A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members January 17, 2008
Association News

Put Your Best Image Forward – Update Your Company Profile by January 31

Thousands of woodworkers and suppliers will see your complimentary company listing in the 2008 edition of the AWI Membership Resource Directory.  It’s important that it be accurate and as detailed as possible to assure that potential business partners and suppliers have accurate information about your company.

Log into the AWI Web site, www.awinet.org, and check out your company profile.  All Manufacturing and Supplier Members in good standing are profiled and all will be listed in the 2008 AWI Membership Resource Directory.  Potential customers evaluate your business, in part, based on your profile.  Make sure your information is updated by January 31.  This year, data from your online profile will be downloaded directly from the AWI Web site and listed in the annual AWI “who’s who” reference guide of members.
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AWI Member Survey – Your Opportunity to Speak Out

Tell us what you think about AWI’s products, publications, and programs.  Your input is needed for AWI’s leadership to allocate funds and resources according to the rankings and ratings provided by AWI Manufacturers who respond to the annual member survey.  Follow the link in the e-mail sent to you on January 15. Cast your vote about AWI services that are important for your business. 

AWI also wants your input about the value of seminars for various levels of professionals in your business about issues affecting owners/executives, business managers, mid-level managers, production managers, and others on your team.  Your responses will influence the development of future AWI professional development courses. Please respond by February 15, 2008.

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Professional Development

New AutoCAD Course Debuts at AWI Winter Professional Development Program

Improving the process of drawing and preparing specifications for your architectural woodwork projects can get a lot easier! Learn how to Increase efficiency, reduce mistakes and add clarity to shop drawings by attending AWI’s new “AutoCAD for Woodworkers” course, during the AWI Winter Professional Development Program, February 27- March 1, 2008 in Orlando, FL.

Whether you outsource the drawing and specification preparation work or you do it in house, gain more understanding about the process and the advantages of AutoCAD, the Autodesk program.  AutoCAD simplifies interface with other applications and provides a workflow reference.  Simplify the drawing/specification process and enhance the training of competent users of this software.  Topics to be covered include: the qualities of a good shop drawing, the handoff meeting, submittals, management systems, redlines, revisions, resubmittals, and more.

Faculty includes Ron Sabetta, Resource Engineering, Inc., Tim Schramm, Hardline Corporation, and Craig Johnson, Principle Fixture & Millwork, who will also moderate the program.

Details are available on AWI’s Web site.  Check out the entire program of classic and cutting-edge seminars.  Register early and reserve hotel accommodations at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), FL in the heart of Walt Disney World!  Be there to build a better bottom line!

1. For more details about the program, click here.
2. To register, click here.  Registration closes February 15, 2008.
3.  To make hotel reservations at the special $169 rate, follow the link on the AWI Web site to contact the Royal Plaza Hotel directly.  The cut off date is February 8, 2008
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AWI Winter Professional Development Sponsorship Opportunities Open Until February 6

Reach the users and evaluators of your products and services on a daily basis.

Sponsors of the 2008 AWI Winter Professional Development Seminars, February 27 – March 1, 2008 in Orlando, FL, will gain corporate exposure among a select group of AWI member and prospective member manufacturing firms, design professionals, facility managers, building owners, business owners, project managers, estimators, drafters and drafting supervisors who will be participating.

Check out the package of sponsorship benefits, which includes exhibit space, for the $1,000 fee.  The deadline for sponsorship registration is February 6, 2008 to assure inclusion in printed materials and signage. Contact Cheryl Stratos at 703.212.7737 or by e-mail at cstratos@ias-online.net.
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Space Available for WCMA and Georgia Tech Plant Tour & CNC Technology Meeting

AWI members are invited to register for a Tour of Mills and the CNC Technology Meeting sponsored by the Wood Component Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and Georgia Tech, held in conjunction with the PanelWorld’s Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & EXPO, February 6-9, 2008 in Atlanta.  

The Georgia Tech / WCMA Tour of Mills and CNC Technology Meeting plant tour includes visits to several plants in the Atlanta area that produce both solid and engineered wood products.  If you are involved in panel processing and CNC machining, you should also explore attending the CNC Technology Meeting. 

For details about the plants on the Tour of Mills, click here.

For details about the CNC Technology Meeting, click here.

To register for these events by January 31, 2008, and make hotel reservations at the Omni Hotel, please visit the PanelWorld Web site at www.panelworldexpo.com.  The cut-off date for hotel reservations at the OMNI Hotel at discounted rates is January 18, 2008
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Industry News

Demand for Office Space Still High, But Past Peak

It’s a bit of good news and bad news.  The value of office construction starts is up; monthly starts have fallen in recent months.  Office construction is expected to increase by 12% in 2008 and 2009.

According to Building Design and Construction, the real estate industry anticipates continued high returns for office projects, but they have slipped to “above average” over the past 18 months.  For the regions and office vacancy rates, click here.
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Chinese Manufacturing Continues Drive in World Market

China appears to be moving to “value-added” production that is globally competitive, but just how are they doing it?  The Chinese government is providing “an emerging sector of privately operated Chinese companies with R&D grants, favorable bank credit and other incentives,” according to a U.S. News & World Report news item (1/14/08). 

The “China-direct” trend opens the door for more competition for shelf space among entrepreneurial U.S. companies already challenged.  A report by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said that “while ‘Chinese companies do face big obstacles,’ considering ‘China’s swift economic transformation, it’s not impossible to think that Chinese companies might one day dominate.’”  Chinese automakers, for instance, appear to be fearless about competition.  They plan to enter the market in 2009, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press (1/14/08).

Cost cutting continues to challenge China where safety takes a back seat.  According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (1/15/08 – subscription required), “the search for cheaper production means dirty industries are migrating to countries with few worker protections and lenient regulatory environments.”

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Worse and Worst Case Scenarios for the Economy

While the housing slump has helped to drive the economy down in the pits, the worst case is in view, says the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The group’s current forecast shows a “20% decline in total housing starts this year, on the heels of an estimated 25% reduction in 2007;” however, an upturn before mid-2008 is in sight. 

For NAHB’s insight about the weakened economy, employment growth, prospects for further – and more aggressive – Federal Reserve adjustments, see NAHB’s most recent e-news.
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Woodwork Career Alliance Welcomes Another AWI Chapter Contribution

The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) has welcomed the AWI Chicago Chapter to its distinguished group of contributors that are helping it meet the terms of a $92,000 matching grant from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service for development of wood industry skill standards. 

Thanks go to the chapter for its donation of $1,000.  Contributions from four AWI chapters now total $6,801. They join the national association sponsors who are supporting this industry-wide effort.

All donations are welcome and important for assisting the WCA in fulfilling the terms of the matching grant.  Contact Greg Heuer at gheuer@awinet.org to make a donation.
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In the Chapters

AWI St. Louis Chapter Evolves Into New AWI Missouri – Illinois Chapter

Election of new officers of the former AWI St. Louis Chapter is contributing to the evolution of the new AWI Missouri – Illinois Chapter that will conduct a kick-off gathering on March 19, 2008.  (See details in Chapter Events Ahead section below.)

AWI Missouri – Illinois Chapter officers are:

President: Bill Croghan, Architectural Millwork of St. Louis (AMSL)
Vice President: Philip Cohen, Cohen Architectural Woodworking
Secretary: Karen Duree, Architectural Millwork of St. Louis
Treasurer: Laurie Fromm, Classic Woodworking, Inc.

In a letter to former Chapter President Laurie Fromm, Bill Croghan, President & CEO of AMSL, said, “I feel that the AWI should be the core resource for its membership from which members acquire insight as well as unifying equitable knowledge for opportunity.”
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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 Ohio Valley, Empire State, Central Pennsylvania, Chicago, and Missouri-Illinois Chapters are planning.

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: January 18, 2008
What: Business Meeting and Luncheon
Where: Columbus, IN
More Information:  Click here for meeting agenda, program and chapter plans, and registration, or call 502.459.8710

AWI Empire State Chapter
When: January 24, 2008
What: Hardwood +LEED® = Sustainability Success
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialties
Where: Syracuse, NY
More Information: Click here for program information and registration details or call 607.656.7563.
Registration: $65, Chapter Members; $85 Non-Members.  Deadline for registration was January 4, 2008.

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: January 31, 2008 (2:00 – 4:00 pm)
What: Installation Clinic – Presentation & Open Forum
Presenter: Brian Ebersole, Bersole Brothers Construction
Where: Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Registration: $30, Chapter/AWI Members; $50, Non-Chapter/Non-AWI Members.  Deadline for registration was December 19, 2007.
Questions: Garry Astles, Chapter President, gastles@northwayind.com

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: January 31, 2008
What: Webinar on “Green” issues
More Information: Call Ed Shavitz at 847.516.5737, ext. 14

AWI Missouri-Illinois Chapter
When: March 19, 2008
What: LEED® / Green Sustainable Program
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialties
More Information: Call Karen Duree, AMSL, at 314.524.0602

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: May 14, 2008
What: Plant Tour of Cain Millwork
Where: Rochelle, IL
More Information: Call Homer Lathrop or Don Lupa at 815.561.9700

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Member News

Biesse Appoints David Lillard to Sales Team

Biesse America, manufacturer of high-tech woodworking machinery and systems, recently added industry veteran David Lillard to its sales team. As a Key Account Project Manager, Lillard will lead sales and customer relations efforts throughout the Southeast and South Central U.S. He will also serve as a Product Area Manager for Biesse’s Selco line for the same territories as well as some states within the Midwest region. Lillard has more than 20 years experience in the woodworking industry, with particular expertise in application solutions for flat-panel processing, process flow, and the integration of new technologies into existing manufacturing processes.  Biesse America has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1995. 

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Safety Matters

Safety Tip Challenge: Prizes Offered for Best Job Safety Tips 

Seeking safety tips from AWI Manufacturing Members, including employees of AWI member firms...enter your tips in the Safety Tip Challenge.  Encourage your employees to submit safety tips – get them involved!

How it works:  Each quarter, the AWI Safety Committee is reviewing and selecting the best submittals to date. Each submittal remains in the competition for the entire year, so all entries have an equal opportunity for review each quarter. (Quarterly winners are excluded from future consideration). The AWI Safety Committee reviews and judges all entries and selects the winners; all judging decisions are final.

Prizes:  Each winner receives a beautiful Starrett Model S909Z combination square valued at almost $300, compliments of the AWI Safety Committee and our partner in risk management, CNA Insurance.

Click here to enter the Safety Tip Challenge.

AWI Manufacturing Members are encouraged to post in their shops the “Safety Tip Challenge” flyer enclosed with the January issue of AWI NewsBriefs.  Invite employees to participate; they could win a prize, and tips submitted could help you maximize safety on the job AND limit your insurance costs.  Safety pays!
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published February 6, 2008. 
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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.

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