, 2008, the law stipulates that an owner, with written consent of the surety, shall not hold retainage from progress payments to contractors for satisfactorily performed work starting at 50% completion, and limits the amount of retainage an owner may hold should it choose to hold any additional retainage after that time. These terms also apply to contractors' payments to subcontractors,” the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) reported. “The new law also requires the full release of retainage within 60 days of substantial completion or occupancy, whichever occurs first,” according to ASA.
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Safety Matters

OSHA Introduces Enhanced Compliance Assistance Specialist Directory

Seeking a specialist who can provide general information about OSHA standards and compliance assistance resources?  A new OSHA reference directory can help match your need to the Compliance Assistance Specialist who can help. The specialists are available for seminars, workshops, and speaking events and much more.  For details about these resource specialists, click here.

Consult OSHA’s enhanced Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) Directory to find your local CAS and the nearest OSHA Area Office. Users in states which operate their own OSHA-approved safety and health programs are provided with contact information for their state agency.

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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published September 20, 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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CALENDAR

Fall AWI Professional
Development Seminars

Sept. 13-15, 2007
Seattle, WA
Click here for details.

AWI Annual Convention/
Executive Conference

Oct. 3-6, 2007
Louisville, KY
Click here for details.

AWI Workshop at “Build
Boston”
”Wood & It’s Correct Use
in Interiors” Workshop #B62
November 14, 2007
Boston, MA
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Click here for details.

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AWI - AIA Form B 2007