A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members October 15, 2009
Business Tools

Fall Issue of AWI Design Solutions Is Now Open for Viewing Online

Check out the outstanding projects of AWI "Award of Excellence" honorees: Westmark Products, Inc. (WA); Ebenisterie Beaubois Ltee (QC); Nikolai Manufacturing, Inc. (BC); Stephenson Millwork Company, Inc. (NC); and TMI Systems Design Corp. (ND).

See the fall issue, open for viewing 24/7 online, by clicking here. 

All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to submit their projects for an "Award of Excellence." Gain exposure among the outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal. Visit awinet.org for submission forms. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (winter) AOE honors program is December 1, 2009.
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Learning Forum

AWI Convention Presentations Available as Member Benefit

If you were not among the approximately 300 AWI members who attended the 57th AWI Annual Convention last week in Alexandria, VA, you missed some outstanding seminars. But, you can access the presentations online to get a flavor of what members learned to supplement their business knowledge and enhance their industry expertise.

The following presentations are posted in the "Members Only" section of the AWI Web site, www.awinet.org.

Money Matters: Woodwork Company Finance for Non-financial Managers
Presenters: Scott Nelson, Central Plains Millwork and Bruce Spitz, Classic Millwork & Products, Inc.

Lean Manufacturing: For Better and For Worse
Presenter: Michael Rothmeier, Simple Solutions Consulting

Woodworking Trends & Economic Forecast
Presenter: Alan Beaulieu, Institute for Trend Research

Leveraging LEED® Part 1: Clearing the Haze and LEED® Part 2: The Paperwork Bog-Down
Presenter: Rob Ziegelmeier, AWI

Succession Success
Presenter: Brooke Tucker, Tucker Capital Advisors

How to UP Sales in a DOWN Economy
Presenter: Jack Warkenthien, NextStep Solutions 

AWS: Marketing Tool for Business Growth
Presenter: Greg Heuer, AWI 

Technology Update
Presenter: Steve Waltman, Stiles Machinery
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Understanding & Marketing AWS: Upcoming Presentations

With the release of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), 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. 

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. 

AWI Texas Chapter
When: October 29-30, 2009
What: General Fall Meeting & AWS Preview
Where: Embassy Suites downtown/Townlake, Austin, TX
Registration:  See attached.
Contact: Christi Duncan; texasawi@earthlink.net; 972-333-6550 (P)

Minnesota Technical Schools
When: November 3, 2009
Presenter: Greg Bednar, AWI Director of Chapter Development
Where: Minneapolis, MN
Contact: Greg Bednar; gbednar@awinet.org

AWI Minnesota Chapter
When: November 4, 2009
Presenter: Mike Bell of Kentucky Millwork
Questions: Contact Chapter Officers  

AWI Florida Chapter
When: November 14, 2009
What: Presentation for architects and AWI members
Presenter: Mike Bell of Kentucky Millwork
Where: Marriott Hotel, Orlando, FL
Questions: Chapter President/Treasurer Phyllis Thornberg, Lyndan, Inc.; (P) 813.977.6683, phyllis@lyndan.com

AWI Central PA Chapter
When: November 18, 2009 (5:30 – 7:30 pm)
Presenter: William F. Geyer, Assistant Professor, Construction & Design Technologies, PA College of Technology)
Where: HACC Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Information & Registration: See attached

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

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AWI News

New Mod Squad Appears on AWI Wiki – Check It Out

Architectural Woodwork Standards & LEED® for Woodworkers Teaching Modules on the AWI Wikispace are designed to leverage the wisdom and talent of the AWI community.

The site is designed to help brainstorm ideas, write content, and share compelling images; create visually interesting and mentally stimulating modules about the new AWS; and help speakers take the AWI message out to the construction industry. Check it out and get involved by clicking here.
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AWI Wikispaces Opens Doors to All Members: Collaborative Site Available Now

Join the AWI collaborative online site, now open 24/7, and check out work in progress on education, sustainability, and more.  You too can collaborate with other members and staff about issues and programs of special interest to you.  You will even be able to launch your OWN wiki page on the site.  Learn more.

Visit www.wiki.awinet.org/.  Sign in for an account if you do not already have one.  Enter your username and password if you are already registered at Wikispaces.net.  “Stay tuned as more information becomes available, including news about technical support, links to LinkedIn,” reports AWI Chief Staff Learning Officer Greg Heuer.
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Reminder: AWI Remittance Address Changes

Don’t let your membership dues remittances or other payments to AWI become delayed. A new remittance address is effective immediately.

Mail payments to:

Architectural Woodwork Institute
Attn: Accounts Receivable
46179 Westlake Drive, Suite 120
Potomac Falls, VA 20165

The old remittance address in NC is no longer open. See attached for more details.  Questions should be directed AWI Office Manager Angie Fuller at afuller@awinet.org.
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Are You LinkedIn to AWI’s Growing Online Forum?

The AWI LinkedIn support and discussion forum has grown to over 350 members.

There are enough AWI participating members checking LinkedIn now to make it worthwhile to ask and answer YOUR woodwork business questions on the forum.

Check out the forum, join (for FREE) today, and share with your woodworking colleagues. Go here to see more.
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Safety Matters

CNA "AWI - Motion is Money" Webinar (Woodworkers Welcomed)

CNA will present AWI – "Motion is Money" on Monday, November 2 at 2:00 pm EST.

This 60 minute webinar explains how wasted/unnecessary motion can add to productivity and injury costs. Learn about the principles of ergonomics with concepts of Lean Manufacturing and human factors. The reduction of wasted motion saves $$ for employers.

Please note that the registration process has changed. You MUST visit the CNA Web site to register. You will get a confirmation e-mail immediately following your registration to this class and a reminder e-mail 3 days before the event.

Visit: www.cna.com/riskcontrol, go to the "SORCE" section, click on webinar schedule, go to the "Manufacturing" category to register. 

The webinar will be repeated on Friday, November 6 at 2:00 pm EST. Please follow the same instructions to register.
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OSHA Communication Standard Would Require Training or Re-Training within 2 Years

On September 30, 2009, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its plan for aligning U.S. hazard communication standards with international standards for communicating chemical-related hazards.

"Under OSHA’s plan, construction firms would be required to train or re-train employees on new labels (including new symbols and pictograms) and data sheets within two years of the publication of a final rule. This is due to extensive changes in hazard classification, labeling and safety data for flammable, explosive, oxidizing, irritant, corrosive, pressurized, carcinogenic and toxic substances," according to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA).

See OSHA’s proposed rule by clicking here. The agency is seeking feedback on the benefits, economic impact, and effectiveness of the proposed changes.
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Green Scene

FSC Announces Draft Standard for Plantation Management

The draft standard for plantation management, Principle 10, of the U.S. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC-US) Forest Management Standard is now available for the first 60-day phase of public consultation. All interested parties are encouraged to submit comments. Comments are due by Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

"The FSC standards for forest management certification are composed of 10 Principles. The document presented for consultation contains the standard for certification of plantation management (Principle 10) and is a component of the FSC-US Forest Management Standard. Certification of plantations requires compliance with Principles 1-9 and additionally with requirements specific to plantation management. Principle 10 contains these additional requirements. There are a few Indicators in Principles 1-9 that are not applicable to plantation management—these are explicitly referred to in this draft of Principle 10," FSC announced.

"This draft Principle 10 was developed through consultation with the FSC-US Plantations Working Group, technical committees and advisors with expertise in FSC certification of plantations. It has undergone preliminary review but has not been approved by the Standards and Policy Committee of the FSC-US Board," the organization said.

Visit the Principle 10 public consultation page of the FSC-US Web site for instructions on how to submit comments and to review all relevant documents. Contact Gary Dodge, FSC-US Director of Science and Certification with any questions or comments. He can be reached at gdodge@fscus.org or at 530.621.3249. 

NOTE: The information presented in this article should not be construed as legal or other professional advice or to represent the opinion of AWI and presents this for informational purposes only to represent balanced reporting of differing views as a service to members and subscribers.  AWI does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this material from industry and other sources. 

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How “Green” Are You?

As a service to members, AWI will publish information about members’ environmental sensitivity and energy saving practices as well as their various "green" certification credentials.

Send your information to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.


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Member News

SCM Group & Louis and Company Host Education Program/Open House

SCM Group USA and Louis and Company will host a one day education and machinery open house Thursday, November 12th from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Technology Center in Phoenix, AZ.

The one day event will focus on ways to improve your business for 2010. Experts from software, machinery, hardware and the leasing/ finance industries will be present. Fifteen (15) machines will be on hand for different demos and presentations. For more information on this event, contact Mike Sudweeks at 801.652.0251 or visit www.scmgroup-usa.com/events.html.

SCM Group USA has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1983 and Louis and Company has been an AWI Supplier Member since 2006.
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Dates & Location Announced For Next Executive Briefing Conference

Stiles Machinery Inc. has announced that the Executive Briefing Conference (EBC) is now scheduled for February 28 through March 2, 2010 in Dallas, TX.

Stiles is offering the EBC under the auspices of Stiles Education, the internationally accredited educational branch of the organization. The new February date avoids event conflicts members of industry associations had with the initial fall 2009 date. Highlights of the 2010 event include two manufacturing plant tours, renowned keynote presenters, and briefing topics focusing on solutions for what’s now, what’s new, and what’s next. Program details and registration information will be distributed in the next few months.

New to the 2010 event is a special offer for EBC alumni who have participated in multiple conferences. Stiles will provide this group with additional opportunities to connect with the presenters as well as other unique benefits for their continued support. Personal invitations outlining this new program will be sent to qualifying alumni.

Stiles Education, in cooperation with industry partners and network supporters that include AWI, designs the EBC as a learning opportunity that also offers a dynamic group experience. The EBC is a not-for-profit educational event. Any profits will be donated to advance the efforts of WoodLINKS USA, an industry education partnership that certifies entry-level skilled workers so they can become the future leaders of the industry.

Visit Stiles at www.stilesmachinery.com. Stiles has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1996.

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Industry News

Billings at U.S. Architecture Firms Exceed $40 Billion Annually

In the three-year period leading up to the current recession, gross billings at U.S. architecture firms increased nearly $16 billion from 2005 and totaled $44.3 billion in 2008, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported.

This equates to 54% growth over the three-year period with annual growth of about 16%. These findings are from the AIA Business of Architecture: AIA Survey Report on Firm Characteristics, which is conducted every three years to examine issues related to the business practices of AIA member-owned architecture firms. The study also revealed sizeable gains in the number of firms doing green design projects, as well as using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.

Top 10 sectors served by architects in 2008:

* Healthcare: 18.2%
* Office space: 11.3%
* Education (K-12): 9.0%
* Education (college/university): 9.0%
* Retail, food services: 8.4%
* Government / civic: 5.9%
* Hospitality: 4.8%
* Industrial: 3.6%
* Transportation: 2.9%
* Recreational: 2.3% 

The Business of Architecture: AIA Survey Report on Firm Characteristics, available only in PDF format, is $59 for AIA members and $99 for nonmembers. To find the survey on the AIA Bookstore Web site, click on "store" on www.aia.org, then click on "publications," scroll to the right to get to the search box and type in "firm survey."
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Unemployment Rate Continued Upward Trend

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in September (-263,000), and the unemployment rate (9.8%) continued to trend up, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on October 2. The largest job losses were in construction, manufacturing, retail trade, and government.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.6 million to 15.1 million, and the unemployment rate has doubled to 9.8%, BLS reported.

In September, construction employment declined by 64,000. Monthly job losses averaged 66,000 from May through September, compared with an average of 117,000 per month from November to April. September job cuts were concentrated in the industry's nonresidential components (-39,000) and in heavy construction (-12,000). Since December 2007, employment in construction has fallen by 1.5 million.
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The Year Ahead for Construction: A Perfect ‘10

Gain insight into the future of the construction industry as expert economists provide an in-depth analysis and forecast of construction market activity and conditions. A webinar on October 22, 2009 at 2:00 EDT features notable industry economists.

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 quarterly webcast series delivering the most up-to-date information on current construction activity. Analysis from industry experts will include a look at current trends and a forecast of residential and nonresidential construction activity including the institutional, commercial, industrial and heavy engineering sectors.

For more information and to register, click here.
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New Woodwork Career Alliance Web Site Sports Fresh Look

Check out the work of the Woodwork Career Alliance to advance the Skill Standards project. Visit the WCA at http://woodworkcareer.org, the Alliance's new Web site.

The new and improved WCA Web site has enhanced navigation and easy-to-find drop-down tabs with newly organized content about: Skill Standards, Credentialing, Partners, Talk About It, and About Us/Contact. You can also tour the Skill Standards development progress. Check it and consider sponsorship and partnering with WCA for a strong, knowledgeable workforce for tomorrow.

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WCA Seeks More Volunteers for Skill Standards Project: That Means You!

Think about the ramifications to your business of the cost of an unskilled employee.  Then, think about the value of Skill Standards and a Credential.  Then, consider how you can help the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) speed up its already-impressive delivery on this project that will give you a way to measure and recognize the competency of woodworking professionals.  Do you have 10 minutes a day?

The WCA has written Skill Standards for OVER 30 different tools and machines. If you get involved now.  Contact them at their new Web site, http://woodworkcareer.org.

The WCA Board of Directors has selected the next set of tools and machines, and they are inviting volunteers with experience on these tools to be interviewed for their preferred "standards" for the industry, according to Greg Heuer, Secretary of the WCA. Check out the list of the working tools at http://skillstandards.wikispaces.com/Tool_Groups.

There are a number of ways you can help advance the Skill Standards project. Contact Greg Heuer at gheuer@umich.edu.

* Tell him you will fund a small part of this BIG project.
* Or, tell him you are willing to TEST the Standards in your plant.
* Or, tell him you have some experience with tools and machines, and will help WRITE or EDIT the Standards.

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Federal Scene

October 17 is Last Day for Businesses to Request Tax Credit Certification for Some New Hires 

Businesses planning to claim the recently-expanded work opportunity tax credit for eligible unemployed veterans and disconnected youth hired before mid-September now have until October 17, 2009 to request the certification required for these workers, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In Notice 2009-69, released in August, the IRS extended the certification deadline from August 17, 2009, to October 17, 2009, and clarified the definition of "disconnected youth." Revised Form 8850, available on www.IRS.gov, is used by employers to request certification from their state workforce agency.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted in February, added unemployed veterans returning to civilian life and certain younger workers, referred to as disconnected youth, to the list of groups covered by the credit.

Normally, a business must file Form 8850 with the state workforce agency within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work. But under a special rule, businesses have until October 17, 2009, to file this form for unemployed veterans and disconnected youth who begin work on or after January 1, 2009 and before September 17, 2009. The instructions for Form 8850 provide details on requesting the certification.
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New IRS Retirement Plan Navigator Aims to Help Small Businesses 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created a new Web-based tool to help small business owners determine which tax-favored pension plan best suits their needs and how to keep their plans in compliance.

The  IRS Retirement Plan Navigator is intended to provide employers with an easy-to-use guide that focuses on three areas: choosing a plan, maintaining a plan and correcting a plan.

By using the navigator, employers may find that choosing and maintaining a pension plan is not as daunting as they thought. Some plan types are less costly and easier to establish than others. The navigator does not suggest which plan may be best for a specific employer but it does lay out the options to allow them to choose one that best fits their situations. The navigator includes a side-by-side comparison of pension plans and their requirements.

The navigator provides a checklist and suggested resources for maintaining compliance. Pension laws change frequently. Employers can minimize problems by doing a once-a-year review to ensure they maintain compliance.

The IRS also recognizes that mistakes can be made unintentionally, and many errors can be corrected without notifying the agency. The navigator offers suggested options to employers seeking to correct errors and bring their plans back into compliance.

Although the Retirement Plan Navigator is aimed at small business owners, it also can help mid-size businesses review their options as well. Individuals who want to better understand their employer’s plan may also find it of use. 

The Web-based guide will be kept up to date as pension laws and regulations change.
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Chapter News

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 Chicago Chapter
When: November 11, 2009
What: Veneer Seminar for AIA Chicago Chapter
Where: Haffele Showroom in Chicago
Information: Contact Chapter Officers  

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: November 15, 2009 (9:00 am)
What: Cambria FabShop Tour
Where: Charlotte, NC
Information: Click here.
Questions: Kristine Cox, 336.887.0700 (P) 

AWI New England Chapter
When: November 18-20, 2009
What: Participation at "Build Boston"; "Understand & Specifying Wood Veneers & Factory Finishing" Presentation (November 20, 2009)
Where: Boston, MA
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Heart of America Chapter
When: November 20, 2009
What: LEED® & FSC
Presenter: Rob Ziegelmeier, AWI Sustainability Resources Representative
Information: Contact Chapter Officers  

AWI Heart of America Chapter
When: January 21, 2010 (NEW DATE – Postponed from November 20, 2009)
What: LEED® & FSC
Presenter: Rob Ziegelmeier, AWI Sustainability Resources Representative
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 November 5, 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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