A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members July 16, 2009
Learning Forum

Capture Business Knowledge in a Historic Setting

For the 57th AWI Annual Convention, October 7-10, scheduled in "Old Town" Alexandria, VA, the association takes knowledge and networking to a new level, with solid sessions for management set in a region rich in history, culture, and fine cuisine. What will you find in this great setting minutes from Washington, DC?

Select one of the planned tours, like the Segway City Sights Tour featured at right, to soak up the sights and sounds of the Washington, DC and "Old Town" Alexandria. You’ll be thrilled about the history and charm around every corner.

Choose from such tours as: Adventuring in "Old Town" Alexandria, Masonic Memorial Tour, Arlington National Cemetery Tour, Monuments by Moonlight Tour, Mall & Monument Tour, Ghosts & Graveyards Tour, DC Ducks Tour, and Mount Vernon Day Trip. These professionally conducted tours can be complemented by your own customized adventure around town organized to suit your interests with the help of the AWI staff.

Visit www.awinet.org for more information and to register. Check out the full program of events online AND in the AWI convention brochure mailed to you with the July and August issues of AWI NewsBriefs. Watch for tips monthly in AWI NewsBriefs where presenters at the AWI Convention share practical business tips to help you not only survive in these turbulent economic times but also surpass expectations.
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Workforce

Additional Grant Opportunity for Skill Standards: Contacts Needed!

The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) may have an opportunity to apply for a special grant to help fund its important work developing Skill Standards. To do so, however, it needs to apply through state foresters. Do you have any contacts that would help make this possible by mid-August?

With your help, WCA could build a relationship with a number of state foresters. Contact WCA Secretary and AWI Chief Learning Officer Greg Heuer at gheuer@umich.edu if you have connections with a state forester, a state forest products society or association anywhere in the U.S. Contacts are needed in every one of the Forest Service regions on the map here. Use your network to increase WCA’s contacts.

Please contact gheuer@umich.edu NOW if you have such a contact or know anyone who knows a state forester. There is little time remaining to apply for the grant, and timing is critical. Thanks to those who have already responded to WCA’s appeal.

Visit the Woodwork Career Alliance at www.woodworkcareer.org.

 

 


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SkillsUSA Produces Cabinetmaking Competition Winners!

AWI National is a long-standing supporter of the annual national SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition, providing support and assistance in developing the contest project and overseeing it in Kansas City, MO. This year there were 45 competitors.

For the list of medalists who won the national SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition, click here. And, for details about the Texas SkillsUSA winner who won the gold medal (high school level) at the national championships, see the article below "AWI Texas Chapter Supports a Winner" in "Chapter News" section.
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AWI News

Nominations for AWI Honorary Life Member Close July 31

Does one of your colleagues or industry peers deserve special recognition for exemplary service to the association, its members, and AWI’s Mission? Consider nominating them for AWI Honorary Life Membership.

AWI is currently accepting nominations for the high distinction of Honorary Life Member. Submissions must be received by AWI by July 31 using a special form.

For information about the qualifications for Honorary Life Member, nomination eligibility, and benefits of the distinction as an Honorary Life Member, log in to www.awinet.org with your AWI member access codes. On the left-hand menu bar, click on "AWI Members Only" then "Honorary Life Member."

To complete the nomination form, click here.
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Business Tools

AWI Cost of Doing Business Report Released

The full printed copy of the 2009 AWI CODB Survey Report is in the mail to all AWI Manufacturing Members who participated. You’ll learn what the average operating margin is for architectural woodworkers and how that compares with the average for high profit firms, and much, much more.

AWI Manufacturing Members who did not participate will receive an executive summary with the 2009 highlights – not the full report, as in previous years. If you would like to purchase a full copy, visit www.awinet.org or contact AWI at 571.323.3636.

This year’s annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey and Compensation Study Report reflects the current economic trends within the industry and will be valuable for adjusting your business model as the industry returns to what will not be business as usual after the market turns around, according to economist Alan Beaulieu. For more insight about his forecast for the construction market, read the July issue of AWI NewsBriefs. And, don’t miss the workshop that he will deliver at the AWI Convention in October.

To use the results of the CODBS to evaluate your business operations, consult the May, June and July issues of AWI NewsBriefs for the series, "Putting the AWI COBDS Report to Work," authored by AWI Past President Scott Nelson, President of Central Plains Millwork.

Nelson and Bruce Spitz of Classic Millwork & Products, Inc. will present a seminar, "Money Matters: Woodwork Company Finance for Non-financial Managers" on October 7 during the 2009 AWI Convention, October 7-10 in "Old Town" Alexandria, VA, minutes from Washington, DC. Don’t miss it!
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AWI Award of Excellence Submissions Open to All Manufacturing Members

Gain honors and get noticed in the quarterly AWI "Award of Excellence" program. Use an AOE Award to market your excellence and gain a competitive advantage during these challenging times when others are seeking entry into your markets. All Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate.

Gain exposure 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. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (fall) AOE honors program is August 1, 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. Architectural woodwork for the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, was fabricated by Somerset Wood Products Company of Raritan, NJ. They produced a custom metal grille panel with acoustic insulation and brushed aluminum trim, the reception/information desk, ticket counter, boardroom, as well as doors and trim throughout the facility. More views of this project can be seen in the winter issue of Design Solutions Magazine.

 


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Free Podcasts for Subcontractors During the “Summer of Love”

The American Subcontractors Association and the Foundation of ASA are offering free, online contract education to construction subcontractors this summer through their "Summer of Love" promotion.

Subcontractors that sign up for a one-year subscription to ASA and FASA’s monthly on-demand radio programs (podcasts) will receive three free podcasts: 

* Preserving Claims for Scope Changes (listen starting June 25, 2009).
* Eliminating or Limiting Retainage (listen starting July 25, 2009).
* Establishing the Right to Payment Assurances (listen starting August 25, 2009).

These three podcasts are normally priced at $45 (members) / $65 (nonmembers) each. Listeners who sign up for the "Summer of Love" can enjoy the three podcasts and then choose by September 24 whether to continue or cancel the annual subscription, which includes the podcasts:

* Protecting Against Payment Default (listen starting September 25, 2009).
* Curbing the Risks of Lien Waivers (listen starting October 25, 2009).
* Defending Your — Not Others’ — Mistakes (listen starting November 25, 2009).
* Addressing the Additional Insured Problem (listen starting December 25, 2009).
* Understanding Termination for Default (listen starting January 25, 2010).
* Limiting Termination for Convenience (listen starting February 25, 2010).
* Evaluating Dispute Resolution Alternatives (listen starting March 25, 2010).
* Keeping Collections Affordable (listen starting April 25, 2010).
* Guarding Against Frivolous Backcharges (listen starting May 25, 2010).
* Checking Performance Bond Requirements (listen starting June 25, 2010).
* Preserving Your Rights When the Contract Is Re-assigned (listen starting July 25, 2010).
* Accounting for Technology Change (listen starting August 25, 2010).

The annual subscription is $300 (members) / $400 for (nonmembers). To subscribe, visit www.contractorsknowledgenetwork.org, and click on the "Summer of Love" banner and complete the required information.


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Green Scene

“Green” Certification – How “Green” Are You?

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.

Prime Design Custom Millwork has received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The AWI Manufacturing Member since 2001 has offices in Blackwood, NJ and Lake Worth, FL Visit them at www.primedsn.com.

idX Corporation has earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification for its Louisville and Seattle Divisions. Earning FSC Certification means that wood used in fixtures from idX Louisville and Seattle can be traced back to the forest where it began. It ensures environmentally responsible forestry of wood products. idX Corporation has been an AWI Manufacturing Member since 2005. Reach them at www.idxcorporation.com.
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Where the Business Is – with Green Design Firms

Economic Stimulus funds and other factors are driving "green" building. Architectural woodworkers seeking to do LEED® Green Building Certification System projects may want to check out the top 100 green design firms in the country for business opportunities.

In news reported by the American Institute of Architects, revenue has increased substantially by projects registered with green design programs. For the list of top 100 green design firms and more details, click here for the July issue of Architectural Record (subscription required).
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International Green Construction Code (IGCC) Announced

On June 29, three groups – the American Institute of Architects, the International Code Council and the American Society for Testing and Materials – announced their intent to create an International Green Construction Code.

According to a recent report in Architectural Record, code officials are optimistic that a framework with be in place for the design and construction of green commercial buildings by the end of 2010.

For more details, click here (subscription required).
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Industry News

“Turning Points in Construction” Webcast Set for July 23

The 2009 Market Insights Series, presented by Reed Construction Data, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is a free quarterly webcast series delivering the most up-to-date information on current and forecasted construction activity. The upcoming webcast will take place from 2:00 – 3:30 pm (EDT) on July 23.

Join expert economists Jim Haughey, Ken Simonson and Kermit Baker for "Turning Points in Construction," a free, 90-minute webcast focused on the key factors affecting the recovery of the construction industry.

Analysis includes a look at current trends and a forecast of residential and nonresidential construction activity including the institutional, commercial, industrial and heavy engineering sectors.

Topics:

* When will stimulus spending be enough to stop the construction decline?
* Will credit stay cheap long enough to permit a good start to the recovery?
* When will confidence be high enough to sustain a recovery?
* Is the housing market ready to recover?

To register, click here.
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Stimulus Funding Projects – Shovel Ready Opportunities

McGraw Hill Construction posts Stimulus Package updates in a special section on its Web site.

For access to the site (subscription required) visit construction.com.  Visitors can view information about shovel-ready construction projects by region and market sectors. Explore new opportunities for your business.
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Overall Construction Costs Decline, According to RSMeans’ Index

The latest Construction Cost Index (CCI) calculations for the quarter ending in April, 2009 reveal a general decline, all due to materials, according to Reed Construction Data. The latest Index shows changes for 51 major U.S. cities.

Installation rates remained high, the CCI noted. RSMeans reported that "falling construction costs overall is highly unusual." For more details, visit Reed Construction Data (subscription required).
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Standards

Understanding & Marketing AWS: Upcoming Presentations

As the upcoming release of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) nears, members of the 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.

AWI New Jersey Chapter
When: September 10, 2009
Presenter: AWI Past President Joe Sorrelli
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: September 21, 2009
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Empire State Chapter / Hafele America
When: September 24, 2009
Presenter: AWI Past President Joe Sorrelli
Where: Hafele America Company New York Showroom
Information: Hafele America National Offices; 336.434.2322 (P)

AIA Chicago Chapter
When: October 15, 2009
AWI Chapter Development Director 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
Questions: gbednar@awinet.org 

ALA / CSI Chicago Architectural Conference
When: October 20, 2009 (1:15 – 2:45 pm)
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.

The AWS is jointly produced by AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute.


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Federal Scene

Federal “No-Match” Rule to Be Rescinded

On July 8, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the Administration’s support for a regulation that will award federal contracts only to employers who use E-Verify to check employee work authorization. The declaration came as DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the Department's intention to rescind the Social Security No-Match Rule, which has never been implemented and has been blocked by court order, in favor of the more modern and effective E-Verify system.

E-Verify, which compares information from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) against federal government databases to verify workers’ employment eligibility, is a free web-based system operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The system facilitates compliance with federal immigration laws and helps to deter unauthorized individuals from attempting to work and also helps employers avoid employing unauthorized aliens.

The federal contractor rule extends use of the E-Verify system to covered federal contractors and subcontractors, including those who receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.  After a careful review, the Administration will push ahead with full implementation of the rule, which will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards Government-wide starting on September 8, 2009.

On average, one thousand employers sign up for E-Verify each week, totaling more than 134,000 employers representing more than half a million locations nationwide. Westat, an independent research firm, found that 96.9 percent of all queries run through E-Verify are automatically confirmed work-authorized within 24 hours. The figure is based on statistics gathered from October through December 2008. Since October 1, 2008, E-Verify has processed more than six million queries. 

DHS will be proposing a new regulation rescinding the 2007 No-Match Rule, which was blocked by court order shortly after issuance and has never taken effect.  That rule established procedures that employers could follow if they receive SSA No-Match letters or notices from DHS that call into question work eligibility information provided by employees. These notices most often inform an employer many months or even a year later that an employee’s name and Social Security Number provided for a W-2 earnings report do not match SSA records—often due to typographical errors or unreported name changes.  E-Verify addresses data inaccuracies that can result in No-Match letters in a timelier manner and provides a more robust tool for identifying unauthorized individuals and combating illegal employment.

For more information on E-Verify, visit www.uscis.gov/everify.
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School Modernization Target of Federal Legislation

Even more school projects could be on the horizon, if the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act becomes law.

H.R. 2187 passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May calling for $6.4 billion in fiscal year 2010 for modernization, renovation and repair of school buildings.

According to a report in GreenSource WebInsider, most of the funds (if appropriated through the federal budget) would need to be used on projects that meet green standards. These funds would boost the dollars already authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), offering those specializing in school construction and enhancements more opportunities for business.

For more details, click here (subscription required).
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Federal Judge Struck Down National Forest Service Rules

The U.S. Forest Service will be required to reinstate rules protecting wildlife and limiting logging in 150 national forests. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of a group of 14 environmental organizations that had sued the Forest Service for relaxing regulations in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act.

The recent court ruling overturned Bush administration rules that had removed limitations on the clear-cutting of trees. For more details, see the article, "Forest Service Must Reinstate Tougher Guidelines," published July 1, 2009 in SFGate.com (subscription required).
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State Scene

Kansas Becomes First State in the Nation to Regulate Wrap-Up Insurance Programs

On May 21, 2009, Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson (D) signed into law H.B. 2214, making Kansas the first state in the nation to mandate specific guidelines for coverage and participant rights under owner- and contractor-controlled insurance programs, commonly referred to as "wrap-up" programs," according to the American Subcontractors Association, the measure's strong advocate.

As defined in the new law, a controlled insurance program is "a program of liability or workers’ compensation insurance coverage, or both, that is established by an owner or contractor who contractually requires participation by contractors or subcontractors who are engaged in work required by a construction project." The law establishes requirements for wrap up programs generally, as well as for general liability and workers’ compensation coverage included in the programs.

OCIP and CCIP programs shall:

* Make quarterly reports on claims and losses.
* Replace or pay to replace participants’ coverage should the program be cancelled.
* Set a deductible maximum of $2,500 per claim and no per claim assessment.
* Disclose specific requirements for safety or equipment prior to accepting bids from contractors and subcontractors on a construction project.
* Allow monetary fines for alleged safety violations to be assessed only by government agencies.

General liability coverage included in wrap-up programs must include:

* Mandatory completed operations coverage through the life of the statute of limitations for claims.
* Protection from requirements for purchasing duplicative coverage for participants.
* Severability of interest (each company covered under the policy as if it were covered separately).
* Equal shared limits of liability between program sponsors and participants.
* No requirement that participants waive rights of recovery for claims covered under the controlled insurance program.

The law also mandates that workers’ compensation coverage included in OCIP and CCIP must cover all workers on the payroll. In the event that a worker is injured on the job, the worker can not be required to return to work unless he/she is certified as fit for work by a health care provider, or the employer has modified work available.

Finally, the law requires the Kansas Commissioner of Insurance to adopt all rules and regulations needed to implement the new law by January 1, 2010.
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Chapter News

AWI Texas Chapter Supports a Winner!

The winner of the Texas SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition, supported by the AWI Texas Chapter, placed first in the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, MO. The contest attracted 44 competitors.

From left to right: Jim Kollaja TAWI Cabinet Making Chairman, Ben Wilde McArthur HS Skills USA National Cabinet Making Champion, Bobbie Turnbo Principal McArthur High School, Joe Salinas McArthur HS Cabinet Making Advisor.

Congratulations to national SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition Gold Medalist (High School Division) Ben Wilde of McArthur High School where the schools’ woodwork program is only four years old. The Texas AWI Chapter contributed $1500 to Ben Wilde for first place win on the state level. Ben will attend Texas A&M this fall and has been accepted into the School of Architecture. The chapter also provided a $1500 travel voucher for the Texas winner to attend the national contest in Kansas City.

The chapter is heavily promoting the workforce of tomorrow by providing over $1500 in attendance prizes to all contestants and has continued a tradition which began in 2007 of awarding college scholarships to SkillsUSA competitors: $1500 for first place; $1000 for second place; and $500 for third place. For more details about the Texas Chapter’s support of SkillsUSA activities, contact Jim Kollaja, AWI Texas Chapter Cabinetmaking Chairman at 361.883.4630.

Good work AWI Texas Chapter and to all AWI chapters who support SkillsUSA locally and regionally. AWI National wants to know about your efforts. Contact AWI Chapter Development Director Greg Bednar at gbednar@awinet.org with information about your efforts.
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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 Ohio Valley Chapter
When: July 17, 2009 (tee time - 8:30 am)
What: Golf Outing
Where: Legendary Run, Cincinnati, OH
Registration: Details attached; RSVP form attached, send to tracy@louisvillelumber.com
.
Information: Ron Simmons, Chapter President, 502.459.8710

AWI New England Chapter
When: July 27, 2009
What: 17th Annual Summer Outing (Golf Tournament, Flat Water Fishing, Reception & Dinner)
Where: Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, Rye, NH and other locations
Information: See attached flyer for event details and registration 

AWI Iowa/Nebraska Chapter
When: July 31, 2009
What: Sustainability Program
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialists
Information: Contact Chapter Officers
 
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: $125
Proceeds: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Wisconsin Wood Manufacturing Technology Student Scholarships.

AWI Heart of America Chapter
When: August 28, 2009
What: Tour of Technique Manufacturing / Pluswood Distributors
Information: Contact Chapter Officers
 

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 

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: September 9, 2009
What: Sustainability Program
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialties
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: September 18, 2009
What: LEED® & FSC
Presenter: Rob Ziegelmeier, AWI Sustainability Resources Representative
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: September 25, 2009
What Sporting Clay Event
Where: Elk Creek
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 Director at gbednar@awinet.org.

 
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published August 6, 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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