A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members July 3, 2008
Professional Development

Woodwork Career Alliance to Reveal Skill Standards Progress, Sample Work

On August 21, 2008 during IWF 2008™, the Woodwork Career Alliance will update AWI members about its “Wood Manufacturing Skill Standards, Evaluations & Credentials” initiative. The update will be complemented by a press conference for the media earlier that day.  

Mark your calendar for August 21, 2008 from 3:00 – 3:30 pm to hear an industry update from the President of WCA, Scott Nelson; woodworker Glenn Wirgau; and educator Jerry Finch. Attendees will receive a copy of the Skill Standards sample book, and an invitation to participate in the writing and pilot testing of the new standards.  The event will take place in Room B306 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Earlier that day, WCA will conduct a Press Conference from 9:30 – 9:45 am to update members of the trade publication press about the Skill Standards.  The Press Conference will also be held in Room B306.  Press professionals will receive a quick update on the program and the progress of the standards writing, plus a press kit. The kit will include the new WCA logo, long and short new releases, a sample of the Skill Standards sample book, and a CD of appropriate graphic images for use in creating their stories.
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Registration Opens for 2008 Annual AWI Fall Leadership Event

Save the date, choose from a variety of events, and register early for the 2008 Annual AWI Fall Leadership Event, October 1-4, 2008 in Providence, RI.  Registration is open now.  Sign up for the business sessions on critical topics, a product fair, a host of historic and cultural tours, and networking opportunities in one of the America’s leading historic and cultural cities.

Join fellow AWI Manufacturing and Supplier members.  Gather with chapter leaders.  Meet with leadership peers among the AWI community of members.  Make new contacts and cultivate friendships among successful businessmen who will gather for this event.

To learn more about the program, click here.  To register for the AWI Fall Leadership Event, click here.  Accommodations are available at the Westin Providence hotel.
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AWI LEED® Podcasts Updated, Easily Accessible on Any Computer

AWI’s new podcasts introduced in April 2008 about the fundamentals of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council have been updated as smaller Flash technology files so that AWI members working from any computer can easily view the mini “quick learn” videos.

The twelve (12) episodes presented by Margaret Fisher cover the parts of LEED® most important to the woodwork manufacturer. Each program is short (typically between 8-12 minutes), informative, and to-the-point. A written summary of the topics covered in each episode precedes the video.  Click here to learn about LEED® for Woodworkers, another member service of AWI.
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Association News

AWI Incorporates “Town Hall” Meeting into Reception at IWF 2008™

The International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair – USA®, August 20-23, 2008 in Atlanta, GA, will bring together AWI members for important updates about industry developments that will significantly impact the business of architectural woodwork. Mark your calendar for August 21, 2008 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

The AWI Reception on August 21 will feature a new format for this traditional AWI member networking event.  During the reception AWI volunteer members will moderate a “Town Hall” meeting by giving updates and answering questions about the Joint Standard and Skill Standards.

The AWI reception and “Town Hall” Meeting will take place in Room A412A at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how two major industry developments will affect the way you do business in the future.

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AWI to Survey Members’ Understanding and Needs about “Green” Issues

Help us help you better understand and respond to the growing trend in sustainable building.  On July 7, AWI will launch a “LEED® Awareness & Needs Survey” in which all Manufacturing Members are invited to participate.

Data collected will enable AWI to ascertain current participation and knowledge of sustainable construction, identify the “green” building issues that are critical for members, and determine the information and training needed to help members maximize participation in the sustainable movement. 

More AWI member suppliers and manufacturers are being asked to participate in sustainable building by providing materials that qualify.  Forest certification systems are becoming more prominent, and AWI members are requested to provide certain materials in accordance with complicated requirements.

Tell AWI about your relevant experiences and concerns.  Watch for an e-mail launching this quick and simply survey on July 7.  Your response is important.
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New AWI Membership Resource Directory Lists over 1,300 Businesses

Open the 2008 AWI Membership Resource Directory that reached your desk at the end of June and you will find 240 pages of business contacts in the AWI community of members.

The annual “who’s who” reference guide of AWI Manufacturing and Supplier Members is a “go-to” resource of potential partners and suppliers of equipment and services for use throughout the year.  The directory contains vital information about Manufacturing and Supplier Members that is also listed in the online directory of AWI members at www.awinet.org.  The 2008 printed resource also lists AWI leadership, chapter presidents, committee chairs, and staff.

Make sure you keep your contact information updated and correct your listing online in the password-protected “Members Only” section.  The online directory of AWI Manufacturing and Supplier Members is open for business 24/7.
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AWI Announces CODBS Prize Winner

OGB Architectural Woodwork is the proud recipient of a $500 prize for participating in the Annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey by May 15.  Participation was up this yea.  AWI thanks all new and returning participants. 

As a survey participant, OGB Architectural Woodwork also will receive a complimentary CD-ROM pre-loaded with the company’s personal financial data for automatic comparisons with industry averages by multiple criteria, including sales, salaries, profits, and more. 

The final CODB Report will be released by August 15th. This is the last year that non-participating AWI Manufacturing Members will receive the survey results as a benefit of membership in AWI.  Beginning next year, non-participating AWI Manufacturing Members will receive an Executive Summary free of charge, while participants will continue to receive complimentary copies of the electronic and print versions of the survey results. Non-participating members will have an opportunity to purchase the full report at a special AWI Manufacturing Member price.
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Industry News

Transportation Costs Drive Some Factories to Rethink Overseas Production

As the global economy changes so does the way manufacturers do business.  The long distances separating the off-shore manufacturing and production process from sales markets are driving some companies to bring business back to the U.S.  With costs of transportation and raw materials increasing, the profit equation is not what it used to be. 

An article in The Wall Street Journal on June 13 noted that the cost of doing business in China is increasing the cost of its products in the U.S.  The rising cost of oil to transport products, higher wages abroad, and increasing environmental controls due to global pressure are factors.

To learn more, visit The Wall Street Journal Online. (Subscription required).  Check out the article, “Stung by Soaring Transport Costs, Factories Bring Jobs Home Again” on page one of the June 13th edition.
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Signs of Steady Nonresidential Building Construction?

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $557.8 billion, new construction starts in May were essentially unchanged from April, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Nonresidential building in May registered a particularly strong performance.

During the first five months of 2008, total construction on an unadjusted basis was reported at $228.3 billion, down 14% from the same period a year ago. If residential building is excluded from the year-to-date comparison, new construction starts in the first five months of 2008 increased 7%.

McGraw-Hill Construction reported that on the institutional side of the nonresidential market, the educational building category increased 14% in May.  Healthcare facilities in May grew 8%, topping the strong volume that was reported in April. Church construction in May advanced 21%, although its level of construction remains lackluster compared to mid-decade, and modest growth was reported for dormitories (up 5%), and public buildings (up 3%).

Click here for the full story.
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Business Resource

Common Sources of Errors in Cost Estimating

A list of 19 errors commonly found in construction cost estimating is a useful checklist for double-checking estimates.  

Check out the list in BuilderSpace.com that includes such errors as taking wrong measurements from plans and specs, insufficient or excessive allowances for labor, including poorly maintained machinery or equipment, failure to consider quality of workmanship required, and 15 more.
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Safety Matters

2008 AWI/CNA Safety Awards Submission Period Closed

Submissions for the 2008 Safety Awards Program co-sponsored by AWI and CNA, its insurance safety partner, closed on July 1. Forty-six submissions were even with those in 2007.

Honorees will be recognized on October 4, 2008 during the 2008 Annual AWI Fall Leadership Event, October 1-4, 2008 in Providence, RI.   An Annual Awards Luncheon will place a spotlight on safety and those AWI Manufacturing Members who have made safety a top priority in their shops in 2007. 
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Investing in Safety Pays for OSHA SHARP Program Certified Companies

Certification in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA) “Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)” can offer a huge return on a company’s investment. An integrated forest products company reports that it saved over $1 million in five years by working with the OSHA On-site Consultation Program.

The SHARP program recognizes small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system.   For more details about how Anthony Forest Products saved over $1 million by investing $50,000 in safety and health, click here.

For information on free safety and health evaluations for your small business, visit OSHA's On-site Consultation Program Web page to learn more about how this program can help protect employees and lower workers' compensation costs.

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Prizes Offered for Safety Tip Challenge Winners: Third Quarter Submissions Invited

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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Member News

Microvellum Demonstrates Commitment to Schools

On May 15, Microvellum, Inc. announced the donation of its full software suit to Washougal High School in Washougal, WA. The $102,000 donation was made in May as part of Microvellum’s continued support of woodworking education.

Microvellum’s Software Donation Program provides eligible schools with the tools needed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to further their proficiency in the designing and manufacturing of wood products, providing them with a head start in today’s competitive market.

Visit Microvellum, an AWI Supplier Member since 2004, at www.microvellum.com.  Microvellum is also a Level 2 AWI Sponsor.
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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Central Pennsylvania, Ohio Valley, 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

IRS Increases Mileage Rates through December 31, 2008 

On June 23, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2008. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

The rate will increase to 58.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008. This is an increase of eight (8) cents from the 50.5 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2008, as set forth in Rev. Proc. 2007-70.

In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2008. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.

The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by eight (8) cents to 27 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2008. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile.

The new rates are contained in Announcement 2008-63 on the optional standard mileage rates.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published July 17, 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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UPCOMING 

IWF 2008™
Aug. 20-23, 2008
Atlanta, GA
AWI Registration 
AWI Housing Block

AWI Booth
Aug. 20-23, 2008
#A429 – exhibit hours

Skill Standards
Industry Conference
Aug.  21, 2008
3:00 – 3:30 pm
Room B306

AWI Reception &
“Town Hall” Meeting

Aug. 21, 2008
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Room A412A

“Marketing for
Woodworkers"
Aug. 23, 2008
IWF Session
Sponsored by AWI

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2008 Annual AWI Fall
Leadership Event
Oct. 1-4, 2008

Westin Providence
Providence, RI
Click here to register. 

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