A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members November 6, 2008
Association News

AWI Announces New E-mail Addresses – Stay Connected!

Be assured that incoming e-mails from AWI are secure and safe.  Disable or lower your spam filters for AWI e-mails and add two new addresses to your e-mail address files.

  • Incoming e-mails sent to you by AWI
    Effective immediately, e-mails sent to you by AWI headquarters will arrive via membership@awinet.org.  As usual, the generic sender with be identified as “AWI Member Services.”   Please add membership@awinet.org to your e-mail address book and disable or lower your spam filter to easily receive communications from this address.  We will not “spam” you.  We want to make certain that you receive all the news and information about AWI products, programs and services that your membership entitles you to receive.
  • New e-mail address for technical questions
    To simplify your sending and AWI’s receiving your e-mails seeking answers to questions about technical matters, please address all such communications to the new AWI help line at help@awinet.org. Begin using this help line address immediately to help assure timely response to your request for technical assistance.

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Keep Your AWI Membership Continuous – Dues Declarations Needed

Prior to the billing period for your annual AWI membership dues, AWI asks all primary contacts of Manufacturing and Supplier Members to declare their category. Also, please review and if needed, update your company information. This information will be used to update your company profile on AWI‘s Web site and in the 2009 AWI Membership Resource Directory.

Follow Instructions in the letter sent on October 31, 2008.  Your cooperation in confirming your dues category prior to invoicing on December 1, 2008 will be appreciated.  Maintain your continuous membership – please respond on or before November 30, 2008.
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Calling for AWI “Award of Excellence” Submissions; Got the Right Stuff?

Get noticed; maximize opportunities for business.  Apply for AWI “Award of Excellence” honors.  All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate and have their winning architectural woodwork projects featured in Design Solutions Magazine, 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. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of the journal which is open for business 24/7.  (The fall issue is now posted for viewing on the AWI Web site. Click here for online access.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pictured here is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the summer AWI “Award of Excellence” quarterly competition. Woodwork in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Offices in Hingham, MA was fabricated by Mark Richey Woodworking of Newburyport, MA. More views of the project can be seen on page 16 of the summer issue of
Design Solutions here.

Photo Credit: Warren Patterson
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Business Resources

Administaff Business Solutions Services Webinar Set for November 19

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.  If you missed the first webinars, plan to attend the upcoming Administaff webinar on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm EST to learn more. 

This new AWI Affinity Program gives access to Administaff Human Resource Services at substantial savings.  This exclusive new membership benefit for AWI members provides a 25% discount on enrollment fees and the group buying power of Administaff’s 6,000+ clients. 

This monthly webinar hosted by Administaff will focus on the firm’s services and the benefits of using them.  Members may speak to the Administaff representative during this live program.

 Date:

 Wednesday, November 19, 2008

 Starting time:  

 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (GMT – 05:00, New York)

 Duration:  

15 Minute Presentation, followed by Q&A

To register for this meeting:
1.  Go to https://administaff.webex.com/administaff/j.php?ED=110530422&RG=1&UID=0
2.  Register for the meeting.
Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the meeting.

For assistance:
1.  Go to https://administaff.webex.com/administaff/mc
2.  On the left navigation bar, click "Support".

You can contact the Administaff staff at: kane_flora@administaff.com

http://www.webex.com  We've got to start meeting like this™
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, please do not join the session.

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Safety Matters

CNA Insurance Safety Awareness Webinar on November 7

“Safety Pays!” says the AWI Insurance & Safety Committee.  CNA, AWI’s safety insurance partner, and AWI are pleased to announce a series of safety related webinars designed for and available at no cost to AWI members.  The second session in the series will take place this Friday, November 7, 2008. Plan to participate! 

The session is designed for owners and safety directors as an introduction to the webinar series and addresses “Motion is Money...Controlling Back Injuries.”  It also provides a preview of the other three webinars that will be offered in 2009.  Participation details for this week’s webinar follows.

Money is Motion...Controlling Back Injuries
Friday, November 7, 2008
Event Time: 1:30– 2:30 pm EST
(Port Opens: 1:00 pm EST)

PARTICIPANT INSTRUCTIONS 
AUDIO CONFERENCE ACCESS  -- DOMESTIC ACCESS       
Step 1:  Dial the Conference Access Number: (866) 551-3680  
Step 2:  Enter your Participant PIN Code followed by the # key:  9916726#     
Step 3:  You will be placed on musical hold until the Event begins     
Step 4:  To join the Web Conference click this link:  https://www.anywhereconference.com/?Conference=130234403   <https://www.anywhereconference.com/?Conference=130234403&PIN=9916726>
Step 5:  Enter your Name       
Step 6:  Click Go      
       
Or Join the Web Conference Manually     
Step 1:  To join the Web Conference log into: https://www.anywhereconference.com/      
Step 2:  Enter the Web Login Reference: 130234403     
Step 3:  Enter the PIN Code: 9916726 
Step 4:  Enter your Name       
Step 5:  Click Go      
       
If the PIN code is not dialed or is dialed incorrectly, you will be automatically transferred to the Customer Service department which will be able to place you into the conference. The Customer Service team can be reached at any time during your conference call simply by pressing *0 on your telephone keypad.   
CUSTOMER SERVICE        
All speakers and participants can reach our Customer Service team during the conference call simply by pressing *0 on the telephone keypad.   

 
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Combustible Dust Explosion Inspection Seminar near Chicago Airports

OSHA's Chicago Region and the Illinois Safety Council (ISC) will be hosting a combustible dust explosion inspection seminar on November 20, 2008 in Naperville, IL.

The seminar will offer instructions on OSHA standards relating to combustible dust and on best practices to protect employees against dust explosions. John Newquist, OSHA's assistant regional administrator for cooperative and state programs, will be one of the featured speakers. To learn more or to register, visit ISC's Web site or call 312.372.9756. The ISC has an alliance with OSHA's area offices in Illinois.

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Fourth Quarter Submissions Invited for AWI Safety Tip Challenge

Calling all AWI Manufacturing Members and their employers to submit safety tips!  Enter your tips in the Safety Tip Challenge and become eligible for a prize.

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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Industry News

Government Rescue Plan Holds Promise for the Construction Industry

New construction starts for the January – September period of 2008 would be up 3% relative to last year, if it weren’t for the troubled residential building sector, McGraw Hill Construction reported.

Despite the 5% drop in September construction, other sectors in the nonresidential building market posted gains.  For details in the monthly report by McGraw Hill’s economist Robert Murray, visit dodge.construction.com. (free subscription)

The construction market is expected to slide further in 2009, according to the 2009 Construction Outlook published by McGraw-Hill.  On the other hand, the American Institute of Architects reported that the rate of decline could slow if the government rescue plan works to ease the tight credit market.

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Professional Development

Matching Grant Funds Arriving for Skill Standards Initiative

The AWI Ohio Valley Chapter takes the lead in matching this year's USDA Forest Service grant award for developing Skill Standards for tomorrow’s woodworkers. This generous AWI chapter has contributed $2,502.00 to the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) to start the ball rolling in matching funds collected for the 2009 grant year.

The WCA has until December 31, 2008, to collect all $92,000 in matching funds. All donations to this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization are fully tax deductible. Any individual or group is invited to contribute any amount. Contact Greg Heuer at gheuer@awinet.org for donation information.
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Architectural Woodwork Standards: Comments Invited

Your new woodworking standards are coming. To have a say in the content, you can download PDFs of any section which interests you in the BETA copy undergoing review.

What do you think?  Is the current draft Architectural Woodwork Standards headed in the right direction?  Take this opportunity to give the AWI Technical Committee your feedback before the standards are published and impact your business.

Instructions on how to send your comments to AWI Technical Committee Chairman Randy Jensen are on the top of the site. Click here to access the woodwork standards today. The comment period closes soon.
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Certain Certifications in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is considering eliminating certification from any institution for Industrial Arts and Technology Education, according to information received from Harper Creek High School.

The MDE oversees all vocational programs and Perkins money for the state.  “Eliminating this certification would be the axe for killing Industrial Education in the State of Michigan,” Ralph Hermanson, woodwork instructor, states.  He says it affects instructors who prepare future workers, including those in woodworking.  Mr. Hermanson has been an instructor at the school since 1984 and has taught wood shop, drafting and CAD drafting. 

For more information about the issues involved and the implications of such action for schools, contact Thomas Bell at bellt1@mi.gov.  Elimination of these services might necessitate recruitment of “out-of-state candidates to fill open positions in any area that require IX or TX certification (industrial technology).”
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Green Scene

“Wood: The ‘Alpha Material’” – “Green” Talk about Sustainable Building

“Green” expert Margaret Fisher of Saunders Wood Specialties spoke out about carbon and sustainability relating to wood in the August issue of ISWonline.  See what she had to say about wood vs. other building products in the construction and design industries.

Visit iswonline.com (free subscription) for Margaret’s article, “Wood: The ‘Alpha Material’” published August 13, 2008. Margaret is AWI’s liaison to U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

For more insight about “green” issues and the LEED® program of the USGBC, visit AWI’s Web site for Margaret’s Podcasts.  Over 3,500 visitors have accessed the Podcasts this year.  Have you?

 
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American Hardwood and Carbon Neutrality

The increasing importance in the marketplace of “green” building to reduce global warming can place American hardwoods in the mix when the design/build industry plans future projects.  “The American Hardwood Advantage: Carbon-neutral Materials for Today’s Zero Tolerance Goals” is a resource that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has added to its free online Continuing Education Center.

The November 2008 article is sponsored by The Hardwood Council.  An in-depth look at what it means to be carbon neutral and “how American hardwoods can benefit the built environment as carbon-neutral materials,” was linked to the November issue of Architectural Record, AIA’s online e-letter (free subscription). The article also discusses many hardwoods and their interior applications.  The article explains why hardwood is carbon neutral and discusses the selective harvesting and natural regeneration process.  It seems like a good primer for architects about wood and sustainability.

To access the article, click here.
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Green Building a Global Phenomenon

Green building activity “is expected to double among early market adopters in 45 countries around the word,” according to a new report from McGraw-Hill Construction in partnership with the Word Green Building Council.

Green building growth is transforming the construction industry and is driven by market transformation and market demands, over one-third of industry professionals said. Rapid growth in sales and profit levels will follow in all global regions, according to the report.  For more highlights from the report, visit Dodge Construction (free subscription).

More information about green building market trends can be found in McGraw-Hill Construction’s green building SmartMarket Reports.  To learn more about the available reports and to order a copy of the Global Green Building Trends SmartMarket Report, visit www.greensource.contstruction.com. Search on "Global Green Building Trends Smart/Market Report."

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Regulatory Issues

DHS Issues Supplemental Final Rule with Guidance for Employers on “No-Match” Letters

On October 23, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Supplemental Final Rule providing additional background and analysis for the department's No-Match Rule concerning employment of unauthorized workers.

The No-Match Rule details steps employers may take when they receive a "no match" letter and guarantees that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will consider employers who follow those steps to have acted reasonably. If an employer follows the safe harbor procedures in good faith, ICE will not use the employer's receipt of a no-match letter as evidence to find that the employer violated the employment provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act by knowingly employing unauthorized workers.

The DHS regulation, which was originally proposed in June 2006 and issued in August 2007 as a Final Rule, clarifies what steps responsible employers can take to resolve discrepancies identified in "no-match" letters issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) . It also provides guidance to help businesses comply with legal requirements intended to reduce the illegal employment of unauthorized workers.

Implementation of the No-Match Rule has been stayed following a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California last year. In March 2008, DHS published a Supplemental Proposed Rule addressing the issues raised by the Court in its order enjoining implementation of the rule, including a more detailed analysis of how the department developed the no-match policy and a detailed economic analysis of the rule. In the coming days, DHS will return to the District Court to request that the injunction be lifted so that implementation of the rule can proceed.  If the Court lifts its preliminary injunction, the Supplemental Final Rule would take effect on the day DHS published it in the Federal Register, according to the American Subcontractors Association.

SSA informs thousands of employers every year via "no-match" letters that certain employees' names and corresponding Social Security numbers provided on the employers' Form W-2 wage reports do not match SSA's records. As many as 4 percent of approximately 250 million wage reports the SSA receives each year belong to employees whose names and corresponding Social Security numbers do not match SSA records.

To review the 100-page rule, click here.
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About QCP

QCP Renewal Process Begins

Don’t let your Quality Certification Program participation lapse.  The consequences are not worth the risk, and QCP isa valuable risk management tool.

The importance of risk management cannot be overstated in any industry or business.  We encourage all QCP participants to plan for the renewal period which is fast approaching.  QCP policies dictate that firms which choose not to maintain their certification must apply anew if they need to become certified again.  This means they must pay the application fee, submit the references, take the test, undergo the inspection process, and reenter the program under probationary status.  Despite their history, they enter the program as brand new applicants.  They must earn the self-labeling status all over again.

Don’t let this happen to your firm.  Nearly 10% of applicants in 2008 opted not to renew at the end of 2007.  Even more had resigned two, three or four years ago.  We urge you to plan for the renewal.  QCP started mailing invoices at the end of October.
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In the Chapters

Chapter News

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

On October 28, the AWI Carolinas Chapter launched a quarterly newsletter which reports on chapter and member news, architectural woodwork industry news, local activities, and more.  Click here to take a look at the inaugural October 2008 issue. It showcases news about one of the chapter’s members, Robert Stout of RLS Commercial Interiors, who was honored by AWI with the prestigious “President’s Award” in October.  Learn more about the chapter at www.awicarolinas.org.  Good job!

On October 24, AWI Wisconsin Chapter members participated in a successful WoodLINKS Teacher in-service session at Fox Valley Technical Collect in Oshkosh, WI.  Members toured the wood lab, listened to presentation about the Wood Technology Department, and led discussions about developing student projects and veneering instruction. The in-service program attracted 35 teachers and 15 other attendees.   The afternoon included a tour of Discher Architectural Millwork (AWI Manufacturing Member since 1994) in Oshkosh and Eggers Industries (AWI Manufacturing Member since 1958) in Neenah.
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Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Chicago, New Jersey, Carolinas and Virginia 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 Chicago Chapter
When:
November 12, 2008 (4:00 pm – 8:30 pm)
Program: “Why You Have Lower Sales Than You Should…And What You Can Start Doing About It Now!” & Dinner
Speaker: Gene Rosendale, Business Consultant & Founding Partner, Alliance for Strategic Advantage
Where: Diplomat West, Elmhurst, IL
Information: Visit awichicago.org
Registration:
  Dinner & Program - $50
Questions: Homer Lathrop, chapter president, homerlathrop@sbcglobal.net, 224.805.7321 (p)

AWI New Jersey Chapter
When:
November 13, 2008 (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
Program: Plant Tour of CBR Woodworking, “Prefinishing with LEED® Compliant Materials” Presentation & Buffet Dinner
Speakers: Rob Scott & Dave Burgman, Valspar; Ted Allen & John Zeiss, Eastern ChemLac
Where: CBR Woodworking, Hainesport, NJ
Information & Registration: See attached
Questions: Kurt Morante, kurtm@prestigemillworkllc.com, 908.526.5100 x308 (p)

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: November 14, 2008 (9:00 am – 3:30 pm)
What: Blum Presentation & Plant Tour, Lunch & Chapter Business Meeting
Where: Blum, Inc., Stanley, NC
Information: See attached
Questions:  Kristine Cox, KMCRowland@aol.com

AWI Virginia Chapter
When: January 29, 2009
Program:  “FSC: Materials and Certification” & Tabletop Display
Speakers:  Jason Shuey & Keith Atherholt
Where:  Westin Richmond, Richmond, VA
Information: Program Flyer attached
Registration: Chapter/AWI Members, $35 per person; Non-AWI Members, $70 per person.
See registration form attached.
Information: Gary Astles, gastles@northwayind.com, 717.503.6295

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Member News

Terminal Millwork, Inc. Appoints Rob Ziegelmeier EVP

Industry veteran and AWI Past President (1996-1997) Rob Ziegelmeier has joined the Terminal Millwork, Inc. team as Executive Vice President.  An AWI Manufacturing Member since 1973, Terminal Millwork, Inc. is a full service custom architectural woodwork company established in 1965.  The firm services the eastern seaboard as far south as Georgia.  Matthew Biagiotti is President of the Albany, NY-based company. Terminal Millwork is a 46,000 square-foot facility with 40 employees. Visit the firm at www.tmiwoodwork.com.

 
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published November 20, 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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