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

AWI “Green” Issues Survey Elicits Excellent Response, Feedback

Response by AWI Manufacturing Members in the past ten days to AWI’s “LEED® Awareness & Needs Survey” has been amazing.  In fact, over 140 members have completed the survey since its launch on July 7.  But, we would like to hear from more AWI Manufacturing Members no later than August 8. 

Help us help you better understand and respond to the growing trend in sustainable building.  Data collected from the “LEED® Awareness & Needs Survey” 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.

Tell AWI about your relevant experiences and concerns.  Click here to participate in this online survey which closes on August 8.
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AWI Honorary Life Member Nominations Open until August 11

AWI is currently requesting nominations for the high distinction of Honorary Life Member.

If you know of individuals who have contributed exemplary service to the association, its members, and AWI’s Mission, submit your nomination by August 11, 2008.

Click here for qualification information and the current list of Honorary Life Members.  Online submission is quick and simple. Honorary Life Members receive an attractive package of AWI membership benefits for life!  Check them out and recognize your worthy peers by nominating them for an Honorary Life Membership in AWI.  Honorary Life Memberships will be awarded at the AWI Annual Fall Leadership Event in Providence, RI, October 1-4, 2008.
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AWI “Award of Excellence” Program Open for Submissions until August 15

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. Meanwhile, check out one of the spring AOE projects.

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 current issue online; it’s open for business 24/7. 

Pictured here is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects in the spring AWI “Award of Excellence” quarterly competition – The General Electric Monogram Experience Center, a 9,000 square foot complex designed to showcase the latest innovations of the brand.  Kentucky Millwork of Louisville fabricated the millwork, including this area in the entryway where the first element seen is a stile and rail saw-tooth wall. It adds a “wow” factor to the foyer. 
Photo Credit: Power Creative, Louisville, KY
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Professional Development

AWI Fall Leadership Event Features Tours Galore

While you are in Providence, RI for the 2008 Annual AWI Fall Leadership Event, October 1-4, 2008, provocative business sessions on critical topics that affect the future of your business will be supplemented by industry plant tours and historical and cultural attractions. Take a look at what’s in store for you.

Click here to learn more about the business program, featuring:

  • “The New Architectural Woodwork Standard: Changing the Way You Do Business” Workshop 
  • LEED® Seminar presented by Margaret Sanders
  • LEAN Manufacturing Workshop hosted by AWI New England Chapter
  • Industry Plant Tours of Tyco Fire & Building Products, Millwork One, and Monarch Industries, Inc.
  • Keynote address by Jack Lannom, internationally renowned speaker, author and consultant to Fortune 500 companies
  • Product Fair featuring AWI Supplier Members

The Providence area abounds with local attractions, like the Yacht Restoration School pictured here.  The school is situated on a 2.5 acre historic waterfront site in downtown Newport, RI, a short distance from Providence.

Click here to register for the AWI Fall Leadership Event.  Accommodations are available at the Westin Providence hotel. Make your reservations online at www.awinet.org.   Networking opportunities and a host of cultural and historic tours round out this event you won’t want to miss.
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Second Matching Grant Received for Ongoing Skill Standards Initiative

In 2009, the AWI Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) will be entering another year supported by a second grant of $92,000 from the USDA Forest Service.  The matching grant will help finance the ongoing development of the “Wood Manufacturing Skills Standards, Evaluations & Credentials Project.”

At the upcoming IWF 2008™ the WCA will provide an update about the progression of the Skill Standards project, introduce samples of the Skill Standards modules drafted to date, and show off its new logo. See pages two and four of the July issue of AWI NewsBriefs for more details when it arrives in your mailbox next week.

Meanwhile, here’s WCA’s new logo.  Visit the WCA Web site for full details about the various writing teams at work.
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Wood Industry Student Placement Program Opens at Virginia Tech

On July 1, an online resource to link talented wood industry students with industry businesses took a bow. If you are seeking potential woodworkers, check out the new student placement program for the North American wood and forest products industry at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

Here’s how the online service works.  Only Virginia Tech students may post resumes to the site. Industry representatives can register to use the site and once registered with an official user name and password, they can access the site to post position announcements or view student resumes.   All industry positions will be visible on the Web site.   Web tools are available for industry representatives to manage their postings.      
  
With 27,000 students on the Virginia Tech campus, the Wood Science and Forest Products Department  has one of the largest undergraduate and graduate student enrollments in North America. Access the new Student Placement Program through the department’s Web site here.  The department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources is the leading program in North America engaged in wood and renewable materials utilization.
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National SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Contest: Stay Tuned about Winners

As it has for many years, AWI was a key participant in the 2008 SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Contest that fosters interest in woodworking and recognizes student skills in completing a woodwork project.

Watch for news in the August issue of AWI NewsBriefs about this year’s efforts reported by the Chairman of the AWI SkillsUSA Committee Kent Gilchrist of Fremont Interiors, Inc. The SkillsUSA National Championships took place June 23-27, 2008 in Kansas City, MO.  Over 5,000 students from every state and three territories competed in 91 different trade, technical and leadership fields.
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Industry News

Primary & Secondary Forest Products Chain-of-Custody Certification Survey Coming to Your In-Box

AWI Manufacturing Members are invited to participate in a study that will launch this Friday, July 18, to compare industry sentiments today against the findings of six years ago when AWI and other trade associations partnered on the original survey about environmental forest certification and chain-of-custody certification. 

This follow-up survey is being conducted by the Wood Research Laboratory at Purdue University and the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center at Louisiana State University.  All respondents will receive FREE survey results.  Participation is completely confidential.  Wait for an e-mail from AWI this Friday, July 18.  Your input is vital for measuring industry views about these important issues.

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AIA Sees More Prolonged Downturn in Architecture Activity, Construction

Following a slight rise in April, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell two points in May, prolonging the downturn in design activity at architecture firms. The institutional sector, however, which is holding its own for now, could be headed for a mild decline in 2008 as a segment of the nonresidential sector of the building market. 

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI rating was 43.4, down from the 45.5 mark in April (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 46.5.  “With the exception of the institutional sector – projects like government buildings, schools and hospitals – we’ve seen a dramatic contraction in design activity in recent months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “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.”

Meanwhile, in a July 16th release of AIA’s semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, the survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters is calling for a 1.9% decline in inflation-adjusted activity in 2008, followed by a projected 6.7% decline in 2009. The forecasts are more negative for commercial and industrial buildings, with an especially large drop-off in the office and retail sectors. The two largest institutional categories – healthcare and education facilities – should see a slight increase this year and could help offset some of the losses in the other project categories. The continued increase in building material costs in recent years could also adversely affect the construction industry, according to the Forecast.

AIA’s Chief Economist attributed the pessimistic forecasts to “the lack of growth in the overall economy, the ripple effect from the faltering housing market and the anxiety in the credit markets leading to a restriction in lending for all types of construction projects.” To access the full report, click here.
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About QCP

QCP: More Random Inspections on the Way

The AWI Quality Certification Program’s (QCP) mission is to: “Verify, inspect, report and enforce architectural woodwork standards compliance.”  To that end, QCP will be increasing the number of random project inspections commencing in the third quarter of 2008.

These will not be surprise inspections; rather they will be initiated by QCP and not in response to a particular request.  Furthermore, there are no specific criteria which will identify the projects subject to random inspection.  From the participant’s perspective, all procedures will remain unchanged.  The QCP participating firms will receive notices that their projects have been chosen for random inspection.  This notice will include a copy of the label request form and instructions on how to certify the project via the QCP Web site.

Asked whether there may be resistance to the random inspections, AWI Quality Certification Corporation (AWIQCC) Director Craig Elias said, “Participation in the QCP is voluntary and it has been my observation that the program participants welcome transparency.  Also, these are companies so confident in their performance that they are open to inspections.  If anything, I expect this initiative to be welcomed by most.”  For further information, or to offer comments, please contact Craig Elias at celias@awinet.org.
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Member News

Microvellum Announces Two Staff Appointments

Microvellum, Inc. has announced two additions to the company’s team.

Andrew Peel has joined the company as Manager of Production & Engineering Software (Toolbox).  He brings with him four years of technical support experience, customer relations skills, and video production experience. Lewis Hampton has been appointed as a Technical Support Specialist. He has a variety of experience, including over six years of management and customer relations skills, a background in Information Technologies (IT), and knowledge in software installation and set up.

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

AWI Twiellenmeier Award Nomination Period Closes August 1, 2008; Nominees Invited

Is there a candidate within your 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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Chapter News

AWI chapters are on the move.  Check out recent activities of the AWI Wisconsin and Carolinas Chapters.

This “Chapter News” section is designed to keep AWI members better informed about major news of interest within AWI chapters.  Learn more about progress being made, such as new Web sites, successful programs, elections, and other chapter news. Tell us what your chapter is doing by e-mailing AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.

Quarterly Newsletter
The June 2008 issue of the AWI Wisconsin Chapter Quarterly Newsletter reports on a busy period for chapter members, including awarding scholarships to students at the FVTC Appleton Campus on April 30, a successful joint venture education seminar on March 11 at the Southeast Carpentry Training Center, and an informative plant tour of Bisley Fabrication on April 29.  To learn more, click here, and find out about the chapter’s upcoming Golf Outing.   To get involved in the AWI Wisconsin Chapter, contact one of the officers listed on page two of its newsletter.  Scott Fletcher chairs the Membership Committee.

Developing Tomorrow’s Woodworkers
Recent efforts of the AWI Carolinas Chapter are aimed at preparing a workforce of woodworkers for the future.  The chapter participated in the North and South Carolinas SkillsUSA Contest. The winner from Franklin High School also placed fifth out of 45 secondary school students in the National SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking contest.  The chapter’s “AWI Connections” presentation focuses on what the AWI Carolinas Chapter can do to partner with schools, with introductions to QSI, QCP, Adopt-a-Shop, and the national Skill Standards project. The chapter is introducing two presentations at the NC Career-Technical Education Summer Conference. (See chapter events listing below.)

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Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Ohio Valley, Carolinas, 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 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 Carolinas Chapter
When: July 22-25, 2008
What: Chapter Programs at 2008 NC Career-Technical Education Summer Conference for furniture and cabinet faculty
* “AWI SkillsUSA Contest” – overview of the chapter’s efforts in 2008
* “AWI Connections” – partnering efforts with schools
* “Kitchen Trends in Furniture, Access, Organization and Motion” presented by chapter member Blum, Inc.
Where: Koury Convention Center, Greensboro, NC
Registration: Click here for information.

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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Safety Matters

Third Quarter Submissions Invited for AWI Safety Tip Challenge

AWI is seeking safety tips from AWI Manufacturing Members, including employees of AWI member firms. Enter your tips in the Safety Tip Challenge and become eligible for a prize.  Encourage your employees to submit safety tips too!

Each winner receives a beautiful Starrett Model S909Z combination square valued at almost $300, compliments of the AWI Safety Committee and AWI’s 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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OSHA Offers Free Safety and Health Evaluations for Small Businesses

Visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) On-site Consultation Program Web page to get valuable information on how this program helps you provide a safer working environment for your employees.

The service is provided only at your request and is delivered at no cost. Employers who use the service to develop and operate an exemplary safety and health management system may also qualify to participate in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). For additional information, visit the OSHA Web link or call 202.693.2220.
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published August 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:
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