A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members May 21, 2009

Save the Date! October 7-10, 2009 – the 2009 Annual AWI Convention – Your Knowledge and Networking Forum.  Program and full details are coming soon in your AWI monthly mailing packet!  Register early and save.  Online registration at www.awinet.org opens soon!
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AWI News

The 2009 AWI Membership & Resource Directory Is on Its Way

Watch your mail for your printed copy of AWI’s annual “who’s who” in the architectural woodwork community of AWI members. Mailing began last week.

The AWI Membership & Resource Directory is the ultimate annual reference guide about AWI member companies consulted throughout the year.  The guide lists contacts, sales and service areas, and key company information.  It is supplemented by the online searchable listing of members open 24/7 for architects, designers, contractors, and others seeking architectural woodwork manufacturers and suppliers.

Members are reminded to update listings online at www.awinet.org or contact Membership Manager Cassey Gibson at cgibson@awinet.org.
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Workforce

DOL Invites Architectural Woodwork Industry Input on Occupational Outlook Draft

AWI members and Woodwork Career Alliance supporters have until May 29 to seize the opportunity to comment on the draft Occupational Outlook prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The final document will impact the future of the architectural workforce. Don’t miss this opportunity!

The Occupational Outlook has substantial impact on school advisors, grant writers and politicians, according to DuaneGriffiths of Stiles Machinery, Vice President of the Woodwork Career Alliance (WAC).   If you send your comments to the WCA, they will incorporate them in their remarks to the DOL.  E-mail comments to WCA Secretary Greg Heuer at gheuer212@me.com.

The woodworkers statement in the Occupational Outlook Handbook under revision is ready for comment, DOL officials report. View the DOL draft on the WCA Skill Standards Wiki here.  Use the track changes feature in “Word” and send them to Greg Heuer hs or e-mail general comments to Phil Bastian, Economist, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections at Bastian.Phillip@bls.govThe deadline for comments is May 29, 2009.
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Judging Under Way for 2009 Fresh Wood Student Competition

What does a desk, a coffee table, a crib and a xylophone all have in common?

These and other projects make up the 165 entries to the 2009 Fresh Wood student woodworking competition that arrived by the May 1 deadline. The judging panel will select 50 finalists to be invited to the AWFS®Fair at the Las Vegas Convention Center, July 15–18.

This year’s entries came from 49 different schools in the United States and Canada, 21 of which are entering pieces into the competition for the first time ever. Eleven of the schools, eight high schools and three post-secondary, currently deliver the WoodLINKS USA program.

This year, exhibiting companies will sponsor the competition’s special awards—the Best of Show and People’s Choice.  The Fresh Wood Student Competition has no fee to enter, and AWFS® covers costs to ship the entries to and from AWFS®Fair, as well as to bring the finalists and their teachers to Las Vegas.
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AWI Education Foundation Rewarded with More Gratitude

Juan Aguilar Gutierrez, a recipient of an AWIEF-awarded scholarship, is another thankful student who recently expressed his gratitude for the “fantastic scholarship award.”

Juan said, “This brought to me a desire of continuing to study harder every single day. I can tell now that if we demonstrate intention, courage, and aspiration for the studies there will be people out there who really care about our education.”  He told AWIEF that “part of the scholarship will pay for some of my tuition, and I plan to use the other part for purchasing AutoCAD software in order to learn more about designing furniture.”

For more details about AWIEF scholastic awards and other support contributions, see the May issue of AWI NewsBriefs.  In the coming months, information about contribution opportunities for AWI members to support worthy students like Juan will be available from AWIEF.
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Safety Matters

Make Safety “Priority One” During AWI Safety Week

Don’t miss AWI Safety Week, June 1-5!   Look for daily e-mails and Web updates including important safety tips and resources.  Be the first to answer questions in our Safety Savvy game.

Also, don’t miss the CNA Webinar on “Slips and Falls Solutions” on June 1 and 5.

 
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OSHA Issues Rulemaking on Combustible Dust

On April 29, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is initiating a comprehensive rulemaking on combustible dust.

OSHA will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and convene related stakeholder meetings to evaluate possible regulatory methods, and request data and comments on issues related to combustible dust such as hazard recognition, assessment, communication, defining combustible dust and other concerns.

Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions. These include 14 people who were killed in a dust explosion February 7, 2008, at an Imperial Sugar Co. plant in Georgia and three workers who were burned in April 2009 in an Illinois pet food plant dust explosion.

Combustible dusts are solids finely ground into fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air under certain conditions. Types of dusts include metal (aluminum and magnesium), wood, plastic or rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper, among others.

In 2006, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recommended that OSHA issue a combustible dust standard. OSHA received additional support for a combustible dust standard from the CSB during a congressional hearing in 2008 when the board said a new standard, combined with enforcement and education, could save workers' lives.  More information about combustible dust is available by clicking here

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. The agency's Web site is www.osha.gov.
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CNA Risk Control’s Webinars on “Slips & Falls Solutions”

 Dust and trimmings, such as wood or plastic laminate, can create slippery walkways. Plan to attend one of the two free seminars offering insight into prevention and response to slips and falls through walking surface design and maintenance in a woodworking shop.  The Webinar takes place on June 1 and repeats on June 5 free of charge for AWI members.

The one-hour sessions, which begin at 2:00 pm EST, feature Shari Falkenburg, CNA Risk Control Consulting Director.

For details and access instructions about the Monday, June 1st Webinar, click here. 
For details and access instructions about the Monday, June 5th Webinar, click here.
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Business Tools

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? 

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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Are Your Accounts Payable Bogging Down Productivity?

Industry sources cite the average AP employee spends more than 13 hours a week inputting data from paper into a computer.  Find out what technology can do to improve efficiencies and productivity.

Click here for information reported in ConstrucTech on May 12 (subscription required).
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Next Quarterly AWI AOE Honors Submission Period Open

Gain honors and get noticed in the quarterly AWI “Award of Excellence” program.  Use an AOE Award to your competitive advantage. All Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate.

Get noticed among the outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal.  Maximize opportunities for business.  Visit awinet.org for submission forms and a 2009 AWI Media Planner – Rate Card 9. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (fall) AOE honors program is August 15, 2009. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of the journal which is open for business 24/7.

Pictured is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the winter AWI “Award of Excellence” quarterly competition. The Midwest Medical Center in Galena, IL sports an elegant reception desk featuring a unique design, contrast of wood colors, and use of a variety of materials fabricated by Calmar Manufacturing Company, Inc., of Calmar, IA. More views of this project can be seen in the winter issue of Design Solutions.

Photo credit: Jeff Millies/Hedrich Blessing, Chicago, IL
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Estimating Has Evolved and Gone High-Tech

From low-tech to high-tech, the principles are the same, but it can be easier using technology that is integrated with customers.  Learn how some contracting firms view various software applications.

What are the pros and cons?  Click here to learn more from ConstrucTech (subscription required).

For more insight into the art of estimating, consult the February 2009 issue of AWI NewsBriefs for the cover story, “Gross Profit Versus Markup: The Formula for a Better Bottom Line,” by Bruce Spitz, Chair of the Estimating Team of the AWI Education Committee.
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Learning Forum

The Essentials of Open-Book Management

Who better to teach you Open-Book Management than the inventors of The Game? Is an Open-Book organization desirable and/or viable for your company?

During the SRC Two-Day Experience, you will travel to the birthplace of The Great Game of Business in Springfield, MO, to learn the concepts of Open-Book Management from those who practice it daily. Spend two days experiencing what it’s like to operate in an Open-Book organization.

Whether you are trying to decide if The Game is right for you, or if you are getting started and need a nudge in the proper direction, this is an invaluable experience. You will learn some of the essential Game aspects as well as have the opportunity to meet real SRC employees and see how The Game truly works for them on a daily basis.

To learn more, click here.  A $100 discount is available if you register by May 21.

Check out their bookstore too, by clicking here.
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Green Scene

Did You Know?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on “green” washing?

If you are making claims about your products regarding their sustainable attributes, then you need to check this Web site to make sure you are in compliance. Currently, the FTC is issuing warnings, but fines will be coming,” AWI Sustainability Resources Liaison Rob Ziegelmeier reports.

Watch for the June issue of AWI NewsBriefs for his analysis of LEED® Version 3.  In Part I of his analysis, he has reviewed the updated and former versions of LEED for changes that affect woodworkers.  Part II to his analysis will be featured in a subsequent issue of AWI NewsBriefs.
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ICC Initiates Green Building Code Project

The International Code Council (ICC) has begun work on a “Green Building Code Development Project” that targets the commercial market. The code is designed for traditional and high-performance buildings, WindowDoor.com reported.

For more details, click here.  A Sustainable Building Technology Committee, which will have a key role in the project, is open to interested persons who wish to participate.  

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“Green” Certification

As AWI receives information about companies that have various “green” certification credentials, we will publish the information as a service to members.  Send your information to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.

TMI Systems Design Corporation recently received FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification for their laminated casework, countertop and architectural woodwork products.  In addition to the FSC CoC Certification, TMI offers products which comply with CARB requirements and participate in LEED® project certification.A charter member of the AWI Quality Certification Program (AWI QCP), TMI has been a Manufacturing Member of AWI since 1992, and is QCP Certified for Premium Grade products.  TMI is located in Dickinson, ND and employs over 375 full-time people in a state-of-the-art factory consisting of over 200,000 square feet.  Their full line of laminated products are designed and engineered to service the education, healthcare, laboratory and commercial markets throughout North America.  TMI celebrated its 40th Year Anniversary in February, 2009. Visit them at www.tmisystems.com.

Custom Source Woodworking Incorporated has been in business since 2007, but their experience in the industry goes back over 30 years. The company received Forest Stewardship Council certification 2007.They are located in a new facility that has over 10,000 square feet and contains the latest automated woodworking equipment available. The firm is conveniently located between Seattle and Portland. Custom Source Woodworking has been an AWI Manufacturing Member since 2007.  Visit them at www.customsourceww.com.

 
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Industry News

Consumer & Builder Survey Point to Home Buyer Demand

Two recent surveys show that housing affordability and temporary tax incentives have helped stabilize housing demand and encourage the beginnings of recovery, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported on May 20.

For more details about a University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment and NAHB’s single-family Housing Market Index, check here for NAHB’s Eye on the Economy (subscription required).
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Immigrant Exodus in the Southwest and Florida Slows Recovery There

An analysis of public school enrollments and unemployment trends in the California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona markets point to slower economic recovery there. Speculators and first time homebuyers able to purchase discounting housing will show false signs of recovery, according to Jim Haughey, chief economist of Reed Construction Data.

For more details, click here for the April 22 issue of Construction E-Wire (subscription required).

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March Construction Improves 5%

New construction starts increased 5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $393.2 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

The improved level of contracting relative to February was due to a strong increase for public works construction, helped by two large pipeline projects and a large rail project.  At the same time, nonresidential building showed a further loss of momentum, and residential building slipped back after its brief upturn in February. 

“The pickup for public works in March is in line with what’s anticipated for 2009 as a whole, that being public works will help to cushion the weakness that’s still expected for overall construction activity,” stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction.  “The public works sector in March was supported by several large projects, and in a few months the upward push will become more broad-based as funding from the federal stimulus package begins to have an impact at the construction site, especially as it relates to transportation public works.  The prospects for nonresidential building in 2009 are less hopeful, given the persistently tight lending environment and further erosion on the employment front.  As for housing, while the declines are likely to be less severe as 2009 proceeds, to this point the housing sector is still in the process of reaching bottom.”

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Standards

Understanding & Marketing AWS: Upcoming Presentations

As the upcoming release of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) nears, members of AWI Speakers Bureau, AWI chapters, staff and others will be making presentations to architectural woodworkers, architects, designers and the contractors about the differences between the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated and AWS.  Watch for news of special presentations in your area.  The AWS is jointly produced by AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute.

AWI Virginia Chapter
When: June 30, 2009 (new date)
What: Presentation on new Architectural Woodwork Standards
Presenter: AWI Past President Joe Sorelli
Where: Alexandria, VA
Information: Jim Hamilton, Jr., jhamiltonjr@winchesterwoodworking.com

AIA Chicago Chapter
When: October 15, 2009
What: "The New Architectural Woodwork Standards"
Greg Bednar will highlight the benefits of referencing this definitive reference source for quality architectural woodwork.  Experience a chapter-by-chapter review and learn how to best use this valuable tool.  Find what you need fast by learning time saving tips to ensure your woodwork projects look their best. This program is AIA accredited and does have CEU Credits available.
Presenter: Greg Bednar, AWI Director of Chapter Development Services
Questions: gbednar@awinet.org

ALA / CSI Chicago Architectural Conference
When: October 20, 2009 (1:15 – 2:45 pm)
What: “The New North American Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS)." 
Where: Drury Lane Conference Center, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook, Il. 60181
Questions: gbednar@awinet.org
ALA is the Association of Licensed Architects and CSI is the Construction Specification Institute.
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Federal Scene

New 1099 Form Initiative Would Increase Paperwork, Burden Businesses

The U.S. Department of Treasury released details of a plan outlined in the White House’s FY 2010 proposed budget that could vastly increase required filings of 1099 Forms for payments made by businesses. Learn how.

“The 1099 initiative would, if approved by Congress, reduce exemptions from 1099 reporting and require businesses ‘to file an information return for payments aggregating to $600 or more in a calendar year to a corporation (except a tax-exempt corporation),’” the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) reported.  Revenue estimated at $10 billion over the next decade could flow to the U.S. Treasury from the increased tax revenue.  The Treasury Department estimates that this initiative would raise $10 billion over the next decade through increased tax revenue. “If Congress enacts these budget recommendations and millions of businesses are forced to issue more 1099s, the paperwork burden already saddling companies would increase,” ASA said.

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Architects and Engineers’ Advance Battle Against Retainage on Federal Projects

Subcontractors won their struggle against retainage on federal projects more than 25 years ago, but architects and engineers continue their struggle against retainage – with recent success, according to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA).

Federal contracting officers may soon have the power to authorize lower rates of retainage on fixed-price architect-engineer contracts thanks to a proposed rule issued by the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council on May 5, 2009.

Citing the negative impact of retainage on small A/E firms, this new proposal would remove the mandatory 10% withholding requirement for all payments regardless of cause. The rule would allow federal contracting officers to withhold an amount sufficient “to protect the government’s interest and ensure satisfactory completion of the contract,” but the amount could be no more than 10%.

ASA is preparing comments supporting this positive step toward limiting and eliminating retainage, citing many of the same arguments ASA used in the 1970s and 1980s resulting in the government’s “no routine retainage” policy for construction contractors.
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Chapter News

Notable Activities

AWI chapters are involved in workforce and other industry issues on many levels. Check out recent noteworthy activities, including chapter anniversaries.

Top of Their Game – Congratulations
On May 8, AWI members Scott Tregembo of Albuquerque Cabinets, Tony Perno of Casework Technologies, Jim Parker of D & D Specialties, and Rusty Dils of Southwest Machinery won the CSI New Mexico Chapter golf tournament at the Sandia Golf Club.


They shot a 58 in the four-man scramble format. The foursome has also won the AWI Colorado Chapter Green Valley golf tournament in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
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Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in your local AWI chapters and architectural woodwork communities?  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 Arizona Chapter
When: May 27, 2009 (3:00 pm)
What: LEED® Green Building Rating System/FSC Certification
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialties
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: June 4, 2009
What: Golf Outing
Where: St. Andrews Golf Course, Chicago, IL
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

AWI Texas Chapter
When: June 18-19, 2009
What: June 18 - Golf Outing and/or Skeet Shoot; June 19 “How to Grow a Business in Tough Economic Times” (8:00 am - 11:30 am)
Moderator: Steve Waltman, Stiles Machinery
Information: Welcon Riley, mailto:wriley@terrillmfg.com

AWI
Ohio Valley Chapter
When: July 17, 2009
What: Golf Outing
Where: Legendary Run, Cincinnati, OH
Information: Ron Simmons, Chapter President, 502.459.8710 (Phone)

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.

AWI Florida Chapter
When: August 28-29, 2009
What: August 28 – Golf; August 29 -Officer Changeover Meeting & Program on LEED®/FSC (Tentative)
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

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 June 4, 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.

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