A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members November 20, 2008
Association News

Member Dues Declarations Needed by November 30

Time is running out before renewal notices go out on December 1, 2008. Prior to the billing period for your annual AWI membership dues, AWI asks all primary contacts of Manufacturing and Supplier Members to declare their dues 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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Get Noticed

You may be eligible for AWI “Award of Excellence” honors. Get noticed like the AWI Manufacturing Members whose fine architectural woodwork projects are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal.

Maximize opportunities for business.  All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate in this quarterly AWI program.  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. Island Architectural Woodwork, Inc. of Ronkonkoma, NY, fabricated the woodwork for the offices of architect Ted Moudis Associates, working closely with them to assure the final outcome was perfect to showcase the firm’s ability in finishing selection and pairing. This is the library. More views of the project can be seen on page 27 of the summer issue of Design Solutions here.

Photo Credit: Paul Warchol, New York, NY
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Reminder about New AWI E-mail Addresses

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 publications 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 for timely response to your request for technical assistance.  Don’t let your requests get lost in a pile of other e-mails.

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It’s a Girl!

Congratulations to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen and her husband, Bill, on the birth of their baby girl, Grace Marie, on September 23.

Grace Marie weighed in at 6 pounds 11 ounces.  Mom and baby are doing well.  Baby Grace sometimes stays up at night, but is generally sleeping well and acting like the little bundle of joy she is.  After an-all-too-brief leave to welcome her into their family, Katie is back on the job working limited hours.

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Professional Development

Architectural Woodwork Standards: Comments Invited

The latest BETA text of the new Architectural Woodwork Standards has been uploaded to the temporary Wiki site of the Architectural Woodwork Institute. Take this opportunity to give the AWI Technical Committee your feedback before the standards are published and impact your business.

You will also find instructions at the site about “subscribing” to the woodwork standards page for notifications about additions when they are made.  To submit comments about the standards, check the top of the site for instructions about how to send your comments to AWI Technical Committee Chairman Randy Jensen.  The passwords remain the same.  If you have the password, you need not request a password again.

The review period is fast drawing to a close. The AWI Technical Committee needs your ideas, comments, and suggestions for improvement.  Click the following to go there: awi-development.wikispaces.com.
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Are You LinkedIn to AWI?

The online AWI LinkedIn Support Group is growing everyday, but needs many more new members to be effective. Join LinkedIn and join the “AWI Group.” It’s free and easy to get connected.  You'll get as good as you give. Click here.

AWI woodworking and staff professionals link with each other to create enterprise solutions and avoid re-inventing successful wood industry managerial and operational procedures. They support each other with “best practices” and innovation. They support woodwork standards for materials and workmanship and cooperative education in the business of woodwork manufacturing, finishing, and installation.

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Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce – Help WCA Match Grant Funds for Skills Standards

The Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA) has donated an additional $5,000 to the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) to help match the second U.S. Forest Service grant to the Alliance for continued work on the Skill Standards for more qualified employees in the woodwork industries. Other contributions are invited.

The WMMA has been one of three leading supporters of the Skill Standards initiative from the beginning.  WCA is grateful for their continued support and encouragement. 

WCA’s goal is to raise $92,000 by the end of this year in matching funds.  Consider making a tax deductible contribution as an investment in a future workforce. All donations to this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization are fully tax deductible. Contact Greg Heuer at gheuer@awinet.org for donation information. You may also visit www.woodworkcareer.org for sponsorship information.

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AWI Scholarship Funds Help Harper Creek High School

AWI scholarship funds to RTA Contest Third Place winner, Harper Creek High School of Battle Creek, MI, have been put to good use for memory upgrades for desktop computers in the school’s Wood Technology classroom. The contest was held during IWF in August.

AWI scholarship funds also helped to finance travel and food expenses for Wood Creek High School’s students who participated in the RTA Contest sponsored by WoodLINKS and IWF.

“One of our big purchases with this year’s and some of last year’s CTE vocational funds was the purchase of 20 HP laptops with a high end processor with 2 gigs of memory, a laptop cart, a mouse for each computer, and extra batteries with a charger,” instructor Ralph Hermanson of Harper Creek High School wrote.  He says it is nice to teach AlphaCAM without all the hassles of competing for a computer lab and getting enough computers for the students.

Students in the Wood Technology class at Harper Creek High School are “excited” about the new computer equipment that AWI scholarship funds helped to finance.

Photo courtesy of Ralph Hermanson

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Call for Entries for 2009 Fresh Wood Student Competition

The deadline for entries for the AWFS 2009 Fresh Wood Student Woodworking Competition will be May 1, 2009. Help spread the word to schools with which your company or AWI chapter has a relationship.

The design competition is open to full-time students in an accredited high school or post secondary woodworking or related program and part-time students in an accredited post secondary woodworking or related program that are transitioning into a career in woodworking or design. Categories include case goods, chairs, class project, open, production, reproduction and tables. All of the forms and guidelines for the 2009 Fresh Wood Competition can be accessed at www.awfsfair.org.

Projects entered in the competition must be completed at the time of entry with the exception of the finish coating. This new policy is designed to allow the judges more equitable comparisons of projects. Finalist designs will be on display at the AWFSFair in Las Vegas, NV, July 15-18, 2009. 

Final judging will take place on July 14 at the AWFS Fair.  Winners will be announced at the Gala Awards Dinner on Friday, July 17 at the Las Vegas Hilton. A $2,500 grant will be awarded to the “Best of Show” winner's school. All finalists will also be featured in the fourth volume of the hardcover publication, Fresh Wood, which will be available in spring 2010.

More than 200 entries were received for the 2007 Fresh Wood student competition. AWFS distributed $24,000 in prize money for 35 pieces.
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Green Scene

LEED® 2009 Passes Member Ballot

LEED 2009, the long-awaited update to the internationally recognized LEED green building certification program, has passed member ballot, and will be introduced in 2009 as the next major evolution of the existing LEED rating systems for commercial buildings.   It includes a series of major technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes.

LEED 2009 will also incorporate highly anticipated regional credits, extra points that have been identified as priorities within a project’s given environmental zone.  LEED has also undergone a scientifically grounded re-weighting of credits, changing allocation of points among LEED credits to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities.  This will be one of the most significant changes to the rating system, and will increase the importance of green building as a means of contributing immediate and measurable solutions toward energy independence, climate change mitigation, and other global priorities.

LEED 2009 incorporates eight years worth of market and user feedback in the form of precedent-setting Credit Interpretation Rulings, which will ensure clarity for project teams. Coupled with a credit alignment structure designed to create a more elegant and harmonized rating system, LEED 2009 will reset the bar for the certification of high-performance green buildings.

Process innovation in how new technical advancements are incorporated into LEED will also be introduced alongside LEED 2009, including a “pilot process” for individual credits that will allow major new technical developments to be flexibly trialed, evaluated, and incorporated into LEED. 

The first public comment period for LEED 2009 opened in May 2008, followed by a second in late August. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) had received nearly 7,000 comments from members and stakeholders at the conclusion of the second public comment period on September 2.  The final step is the consensus development process for LEED 2009 was to be balloted for a pass/fail vote among USGBC’s 18,000 member organizations. LEED 2009 successfully passed member ballot on November 14.

Detailed information about specific proposed technical changes to the rating system can be found in the background documents that accompany the public comment forms on USGBC’s Web site.
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Dollars & Cents of Going Green Seminar Draws 250 Attendees

The wood conference, Oct. 28-29, in Indianapolis was organized by the Department of Forestry at Purdue University and Wood & Wood Products.  AWI was a sponsoring organization. For more information about the issues discussed see, the November 6th edition of ISWOnline.

There is also a video of highlights available at iswonline.com (free subscription).  “Much of the certification discussion focused on the programs of the Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which frequently touched off lively debates among all delegates on the merits, cost and availability of certified forests and lumber,” according to ISWOnline.
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Industry News

Architects Feel Effects of Unstable Economy

On the heels of a six-point drop in September, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) plummeted to its lowest level since the survey began in 1995, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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. AIA reported that the October ABI rating was 36.2, down significantly from the 41.4 mark in September (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 39.9, also a historic low point.

“Until recently, the institutional sector had been somewhat insulated from the deteriorating conditions affecting the commercial and residential markets,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Now we are seeing that governments and nonprofit agencies are having difficulties getting bonds approved to finance large scale education and healthcare facilities, furthering the weak conditions across the construction industry.”

Key October ABI highlights:
• Regional averages: northeast (44.3), south (40.0), midwest (37.4), west (34.9)
• Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (45.1), institutional (42.1), commercial / industrial (33.6), multi-family residential (34.2)
• Project inquiries index: 39.9

Meanwhile, a ZweigWhite survey of U.S. architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms, revealed that 71% of respondents said they “would consider cutting staff” to get through these tough economic times.”  Employment in the architectural sector actually increased in September 2008 compared with the same time last year, AIA’s Architectural Record reported.  But, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker called current market conditions “unstable.”  Obviously, architects doing residential design work are more vulnerable to layoffs. See “For Architects, the Job Axe Starts to Fall,” in the November 17th issue of Architectural Record. (free subscription)
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U.S. Manufacturers Protect Themselves during Economic Downturn

Companies are taking lean paths to production, according to an article in the November 7th edition (page A1) of the Wall Street Journal.

A front-page story about a mower and snow blower company was a lead into how some manufacturers are examining every step in the production process and every supplier – “both for price and financial viability” – to “boost efficiency and reduce costs.”  The author noted that “companies are less exposed” in this financial crisis because they “generally didn’t splurge on capital investment as they did during previous upswings.” 

Visit www.wsj.com (paid subscription required). 
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Slowdown Forecasted for Economic Growth in China

According to a number of government reports released in late October, Chinese exports are “moderating,” consumer confidence is declining, laborers are out of work in certain regions due to factory closings, and the fast-track growth touted in the past is not predicted for the future.

A New York Times article on November 7th on page one of its Business Day section also noted the dire predictions of some analysts who are forecasting that China will experience “the worst growth in more than a decade.”  Check it out at www.nyt.com (paid subscription required).
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Business Resources

Collection Strategies during Tough Economic Times

A new CD-ROM produced for subcontractors features strategies and methods successfully used by specialty trade contractors when the economy gets tough to tackle.  The material is produced from an American Subcontractors Association (ASA) webinar, “Collection Strategies for Specialty Trade Contractors.”

Discover how to use proper invoicing, credit guarantees, credit products, contract provisions and commercial regulations to get your customer to pay for your properly completed work. Priced at $65 for ASA members and $95 for nonmembers, this CD-ROM includes the recording, a media player and instructions for playback. To order this or other ASA Foundation educational products tailored specifically to the needs of subcontractors, call toll-free 1.888.374.3133 or visit www.contractorsknowledgenetwork.org.

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About QCP

QCP Reminders and Notes

Don't forget to renew your certification and keep your participation current. It could cost you to reinstate your “active” status, if your QCP participation lapses prior to renewal. Avoid the late fees and renew before December 31, 2008.

Renewing online is fast, easy and accessible 24/7. Go to www.awiqcp.org and click on “Renew Your Certification.” 

QCP application fees will increase on January 1, 2009. AWI Manufacturing Members applying to the AWI Quality Certification Program in 2009 will pay $1,650 and all other applicants will pay $3,100. Project fees will remain unchanged: 1/2% of the woodwork contract (minimum fee is $500).

A reminder to QCP Participants: If you have not already done so, please remember to respond to the survey sent to you via e-mail. Contact AWI QCC Director Craig Elias at celias@awinet.org, if you need a copy of the e-mail.
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In the Chapters

Chapter News

AWI chapters are on the move.  Find out about recent activities of the AWI Wisconsin Chapter.

The AWI Wisconsin Chapter has just released the November issue of its “Wisconsin Chapter Quarterly Newsletter.”  The chapter announced its newly elected board members and new President, Jim Buege of Northern Insurance.  Today, at the chapter’s Board of Directors meeting they will meet about its aggressive education programs and funding budget for the upcoming year.  Learn more by clicking here.

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Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  See what the AWI Virginia Chapter is 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 Virginia Chapter
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

Delmac Conducts Profit Solutions Seminar

Over 70 people joined Delmac Machinery Group at the company’s Greensboro facility November 6-7 for a Profit Solutions Seminar on “Lean Flow Cabinet Manufacturing.” 

Art Raymond, a well-known industry consultant, gave an overview of how to implement Lean Manufacturing by recognizing areas of waste and inefficient production methods.  He explained why setting up equipment in a way to eliminate bottlenecks and achieving a smooth work flow will increase production and reduce the amount of floor space required for manufacturing, giving manufacturers the ability to provide a higher quality product at a lower cost.  To demonstrate this process, Delmac simulated a lean flow layout. 

Tooling expert Ted Ford from Onsrud Cutter presented tooling tips, techniques and discussed challenges unique to Nested-Based Machining. In addition, Addison Maille of Smith Leonard Accounting discussed Tax Stimulus Legislation and the available provisions for getting the most benefits out of Section 179 and the 50% bonus depreciation write-offs which are set to expire.

For a review of this seminar, call Delmac Machinery Group at 336.854.1211 or e-mail gyarbrough@delmac.com

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Eggers’ Appointment

Eggers Industries has named Mike Miller to the newly created position of Director of Environmental Stewardship. Mike joined Eggers 22 years ago as the Quality Assurance Manager for Eggers’ flush door operations. In his new role, Mike will be responsible for environmental stewardship at a corporate level, serving the needs of all three of Eggers’ facilities and the customers and design communities served by each. In addition to managing all facets of environmental stewardship, Mike will also be responsible for the AWI QCP program on a company-wide basis, providing technical support for customers, architects and sales team members on the various environmental building programs, and on Eggers' environmental product offerings. For more information on Eggers Industries, visit www.eggersindustries.com or call 920.793.1351.
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Safety Matters

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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Next Issue of E-briefs

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.  This is the time to give thanks and AWI is deeply grateful for your membership and support in 2008.  The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published December 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.

AWI Mission:
The authoritative resource for excellence in architectural woodwork.

Copyright Architectural Woodwork Institute www.awinet.org


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