A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members June 19, 2008
Association News

AWI Forming Fifth Best Practice Group – Participants Invited

With four Best Practice Groups (BPGs) in operation, AWI Manufacturing Member interest in this unique management mentoring vehicle is spawning the formation of another BPG.  Find out how you can tap into this management resource.

AWI Best Practice Groups enable non-competitive AWI Manufacturing Members to network with other business owners and gain mentoring support from members of the group.  To sign up for Best Practice Group #5, contact AWI Executive Vice President Phil Duvic for more information.  Phil can be reached by phone at 571.323.3621 or at pduvic@awinet.org.  Applicants will be placed in the group only with non-competing firms.

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Get the Business with AWI AOE Honors

Become one of the many AWI “Award of Excellence” honorees whose architectural woodwork projects are featured in quarterly issues of Design Solutions, AWI’s official journal! The AOE Honors Program can open the door to potential new business.  The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly AOE honors is August 15, 2008.

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 “Award of Excellence” as long as the woodworker is an AWI Manufacturing Member.  The benefits to AOE honorees are now more extensive than ever since the debut of Design Solutions online. Click here to view the spring issue; it’s open for business 24/7. 

Pictured here is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects in the winter AWI “Award of Excellence”quarterly competition – the Telcordia Technologies Customer Briefing Center. The large circular demonstration unit featuring curved casework was fabricated by Somerset Wood Products Company of Somerville, NJ. 

Photo Credit: Don Pearse, Westchester, PA

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Industry News

The Good and the Bad

The institutional sector of the design-build industry is fairing better than others, according to the May Architecture Billings Index (ABI) published by the American Institute of Architects. But, conditions are not so good for new construction.

Overall, the ABI fell two points in May, which AIA says is prolonging the downturn in design activity at architecture firms.  “Right now things are especially hard in the west and in the commercial and multifamily residential sectors. This weakness in design activity can be expected to produce a contraction in these construction sectors later this year and into 2009,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.

Meanwhile, despite the ailing housing industry, which is affecting the overall economy, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that multifamily housing starts jumped 8.2% in April.  According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, builder confidence dipped in May. As for consumer confidence, it declined to a 16-year low, according to The Conference Board.

The U.S. Treasury Department reports that the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage lenders, servicers and counselors, is working to streamline efforts to help struggling borrowers.
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Safety Matters

2008 Annual Safety Awards Program Open for Submissions

AWI Manufacturing Members have until July 1 to submit applications for the 2008 AWI/CNA Safety Awards Program.  Find out if you are eligible to win. 

Those AWI Manufacturing Members who had strong safety records in 2007 have an excellent chance at winning an award. Participate in this prestigious program and emphasize the importance of safety in your shop. The safety awards will be presented during the AWI Fall Leadership Event in Providence, Rhode Island on October 1-4.

Submitting your data is easy and held in strict confidentiality.  The minimum eligibility requirements are listed on the AWI safety Web site.  Follow the online submission instructions to complete your entry in less than 10 minutes.
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Prizes Offered for Safety Tip Challenge Winners: Third Quarter Submissions Now Being Accepted

AWI is 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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New Fact Sheet Available on Safety and Health Management Systems

"Effective Workplace Safety and Health Management Systems" is the latest in a series of fact sheets on various topics that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) produces for employers and employees.

This new fact sheet pinpoints OSHA's resources for helping employers design a safety and health management system (SHMS). It also provides a checklist of action items for each SHMS element.
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Professional Development

AWI Adopt-a-Shop Success Stories Sought

Another AWI chapter success story in Michigan made the news in the June issue of AWI NewsBriefs.  The Michigan Career & Technical Institute (MCTI) in Plainwell won the coveted “Educator of the Year Award” in 2007 bestowed by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association.  Find out how your AWI chapter can develop a successful Adopt-a-Shop program.

Read all about the school’s success and the Adopt-a-Shop support given to the MCTI by Stiles Machinery and the AWI Great Lakes Chapter on page two of the June issue of AWI NewsBriefs.

If you have a success story, tell us about how your organization or chapter works with a local school to support an architectural workforce of tomorrow.  Contact AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org to alert her about your program.  To start your own Adopt-a-Shop program with a local school, contact AWI Board of Directors member Steve Waltman, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Stiles Machinery, Inc., at swaltman@stilesmachinery.com.  It’s easy.
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Member News

Granite Mill Named Utah’s Best Manufacturing, Production Company

Granite Mill, which has more than a century of experience designing, building and restoring custom woodwork and furniture for many of the Intermountain West’s most prominent buildings and homes, has received the Best of State’s most prestigious honor, the Best of State Statue, in the category of Manufacturing and Production.

Granite Mill joins only nine other companies or individuals from hundreds of nominees in Utah to receive a Best of State Statue in 2008.  Granite Mill also was awarded a Best of State Medal in the subcategory of Fixtures and Furniture. Approximately 160 medals in various subcategories were awarded. 

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Granite Mill was founded in 1907.  It is one of the oldest and longest family operated companies in the Intermountain West. More information about Granite Mill is available at www.granitemill.com.  Granite Mill has been an AWI Manufacturing Member since 1953.

The Best of State Awards are given to individuals, businesses and organizations that excel in their endeavors, use innovative approaches or methods, and contribute to a better quality of life in Utah.
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In the Chapters

Chapter News

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

Special Presentations
Jim Hamilton, Jr. of the AWI Virginia Chapter will be making a presentation on July 23 for Clark Nexsen Architecture / Engineering.  His educational program will focus on the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI).  About 40 to 50 people are expected to attend.  These kinds of chapter programs help educate the design-build community about the standards to which fine architectural woodwork conforms.

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Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Central Pennsylvania and Wisconsin 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.

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: July 16, 2008
What: Golf Outing (8:30 am registration starts) & Dinner
Where: Cross Gates Golf Club, Millersville, PA
Registration: Click here for fee information; the deadline is July 10.
Information:  Garry Astles at gastles@northwayind.com

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When:
July 18, 2008
What: Golf Outing (8:00 am registration starts)
Where: Legendary Run Golf Course, Cincinnati, OH
Registration: Click here for fee information
Information: Tracy at tracy@louisvillelumber.com

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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Regulatory Issues

Two Government Agencies Propose Mandatory E-Verify Use on Federal Projects

An Executive Order issued on June 9 by President Bush directed federal agencies to require their contractors to use the federal E-Verify system. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would require certain contractors and subcontractors to use the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify system to verify that their employees are eligible to work in the U.S.

The agencies that filed the rule are the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council.  According to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), the proposal to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation would insert a clause in prime contracts for federal construction requiring contractors to:

  • Enroll in E-Verify within 30 calendar days of contract award. 
  • Use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of all employees assigned to the contract within 30 days of contract award. 
  • Verify the employment eligibility of new employees assigned to the contract within three days.
  • Flow down the same requirements to all subcontracts on the project that exceed $3,000.

For more details about the online E-Verify system, which is currently voluntary, click here.  To review the proposed rule, click here for a copy that appeared in the Federal Register on June 12, 2008.  Comments from interested parties are due August 11, 2008.
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U.S. District Court Blocks Controversial Oklahoma Immigration Law

Companies doing business in Oklahoma may get a reprieve from a controversial state immigration law that was due to become effective on June 4. 

“In the ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Robin J. Cauthron said that it is very likely that the state’s law unconstitutionally interferes with the federal authority to regulate the employment of unauthorized workers,” the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) reported. The law required employers that did business with the state to use the federal E-Verify system for checking and determining whether prospective employees were authorized to work in the U.S. “It also increased penalties on, and terminated the contracts of, businesses that knowingly employed unauthorized workers,” ASA reported.

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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published July 3, 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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