A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members May 9, 2008
Association News

AWI Offers New Incentive to Participate in CODBS; You Could Win!

Completing the 2008 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey (CODBS) has become even more profitable this year.  Complete the survey by Thursday, May 15, 2008, and your company will be entered in the CODBS drawing for a $500 prize. 

This unique financial tool for measuring your operating costs, compensation levels and benefits packages is useful for improving your company’s financial performance.  Isn’t your bottom line, important enough to participate: 1) to become eligible for cash prize; and 2) receive a CD-ROM with your company’s financial data for use immediately for comparing your firm’s profits, sales, profits, salaries, costs and more with regional and national industry averages?

What Members Are Saying

Time spent completing the survey has been reduced by up to 40% due to reductions of the reporting lines.  “AWI Manufacturing Members should get their internal and external accountants involved in completing the survey.  The new streamlined reporting system for 2008 is far simpler than in previous years.  It is worth the investment of time and the unique benefits for participants provide a resource for use throughout the year,” said Scott Nelson of Central Plains Millwork.

Bruce Spitz of Classic Millwork and Products, Inc. encourages smaller companies to take the time to participate. The data is held in strict confidence by Inverra, the survey company.  “Regardless, there are very few industry secrets,” Bruce says.
 
Dean Rummel of TMI Systems Design Corporation has more to say about the CODB Survey and Report.  Watch and hear what he says about its value and how you can maximize the return on your investment of time completing the survey.  A video link will appear soon on the AWI Web site.  AWI will alert you when it is ready for viewing.

Click here for more details and instructions about data submission.  And, watch for the May issue of AWI NewsBriefs coming to your mailbox mid-month with more reasons to participate.  The 2008 CODB Survey period closes on June 1, 2008.
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Seeking Business Exposure? All AWI Manufacturing Members Eligible for AOE Honors

The deadline for submission in the Spring AWI “Award of Excellence” Program is May 15, 2008, less than one week away.  Become one of the many honorees whose architectural woodwork projects are featured in quarterly issues of Design Solutions, AWI’s official journal! 

Show off your outstanding project to architects and design professionals who may be searching for your kind of expertise and creativity. Click here for details and submission forms. Any member of the project team may apply for an AOE as long as the woodworker is an AWI Manufacturing Member.

Pictured here is one of the winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects in the winter 2008 AWI “Award of Excellence” competition – Bearing Point Office Space featuring elegant Maple wall paneling with Bloodwood accent band in the reception entrance.  The woodwork was fabricated by Legere Group Ltd. of Avon, CT.

Photo Credit: Suticha Mungkornkarn
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Twiellenmeier Award Nomination Period Opens: Entries Due by August 1, 2008

Is there a candidate within your AWI chapter who has exhibited superior leadership and services to the chapter, AWI and the woodworking industry?  Potential eligible nominees are current or immediate past presidents of AWI chapters.

The Twiellenmeier Award is named in honor of the late Claude Twiellenmeier, a founding father and Past President of AWI (1957-1958).  The recipient of a handsome plaque will also be awarded with $150 for the chapter. 

For details about eligibility and submission forms, visit the AWI Web site in the “Members Only” section.  Submissions are due by August 1, 2008.  Contact Teresa McCain, if you have questions. Judging of the nominees will be conducted by the AWI Chapter Development Committee.

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Professional Development

Save the Date for 2008 Annual AWI Fall Leadership Event

Mark your calendar for October 1-4, 2008 when AWI will head to Providence, RI, for an insightful leadership program featuring a presentation about LEED®, a preview discussion of the joint industry standards under development, a keynote speaker, and much more. 

Join fellow architectural woodworkers to fine-tune leadership skills, gain insights about AWI and industry developments that affect your business, and secure ideas about best practices in the industry that help firms operate more cost-efficiently and profitably. A number of AWI awards will be presented during the event to recognize outstanding accomplishments among the AWI membership.  And plan for some quality networking time on historical tours, culinary tours, and an international yacht restoration tour.

The new AWI Fall Leadership Event is sure to please.  The event will take place at the Westin Providence hotel in the city’s downtown area near many fine restaurants.  AWI members will receive a group rate of $159 for hotel accommodations.  Take a peak at the site by clicking here.
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Green Scene

National Green Building Standard Nears Completion

The National Green Building Standard is on its way to becoming the national standard for green building, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), its author.

The standard has been submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for approval. Submission to ANSI is the last hurdle for the new standard and the end of a long and demanding process for the standard’s consensus committee. Over 3,000 public comments were submitted for consideration during public hearings, meetings and more. 

“The National Green Building Standard is expected to be the only green building rating system accredited by ANSI,” the NAHB said.  The standard is expected to be introduced on May 11-13, at the National Green Building Conference in New Orleans. 

For more details, click here.
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Safety Matters

Bruce Cody Wins Quarterly Safety Tip Challenge

AWI Past President (1999-2000) Bruce Cody of Architectural Wood, Roanoke, VA, has won the AWI Safety Tip Challenge for the first quarter of 2008 for his outstanding idea of launching an AWI Safety Awareness Week in conjunction with AWI’s founding on June 5, 1953.

AWI Safety Tip Challenge Award Chair Robert L. Stout advised Bruce that his idea was the best of our membership’s many online entries.  The prize for the winning tip is a new Starrett Model S909Z Precision Measuring Tool Set. 

See news below about the celebrations that begin June 2, 2008.
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AWI Safety Awareness Week, June 2-6, 2008: Plan to Recognize Safety on the Job

Workplace Safety is No Accident – Safety Pays! That’s the theme of AWI Safety Awareness Week, June 2-6, 2008. "Join the celebration," said AWI Insurance & Safety Committee Chair, Teresa Bell of Kentucky Millwork. “Check your safety savvy rating when you see the great news, facts and resources that come your way that week,” she said.

Watch for news about the contest that kicks off the five days of e-mails and AWI Web site links that begin June 2.  “Plan to make ‘Safety Pay’ during AWI Safety Awareness Week, June 2-6, 2008.  Join the daily festivities and plan now to call attention to safety each day that week to invigorate your safety program,” Teresa said.
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Enter the Safety Tip Challenge; Win a Prize for Best Job Safety Tip 

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!

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.

Post the attached “Safety Tip Challenge” flyer in your shop.  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. The flyer details how the Safety Tips Challenge works.  Safety pays!
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Regulatory Issues

ASA Says DHS Misrepresents Costs of Immigration Rule to Employers

In comments submitted April 25, 2008, the American Subcontractors Association, Inc. (ASA) told the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the agency’s latest proposal to transform employers into enforcers of federal immigration law grossly misrepresents the costs and burdens on employers.

The Supplemental Proposed Rule (SPR) on Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter not only understates the costs of compliance and the time employers would have to invest, ASA said, but it also “is being promulgated in violation of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).”

Under the no-match rule, an employer would have to follow certain steps after receiving either a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that an employee’s name does not match the Social Security number on file, or a notice of fraudulent documents from DHS. While DHS denies that the no-match rule represents a change in policy, the rule would replace the current system of verifying documents and completing I-9 forms with a series of steps involving new communications and requirements for employers and employees. They include:

  • Checking for clerical errors after receiving a no-match notice, and confirming any clerical corrections with SSA or DHS within 30 calendar days.
  • Sending employees who are the subject of a no-match letter to the local SSA office and then following up with DHS or SSA to ensure a match if the problem is not caused by a clerical error. The employer must maintain a record of any such verification.
  • Completing a new I-9 with a new SSN and a photo ID within 93 calendar days if the no-match is neither clerical nor corrected by the employee. The employer would have to terminate the employee if this step did not resolve the no-match.

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South Carolina Supreme Court Says Subs Can Sue When Required Payment Bonding is Missing

The South Carolina Supreme Court handed down a ruling last month that paves the way for a new and important payment right for subcontractors that work on public projects.

“The legal victory came through a consolidated decision the Supreme Court made March 24 with respect to two cases, both dealing with whether a subcontractor that has not been paid for its work on a public project can recover damages directly from a governmental entity that failed to ensure that the prime contractor furnished the required payment bond,” the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) reported.
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In the Chapters

Chapter News

AWI chapters are on the move.  Check out recent activities of the AWI Great Lakes and the AWI Texas Chapters.  Learn more about progress being made, such as new Web sites, successful programs, elections, and other chapter news.

New Web Site
The AWI Great Lakes Chapter launched its new Web site on April 28 featuring a new layout and easy navigation.  The chapter has also created a page for architects and owners about the benefits of the AWI Quality Certification Program. Check out the site at www.awigreatlakes.org.  Contact chapter president, Chuck Cady, at 231.929.2140 x23 if you have any suggestions for additional enhancements.  He invites comments and criticism.

Events
This is the 10th year that the AWI Texas Chapter (TAWI) has sponsored and run the Cabinetmaking Competition for the Texas SkillsUSA. TAWI donated the first place prize, an all expense paid trip to the SkillsUSA National contest in Kansas City valued at $1500.  Winners of the Texas SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition received college scholarships of $1500 for 1st place, $1000 for 2nd place, and $500 for 3rd place, contributed by the TAWI, which also donated over $3000 in attendance prizes for the contestants.

Jim Kollaja of Imperial Mill & Fixtures, Inc., Tech Chair for the contest from the AWI Texas Chapter (far left), congratulates the winners of the Texas SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition at the awards ceremony: (second from the left to the right) 2nd Place - Ben Wilde, San Antonio Mac Arthur HS; 1st Place - Javier Hinojosa, Brownsville Hanna HS; and 3rd Place - Blake Greenfield, Abilene HS.

The Cabinetmaking Competition attracted 10 high school contestants from across Texas. The students used table saws, Mitre saws and power tools to construct a cabinet from scratch, and were scored on a variety of competencies including blueprint reading, math skills, craftsmanship and workplace safety. Support for the competition is totally industry driven and underscores the serious need for woodworkers and other building trade workers. Over the past 10 years TAWI has awarded over $40,000 in prizes and $4500 in college scholarships to the Texas SkillsUSA. Technical Chairman for the contest was Jim Kollaja. Skills contest judges were Bill Donnelly and Mark Middleton, both from Louis and Company; Kevin Stone, Maverick Door; Tom Klar, Roddis Lumber; and Dessa Dzubak, ML Campbell. TAWI is an industrial member of Texas SkillsUSA.  Visit TAWI at texasawi.com.
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Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Wisconsin, Great Lakes, Carolinas and Chicago Chapters are planning.

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.

Forest Products Society - Great Lakes Section
When:
  May 13, 2008
What: “Green 2008 & Beyond”
Presenters: Include several AWI Great Lakes Chapter members
Where:  Holiday Inn, Lansing, MI
Cost: $135 FPS Members; $35 Students
Information: Alan at Applegate@paladinind.com, 616.698.7495

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: May 16, 2008
What: “All About OSHA” – what to expect from an OSHA inspection, how to prepare for one, and how to deal with the aftermath of an inspection
Presenter: Representative of Builders Mutual Insurance Company
Where: Kingston Plantation, www.kingstonplantation.com
Registration: Call 843.499.0006

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: May 21, 2008
What: Plant Tour of Pierce Laminated Products, Inc. and ONSITE, Inc.
Where: Rockford, IL
Information: Call Homer Lathrop or Don Lupa at 815.561.9700

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: June 5, 2008 (Tee-off at 11:15 am)
What: Golf Outing
Where: St. Andrews Golf Club, West Chicago, IL
Registration: Discounted registration ends May 16, 2008.  Details attached. Click here for a registration form.
Sponsorships: Click here for details.
Information: Ned Thompson at nedthomp@thompsonfinishing.com or call 773.522.3633; Ed Schavitz at cuied@yahoo.com or call 847.417.1626;  Visit www.awichicago.org.

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: August 7, 2008
What: Golf Outing
Where: Kettle Moraine Golf Club, Dousman, WI
Registration:  Click here for fee information
Information: Jim Reiter at 800.236.6324; visit awiwi.org 
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Industry News

Study Finds FSC Certificated Forest Experiences Less Deforestation

A new Rainforest Alliance study has found that forest concessions managed in compliance with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards have seen fewer wildfires and less deforestation in the Maya Biosphere Reserve of Guatemala’s northern Peten region compared with other areas.

Nearly two decades ago, the Rainforest Alliance pioneered the strategy of using market forces to conserve forests knowing that economic incentives are key to protecting biodiversity and curbing deforestation,” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “These findings confirm that communities will indeed manage their land responsibly rather than destroy it if it makes economic sense to do so. In this case, that incentive is a market for responsibly harvested timber and non-timber forest products.”

To view the study results, visit the Rainforest Alliance Web site.
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published May 22, 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.

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