A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members August 21, 2008
Association News

AWI Inks Deal to Offer Members Discounted Human Resource Services

A new human resource services program arranged by AWI with the national professional employer organization Administaff brings group buying power to AWI member small and medium size businesses.  Learn more about the services and discounts available.

A wide range of human resources services will be announced soon and made available for a 25% discount on enrollment fees.  Watch for details coming in the September issue of AWI NewsBriefs. Substantial savings will be available for a variety of services.

As a consequence of this new AWI Affinity Program, AWI e-briefs will include news periodically on Human Resource Management provided by Administaff.  The first such article, “Wage Freeze? Not This Year and Probably Not Next, Employers Say,” appears below in the new HR Management section.
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It Takes the Right Stuff to Be an “Award of Excellence” Honoree: Have You Got It?

Open the door to potential new business as an AWI “Award of Excellence” honoree.  All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate and have their winning architectural woodwork projects featured in Design Solutions, AWI’s official quarterly journal.

Visit awinet.org for submission forms. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly AOE honors program is December 15, 2008. The work of the next group of AOE honorees will be featured in the winter 2008 edition of Design Solutions.

Meanwhile, check out one of the spring AOE projects. 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 1.44 million square foot Children’s Hospital located at the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Aurora brought together several members to work on the project: AWI Manufacturing Members – DeLeers Millwork, Green Bay, WI; Nikolai Manufacturing, Inc., New Westminster, BC, Canada; Architectural Arts, Des Moines, IA; and TMI Systems Design Corporation, Dickinson, ND. AWI Supplier Member ISEC, Inc., Englewood, CO, served as project manager and installer.

Photo Credit: Fred J. Fuhrmeister


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CODB Report Coming Soon!

The results of the Annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey (CODBS) are coming to your mailbox soon.  Target date for delivery is early September.

With participation up by 6.5% this year, industry averages reflected in the final CODB Report promise to more closely reflect industry costs, ratios, profit margins, compensation, and more.  All AWI Manufacturing Members will receive a copy of the printed report.  All survey participants will receive added benefits to start putting the Report to use right away with their company information. Stay tuned!

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Professional Development

Register Now for AWI Fall Leadership Event; Fees Increase August 26

So many reasons to attend the 2008 Annual AWI Fall Leadership Event, October 1-4, 2008; so little time to register before fees increase on August 26. Need a few reasons to participate in this outstanding AWI event?

  • Internationally renowned keynote speaker, author and business consultant Jack Lannom.
  • Lean Manufacturing Workshop sponsored by AWI New England Chapter.
  • Product Fair of AWI Supplier Members. 
  • Industry Tours of Tyco Fire & Building, Monarch Industries, Inc. and Herrick & White, LTD.
  • "The New Architectural Woodwork Standard: Changing the Way You Do Business” workshop and panel presentation.
  • LEED Seminar about the USGBC Building Rating System presented by Margaret Fisher.
  • Outstanding venue in Providence, Rhode Island – situated near the Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and other historic and cultural attractions.
  • Chapter Leadership Program for strengthening your chapter.
  • Great social events at breakfast, lunch and dinner to meet with peers and recognize AWI members with well-deserved honors.

Check out the full program at awinet.org.   Click here to register for the AWI Fall Leadership Event online by August 26 when fees increase.  Online registrations closes September 1.  Accommodations are available at the Westin Providence hotel.  That cut-off date is September 6, and room availability is subject to room block availability.  AWI members MUST make their own hotel reservations.  

Located in Bristol, RI, Blithewold is one of the finest garden estates in New England which members and guests may visit on the Bristol Mansion Tour, October 3. This activity is among 14 historic and cultural attraction tours offered.

Photo courtesy of Blithewold
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WoodLINKS USA Announces “The Hilchie Twichell Yow Memorial Scholarship”

WoodLINKS USA has announced the establishment of “The Hilchie Twichell Yow Memorial Scholarship” (in memory of Larry Hilchie, Scott Twichell, and Sharon Yow), endowing one student per year, with the amount of $1,000.00 towards his / her studies in woodworking technologies.

WoodLINKS USA is seeking support from the industry at one of the following levels: $25-Acorn; $50-Seedling; $75-Branch; $100-Limb; $250-Bough; $500-Trunk.  “WEINIG ignited a needed spark by initiating this scholarship. Now that the flame is burning, let’s carry the torch forward together! Just remember, with nourishment, sunlight and time, even the smallest acorn can become a mighty oak. The same is true of your contributions to “The Hilchie Twichell Yow Memorial Scholarship,” Mark Smith, National Director of WoodLINKS USA said.

Tax deductible contributions may be sent to: WoodLINKS USA, PO Box 445, Tuscola, IL 61953. Mark your check “Scholarship Fund.”
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Industry News

New Draft Architectural Woodwork Standards Open for AWI Member Review

The Joint Standards Committee (JSC) has made considerable progress creating DRAFT sections of the new publication that is entitled, Architectural Woodwork Standards, 1st Edition.  AWI Manufacturing Members are invited to take a look.

Members attending the AWI Town Hall Meeting today at IWF will see a preview of the new book.  Members of the Joint Standards Committee that is developing new standards for AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada and the Woodwork Institute highlighted some of the changes in store for AWI members. 

AWI members are encouraged to visit the special JSC Web site at http://www.jscstandards.com/awi.html and review the draft standards sections work to date and where appropriate, write comments for JSC review and consideration. The JSC invites review of the standards to identify any errors of omission or conflicting and confusing language.  Login and leave comments on the JSC blog by clicking on the box at the bottom of the left column in each section.  Be sure to use the login and special password (Login: standards; Password: awi) for AWI members only.
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Nonresidential Building Construction Starts Fell 12% in June

Construction starts in some market sectors were up – such as hotels, education buildings and offices – but nonresidential building starts as a whole dipped from a healthier May pace. Get the statistics from an industry report.

Click here for insight into the July McGraw Hill Construction reports.  (Subscription required)
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Stadium/Arena and Entertainment Construction Projects

Twenty of the largest stadium/arena and entertainment construction projects were announced last month in an industry publication.  Learn more about these projects throughout the United States which are mainly in the planning stages.

Construction e-Wire reported that the projects are mainly new ones, but may also involve additions and/or alterations.  Click here for details.  (Subscription required:  e-mail: sub_con_ewire@email.buildingteam.com)
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Green Scene

Registration Open for The Dollars and Sense of Going Green Conference

Registration is now open for the “green” conference, October 28-29, 2008 in Indianapolis, IN, organized by the Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and Wood & Wood Products.

The conference will provide a unique public forum to help you learn about the impact green marketing of hardwood products is making at the international and national levels.  AWI is among the more than 15 key industry groups and government agencies supporting the program.  AWI Supplier Member Stiles Machinery is one of the sponsors.  Conference organizers note that this is one of the most significant North American congresses on certified wood issues held to date.

For a schedule of events, registration and travel information, click here.  Registration is now open.
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Public Comment Opens on Newly Proposed Evolution of Certified Wood Credits in LEED®

On August 8, 2008 the U.S. Green Building Council opened the First 30-day Public Comment Period for proposed changes in how the LEED Green Building Rating System™ awards points for the use of certified wood.

The focus of the proposed LEED credit language changes is on transparency, setting forth a clear set of metrics that any forest certification system must meet in order to be recognized within LEED. Currently, only wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council are eligible for LEED points.

USGBC has been studying this issue for two years with input from a widely diverse set of stakeholders, and with the support of internationally recognized experts from the Yale Program on Forest Policy and Governance and Life Cycle Assessment experts at Sylvatica. This research, which served as a foundation for USGBC’s proposed wood credit language changes, is available to the public at http://www.yale.edu/forestcertification/USGBCFinal.htm.

The public comment period is open for 30 days from Friday, August 8, until 5:00 pm PST Sunday, September 7, 2008.  All interested stakeholders and members of the green building community are encouraged to participate. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.
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Why Businesses Go “Green”

A survey of IT executives about their company’s motivation for launching “green” initiatives reveals a drastic change in the conscience of Corporate America, an online publication announced.  Find out the five reasons businesses go “green.”

Click here to access a slide show released in a recent issue of CIO Insight.  Then review the answers: environmental concerns, cutting costs, corporate image, regulation, and shareholder or public pressure.
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HR Management

Wage Freeze? Not This Year and Probably Not Next, Employers Say

Despite speculation that an eroding economy would force many companies to cut their salary budgets this year, it turns out that employers are actually kicking up compensation – and may continue to do so next year as well.

On average, employers are increasing their salary budgets by 3.9% this year, according to a survey of human resources, compensation and benefits officials by WorldatWork. It also found that these companies expect to increase salaries by 3.9% next year too, easing concerns that employers would put a freeze on wages.

“Clearly, that’s not the case at all,” said Alison Avalos, practice leader at WorldatWork, a global human resources association. “As of right now, there’s no indication that the economy is influencing pay, either positively or negatively.”

Avalos said employers are increasing their salary budgets to reward workers for solid performance and to stay competitive. These two factors are especially important considering the rising inflation over the past 12 months, which is now swallowing up a larger chunk of workers’ pay increases, Avalos added.

Inflation rose 1.3 percentage points in the 12-month period ending April 30 to 3.9%, its highest level in the past 10 years. To counter rising inflation, many employers are not only increasing compensation, but are also adding “flexibility programs.”

Such programs, like telecommuting, allow employees to work from home and save money on transportation costs. In the past year, there has been a 40% increase in the number of companies offering such programs, according to WorldatWork.

“Pay has gone up, but it’s about more than just compensation for both employers and employees these days,” Avalos said. “It’s now about the total package.”

Filed by Mark Bruno of Financial Week, a sister publication of Workforce Management, and reprinted with permission of Administaff.
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Member News

Industry Veteran to Introduce LEED® to U.S. Department of State

LEED authority and industry veteran Margaret Fisher of Saunders Wood Specialties will make a presentation to the U.S. Department of State on September 17.

Her 90-minute presentation will introduce department officials to the principles and complexities of LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System™ administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.
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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Northeast Ohio, Central Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio Valley, Chicago, Carolinas and New Mexico 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 Northeast Ohio Chapter
When: September 9, 2008 (11:30 am – 5:00 pm)
What: “LEED® Lunch & Learn Seminar” addressing versions and credits, materials, key project details and more
Presenter: Margaret Fisher of Saunders Wood Specialties
Where: Corporate College, Warrensville Heights, OH
Information: Click here for program details and registration.

AWI Central Pennsylvania & New Jersey Chapters
When:
September 11, 2008 (1:00 – 4:00 pm program; 4:00 – 5:00 table top displays)
What: LEED® Education for the Woodworker II: Featuring FSC Regs and Products/Wood Coatings/Woodworking Adhesives
Presenters: Jason Shuey, Rainforest Alliance: Keith Atherhold, Lewis Lumber Products, Inc.; Dany Cote, Akzo Nobel; Bill Arscott, ITW TACC Int.
Where: Holiday Inn Conference Center, Allentown, PA
Information: Click here for program details, registration and directions.
Questions: Garry Astles, President AWI Central PA Chapter – gastles@northwayind.com

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: September 12, 2008
What: Chapter Meeting; Associate Vendor Presentations; FBI Presentation about Identity Theft and Employee Background Checks; Lunch; Sporting Clay Shoot; Wine Tasting
Vendors: Aetna Plywood, J.J. Hilgefort Machinery, Roger Shaw & Associates/Microvellum
Presenter: Brett Johnson, Louisville Federal Bureau of Investigation
Where: Elk Creek Hunt Club, Owenton, KY
Information: Follow these links for program details, registration and special offer for business guests and directions.
Questions: Phone - 502.459.8710

AWI Chicago Chapter
(A Day at the Races for AWI, AIA, ALA and CSI Members)
When:  September 12-13, 2008 (11:30 am – 5:00 pm)
What: Chapter Meeting & Dinner with presentation on “Architectural Woodwork Standards, 1st Edition” by AWI National President Richard Ungerbuehler, Sr., plus a Day at the Races
Where: Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, IL
Information: Click here for information and registration.
Questions: Homer Lathrop: phone – 224-805-7321; homerlathrop@sbcglobal.net

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: September 19, 2008
What: Chapter Meeting & Program on SkillsUSA
Presenter: Rick Rogers, Franklin High School; Barrett Beale, SkillsUSA winner
Where: Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC
Information: Kristine M. Cox, Chapter VP, at KMCRowland@aol.com

AWI New Mexico Chapter
When: October 14-15, 2008
What: LEED® Program
Presenter: Margaret Fisher of Saunders Wood Specialties
Save the Date! Details to come.
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Regulatory Issues

E-Verify Proposal Leaves Subcontractors with Questions, ASA Says

Before requiring subcontractors on the federal government’s domestic construction projects to participate in E-Verify, regulators need to address E-Verify’s inaccuracies and clearly describe how a proposed, new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 22.18 would incorporate subcontractors’ new responsibilities to use E-Verify, the American Subcontractors Association Inc. (ASA) said in comments on August 11, 2008.

In its comments, ASA said that a rule proposed by the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council on June 12, 2008, failed to provide enough detail and to provide solutions so that E-Verify could be successfully integrated into the wide range of federal projects proposed by the councils. The councils issued the proposed rule less than a week after President Bush directed federal agencies on June 6 to require their contractors to use E-Verify (Executive Order 12989). E-Verify is an online system maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration that allows employers to check employees’ eligibility to work in the United States.

Click here for a summary of the questions that the rule leaves unanswered for subcontractors.

To address problems in the proposed rule, ASA urged regulators to provide:

  • New FAR language requiring notice about the mandatory participation in E-Verify to subcontractors and suppliers that bid such projects.
  • New FAR language explaining how compliance with the E-Verify memorandum of understanding developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration is intended as a contract “performance requirement.”
  • A substantive explanation of how the federal government has addressed problems with the reliability, convenience, and accuracy of the E-Verify system.
  • A clear explanation of the duration of required participation in E-Verify, and of which subcontractors and suppliers do not have to participate in E-Verify.
  • Alignment of the rule with FAR definitions, thresholds and standards.

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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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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published September 4, 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 

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

Westin Providence
Providence, RI
Click here to register
before fees increase
on Aug. 26


The Dollars & Sense
Of Going Green
Conference

Oct. 28-29, 2008
Indianapolis, IN
Organizers: Purdue
University Dept. of
Forestry & Natural
Resources & Wood &
Wood Products
Click here for details.
AWI is a sponsoring
organization


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