A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members April 16, 2009
Business Tools

Submission Period for 2009 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey Extended to April 27

AWI Manufacturing Members who participate in the AWI CODBS still have a chance to gain full benefit from the coveted results aggregated from submission data and released to AWI Manufacturing Members as a benefit.  Don’t wait; participation is open only until COB on Monday, April 27.  Non-participating Manufacturing Members will receive an executive summary only; participating members will receive the full 100-page study to put to work right away.

Click here to download the survey input tool.  Complete the form and e-mail it to AWI’s confidential survey administrator at awi@inverra.com

To gain full benefit from the 2009 CODBS, submissions must be received by April 27, 2009

Benefits of Participation
Only participants will receive a complimentary copy of the full CODB study results this year – a change from prior years. Put the 100-page performance report to work right away with the added benefits of participation: AWI industry-specific compensation e-calculator and custom financial dashboard pre-loaded with your company’s data. Improve operating efficiencies with the final report.

This year, the full survey results are more important than ever as a financial management tool for analyzing your company’s performance against the most profitable businesses in the architectural woodwork industry.
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Could a Support Group Help You Find New Solutions to Business Challenges?

Could successful noncompetitive peers help you reach troubling decisions about your business?  Would hearing how other architectural woodworkers handle the same daily challenges as you have help you to find fresh solutions?  An AWI Best Practices Group can help!

Contact AWI Marketing Director Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org if you are interested in exploring this opportunity.  In the midst of a slump in construction, joining an AWI Best Practices Group could be one of the best investments you could make!
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Sawdust Soup, Another Worldwide Online Community for Woodworking Professionals

WATT recently announced the launch of www.SawdustSoup.com, a social media site for woodworking professionals. This new Web site gives those involved in the manufacturing of kitchen and bath cabinets, residential furniture, store fixtures, architectural/millwork, cabinet hardware, and other related sectors of the professional woodworking industry the opportunity to network with peers from around the world.

Visit SawdustSoup.com to explore joining a community of your interest, view breaking industry news, ask questions, share ideas, network and/or catch up with peers, or post photos and videos. Check out the new AWI group there by clicking here.

Sawdust Soup is created by WATT, the publisher of CabinetMaker and FDM, two publications dedicated to the woodworking industry and their respective Web sites: www.Cabinetmakeronline.com and www.FDMonline.com.
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Learning Forum

Weathering the Storm...FMI Repeats Construction Forum

Many industry executives find themselves unprepared to successfully navigate their companies through this economic downturn.  Making informed decisions to weather the storm is difficult.  To help in this process, FMI Management Consulting is hosting a second offering of a two-day executive forum, “Weathering the Storm,” April 27-28, 2009 in Dallas, TX.

Forum presenters will focus on practical information and strategies that can help executives lead their companies through the difficult times ahead.  In addition to senior FMI consultants a panel of highly regarded construction executives who have not only survived stormy times but also succeeded during difficult times, will be featured on the program.

For more details about the topics to be discussed, and the latest FMI Nonresidential Construction Index results that reveal contractors’ experiences and expectations, visit fminet.org.  Registration and accommodation information for the forum is available.

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Safety Matters

AWI Safety Awards Contest Open Now; Submissions Invited

What will you get from the AWI Annual Safety Awards Program?  Click here for more information and submission.

Benefits! Value! Results! 

Gain Recognition...
Market Safety...
Build Team Spirit...
Negotiate with Leverage...

The AWI 2009 Safety Award Submission Period Closes May 8.



Three types of awards will be offered, but you have to submit your data to be eligible for a safety award.

AWI Annual Safety Awards Sponsored by CNA.
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Workforce

Stiles Supports Kent Career Technical Center

Acquisition of a Weeke Venture 05S teamed up the Kent Career Technical (KCTC), an educational service of the Kent Intermediate School District (Kent ISD), with Stiles Education. Kent ISD provides career/technical education to juniors and seniors from over 60 public, private and home schools in the Grand Rapids area.

A two-year Wood Products Manufacturing program includes “hands-on” experiences in a variety of woodworking tasks and equipment.  Stiles Education faculty member Phil Rasey provided 25 hours of instruction to complete two projects: a table and a stool.  Former AWI Board of Directors member Steve Waltman, a former instructor of the KCTC program, visited to share the value of learning schools such as CNC programming.  The Wood Products Manufacturing program at KCTC partners with WoodLINKS.

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Green Scene

Green Building Ordinance Passed in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale, CA intends to go “green.”  Its City Council approved a new ordinance on March 24 that will “phase inrequirements and incentives” for city-wide sustainable building practices in houses, condos and commercial buildings.

The measure will take effect on January 1, 2010.  Requirements will become increasingly more stringent in subsequent years.
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Providence Requires High-Performing Green Facilities

Municipal buildings and schools in Providence, RI are now required to be constructed and certified as either LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools) energy-efficient buildings. 

Acknowledging a 3% to 5% increase in overall construction costs, Mayor Cicilline, who signed the “green” executive order, “noted that the expenses will be offset by energy efficiency savings over time.”

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New Report Compares Eight Green Building Certification Programs

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) are among eight certification programs reviewed in a report by Aerias.org, a resource center about Air Quality Sciences. 

The report expands on research from one of McGraw-Hill Construction’s SmarkMarket reports.  To learn more, visit www.aerias.org.
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AWI News

2009 AWI Manufacturing Member Survey Results

AWI thanks all Manufacturing Members who participated in the 2009 Membership Survey about the association’s products, programs, and publications.  Highlights of the results will be available soon.

Watch for the May issue of AWI NewsBriefs for news about members’ ratings and rankings and other feedback.  Your participation is valued by the AWI Board of Directors that uses the results to allocate financial and staff sources to best meet members’ needs and address their interests.

 
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Welcome to New AWI Members

Eighteen new members have joined AWI.  Check them out.

As a benefit of their membership in AWI, Web site addresses are provided for those members that reported them on their membership application.  All AWI members may be accessed via the online AWI Member Directory at www.awinet.org or by calling the association’s headquarters offices at 571.323.3636.

Manufacturing

All State Fabricators
A division of EMI Industries
Cranston, RI 
www.allstatefab.com

Cabinets by RKC
Springfield, MO

Columbia Woodworking, Inc.
Washington, DC

Contempo Cabinet & Mill
Salt Lake City, UT

Curtiss Woodworking, Inc.
Prospect, CT 
www.curtisswoodworking.com

Island Precision Manufacturing, Ltd.
Saanichton, BC, Canada
www.islandprecision.com

KND Interiors, Inc.
San Antonio, TX 

Le Cabinet Shoppe, Inc.
Laurel, MT 
www.lecabinetshoppe.com 

M.C. Mill & Design
Sandy, UT 

Northside Cabinets, Inc.
Hillsborough, NC

Precision Woodworks of Montana, LLC
Noxon, MT 
www.precisionwoodworksmt.com 

Progressive Millwork, Inc.
dba Nagelhout & Company
Austin TX

Stoller Custom Cabinetry, Inc.
Sterling, OH 
www.stollercabinet.com 

T & T Custom Cabinets
Tampa, FL 
www.ttcustomcabinets.com 

W. Designe, Inc.
Peekskill, NY

Suppliers

Delcam Artcam
Salt Lake City, UT

I.C.Galt Werkes, Inc. 
Atlanta, GA 
www.icgw.net 

Jiaxing Kaochuan Woodwork Company, LTD
Jiashan Zhejiang, China

Use the online Directory of AWI Manufacturing and Supplier Members at www.awinet.org for contact information and access to the Web sites of these and other AWI members. The resource is open 24/7 for use in seeking manufacturers and suppliers of architectural woodwork.

 
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Industry News

Multifamily Housing Slump Predicted to Continue through Third Quarter

Job losses are compounding the woes of the single-family and multifamily housing construction industry. Until home sales bottom out, starts in both sectors of the market are not expected to begin rebounding, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

NAHB’s Chief Economist David Crowe, “voiced optimism that the single-family market is nearing a bottom.” Speaking at an NAHB Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Conference on March 17-18, Crowe predicted some recovery for the single-family sector in the second half of 2009.  In fact, single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 357,000, up 1.1 percent above the January figure of 353,000, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The glut of unsold housing being rented is affecting the multifamily market. So, recovery for the multifamily housing market will lag behind.  Crowe predicted it will begin to recover in 2010.  Availability of new mortgages and related credit issues are also translating into sustainable demand for apartments, according to a recent report in GlobeSt.com.  One investment analyst predicted the apartment rental market would be robust until 2016.

Other NAHB panelists were less optimistic about recovery of multifamily housing market in 2010, saying multifamily rentals will “fall below 100,000 this year – a record low.”  Net demand could surge by 500,000 units in 2011.

Meanwhile, the CEOs of the industry’s leading multifamily construction companies indicated that overall, they are finishing projects in the pipeline, managing assets, and downsizing while preparing for “abundant opportunities expected to materialize during the recovery,” Nation’s Building News Online (subscription required) reported.
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Construction Jobs Continue Decline

With Economic Stimulus funds headed for construction, the continued loss of construction jobs should show signs of improvement soon.  The realities of a depressed construction market, revealed the loss of 126,000 more jobs in March.  The declines were spread across the industry, according to the latest figures released by U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

Employment in construction has fallen by 1.3 million since peaking in January 2007, with nearly half of that decline occurring over the last five months.   In March, DOL reported that employment fell in specialty trade contractors (-83,000) and construction of buildings (-33,000). These declines were split about evenly between the residential and nonresidential portions of these industries. 


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Home Buyers Are Starting to Return to the Market, NAHB Reports

Thanks to record low mortgage rates and declining home prices, 55 million families—or half of all U.S. households—can afford today’s $200,000 median-priced new home, according to figures released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“That’s an increase of 17 million households from conditions just two years ago and the best housing affordability number we have seen in years,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. “We are now seeing the first signs that buyers are returning to the marketplace.”

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau comparing home prices, mortgage rates and minimum income needed to purchase a median-priced home in February 2007 and February 2009, a typical family today can purchase a house with $20,000 less in household income and save nearly $500 per month on their principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The number of households that can afford to purchase a home today is 55.4 million, compared with 38.4 million two years go, according to figures compiled by NAHB.

“With affordability up dramatically, reports from our builders in the field indicate that foot traffic in new homes is on the rise and consumer interest is increasing with each passing day. These are encouraging signs that the housing market may be finally reaching a bottom,” said Robson. Entering the crucial spring home buying season, there are other signs that buyers are starting to return to the market.

Housing is a critical component of the U.S. economy, accounting for about 15 cents of every dollar spent in thiscountry, so any upturn in the housing market should be viewed as good news for the overall economy, said Robson.

Construction of an additional 500,000 single-family homes – the difference between today’s anemic construction rate and one that would move closer to meeting the underlying demand for housing – would generate 734,000 jobs and $35 billion in wages in the construction industry  and another 790,000 jobs and $37.7 billion wages in manufacturing, trade, and service sector jobs, he noted.

“Clearly, housing will be central to any economic recovery we experience in the months ahead,” said Robson.
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Member News

Former Danzer Group’s John Grunwald in Fatal Car Accident

AWI regrets the passing of John Grunwald, formerly of the Danzer Group, who was killed on Monday, April 13 in an automobile accident near Nashville, IN.  His car left S.R. 46 and submerged into a pond.

Mr. Grunwald retired from the Danzer Group in 2008, after 50 years of passionate service to the hardwood industry. He was a familiar face to those in the hardwood business throughout North America, and made several trips to Washington, DC each year on behalf of the industry.  In 2008, the Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association (HPVA) honored Mr. Grunwald for his lifetime of service to the industry in conjunction with a retirement reception at HPVA’s fall meeting. 

The Danzer Group has been a long-time AWI Supplier Member since 1970.  Other details are not available as we go to press.

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Hafele to Present Important Lecture on Gropius in Chicago

Hafele America Company extends an invitation to all AWI Chicago Chapter members to a lecture at its showroom on April 20.  It is free, and includes food and beverages!  Check out the program.

Gropius in Chicago: A Legacy on the Brink
Date: Monday, April 20, 2009
Reception: 5:30 – 6:00 pm (beverages & hors d’oeuvres)
Seminar: 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus and one of the undisputed world leaders of architecture during the twentieth century, is generally not known to have executed works in Illinois   However, new architectural research has revealed that the virtually unheralded site of Michael Reese Hospital on Chicago ’s South Side contains not one, but a collection of Gropius works, commissioned over an impressive period of 15 years.  At this site, Walter Gropius executed his only built work in the State of Illinois, a surprisingly complete portrait of the artist, comprising site planning, urban design, and execution of individual buildings.

Join Hafele for an important lecture by Grahm Balkany of the Gropius in Chicago Coalition, who will detail his exciting research into Walter Gropius’s mostly forgotten role in Chicago.

Click here for more information.  To register, click here.

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About QCP

The AWI Quality Certification Corporation Introduces the ‘Q’ to Ensure Quality Architectural Woodwork

The AWI Quality Certification Corporation (AWI QCC) will introduce the Q at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention and Design Exposition, April 30 – May 2, in San Francisco.

A powerful risk management tool, the Q ensures wood designs are fabricated, finished and installed according to project specifications, and according to internationally recognized industry standards found in the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated (published since 1961) and the upcoming edition of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (Standards,) jointly developed by AWI, Architectural Woodwork Manufacturer’s Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute (WI).

How the Q Ensures Quality Woodwork
Specification of the Q initiates a professional quality control system, at no charge to the design professional, which includes:

• Expertise. Q-representatives are a highly experienced network of woodwork experts. They are available throughout the course of the project to offer support, answer technical questions and evaluate the woodwork at the request of the project team.
• Assurance. The Q ensures that woodwork complies with the Standards and the project specifications before problems arise.
• A pool of pre-qualified woodwork manufacturers to choose from. Through comprehensive testing and inspection, Q-qualified woodworkers demonstrate the ability to fabricate, finish and install work in accordance with the Standards.
• Recourse. The Q helps avoid or solve time-consuming problems that may arise related to project quality. Project inspections occur randomly and as requested.
• Proven results.
The General Services Administration (GSA) and the American Subcontractors
Association (ASA) endorse the Q.

How to Specify the Q
“Now it’s even easier to specify the Q for interior architectural woodwork projects,” said AWI QCC Director Craig Elias. “With just three simple steps, design professionals can quickly and easily specify the Q.” They include:

1. Specify the Q in your design using the language found in MasterSpec® or provided by the AWI QCC at www.awiqcp.org/qcp.
2. Register your project with the Q. Visit www.awiqcp.org/register to complete the registration form.
3. Record the project number in your project documents.

For more information on the Q, stop by booth #113 at the AIA convention or visit the AWI QCP Web site, www.awiqcp.org.

 
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Federal Scene

Employers Must Use Revised I-9 Form Immediately

Employers must use revised I-9 form for new work authorization and reverification required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services effective April 3, 2009.

“Most notably, the new form requires employers to accept only unexpired documents. Expired driver licenses, passports or other documents cannot be used to verify employment eligibility and identity. The form includes changes to the list of acceptable documents and formatting changes in Section 1,” the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) reported.

The process of completing the I-9 has not changed. When an employee is hired, he/she still has to complete Section 1 of the form, and the employer must complete Section 2 within three days of hiring. Failure to use the new I-9 form could result in monetary penalties. For more information, visit www.uscis.gov.
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Chapter News

Notable Activities

The AWI Wisconsin Chapter recently voted to allocate $2,000/year for scholarships for the Cabinetmaking & Millwork Program at the Madison Area Technical College.  Good job supporting tomorrow’s workforce!

To learn more about the school’s program visit www.matcmadison.edu.

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Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  Learn about the upcoming events sponsored by AWI Carolinas, Wisconsin, and Central Pennsylvania Chapters.  Congratulations to the AWI Carolinas and Wisconsin Chapters on support of SkillsUSA!

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 Carolinas Chapter
When: April 21, 2009
What: SkillsUSA Events
Information: Contact chapter officers.

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: April 22, 2009 (12:30 – 4:00 pm)
What: General Meeting and Board Meeting, Wisconsin SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition
Where: Clarion Suites Central, Madison; (contest) Alliant Energy Center, Madison
Information & Details: Click here.
RSVP: By April 17 to Steve Finnessy – phone: 262.623.8782

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: May 18, 2009 (12:30 pm)
What:  Harrisburg Capital Campus Building Tour, LEED® Update & Presentation, HACC Midtown Trade and Technology Center
Tour
Presenters: Bill Sutton II, LEED AP; Garry Astles, Central PA Chapter President; Bill Thompson, Dean of BHET at HACC
Where: 1426 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA
Information & Registration: Click here.
Questions: Garry Astles at gastles@northwayind.com

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: August 6, 2009 (8:30 am – 7:00 pm)
What: 2009 Wood Industry Golf Outing & Dinner
Where: Cold Water Canyon Golf Course, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Information: Click here for details about the golf outing, dinner fees, accommodations and registration.
Registration: $110 by June 26; $125 June 27
Proceeds: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Wisconsin Wood Manufacturing Technology Student Scholarships.

All chapters are encouraged to plan their events early to allow for ample promotion of your activities in this section of AWI e-briefs as well as through other avenues.  Also, if your chapter is involved in local and regional SkillsUSA competitions, advise AWI.  Contact Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services at gbednar@awinet.org.

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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published May 7, 2009.

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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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