A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members December 16, 2010

Thank You and Season's Greetings

Thank you to all of our 2010 Sponsors for your additional support in 2010 that has helped AWI offer a host of programs, products, and publications to all AWI members. We value your additional support and your continued membership in AWI. Season’s Greetings to all members and best wishes for a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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AWI News

Renew Your AWI Membership & QCP Participation by December 31

Your AWI membership and Quality Certification Program (QCP) accreditation for participants technically ends on December 31, 2010 – that’s 15 days away. Here are answers to some questions members have about the invoices received and dated December 1, 2010.

Q. Why did I receive two invoices?
A. Only AWI/QCP participants who are also members of AWI received two separate invoices. One is from AWI for your AWI membership dues for 2011 and the other is from AWI/QCP for participants to renew their accreditation for 2011. Each invoice was dated December 1, 2010.

Q. When is payment required?
For your AWI membership, payment is requested by December 31, 2011 – only 15 days away.

For AWI/QCP participation renewal, there is a late payment fee of $300 for remittances received after December 31, 2010. Remit payment by December 31st to avoid the late payment fee for your QCP participation.

Q. What is the fastest and easiest way to renew my AWI membership and AWI/QCP participation fees?
Secure online payment is the quickest way. It is the preferred way for AWI members who are also remitting payment for their AWI/QCP participation.

For AWI membership, renew in the "Members Only" section at www.awinet.org. Use your access codes to enter the secure system.  For AW/QCP participation, renew at www.awiqcp.org. Use your access codes which are different from your AWI member codes.

It is best to follow the specific instructions on the actual invoice(s) you received.

Questions about AWI Membership Payment: Angie Fuller at 571.323.3618; afuller@awinet.org
Questions about AWI QCP Participation Payment: Call 800.449.8811

Thank you for your support in 2010. We’ll appreciate your continued support and involvement in 2011.
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Green Scene

Certified Wood Credit Vote Ends Controversy...for Now

After a number of drafts elicited comments from all sides of the LEED® Certified Wood Credit Benchmark proposal that has been the subject of controversy for several years...the votes are in.

But, without a required two-thirds majority of eligible voting members of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Certified Wood Credits remain unchanged. The breakdown of votes among 965 individuals representing 774 member companies is as follows: Yes: 55%; No: 42%; Abstain: 3%.

"The USGBC Forest Certification Benchmark [change] would have allowed any forest certification programs to be objectively evaluated against the same comprehensive set of stringent attributes. Programs that met the benchmark would have been recognized in LEED and programs deemed non-compliant would have had a clear understanding of what changes would have been necessary to receive recognition in LEED," according to the USGBC.

Further, USGBC advised, "This proposal was the subject of four intensive public comment periods that commenced in 2008. Each step introduced refinements into the proposed benchmarks, working toward a final product that reflected the input of thousands of members and non-members alike." The final step in the process was to ballot significant changes to the rating system to the USGBC membership, which was done on October 26, 2010.

Much has been said on the subject by the Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Members of Congress, industry players, and the trade press. Click on the following for recent perspectives:

What’s next? As was announced in a previous edition of AWI e-briefs, a comment period opened to the public on the next version of LEED in its entirety. For more information on that, click here. The first deadline for comment is January 14, 2011.  The deadline for those comments is:

      1st Public Comment: Open Nov. 8 through Jan. 14, 2011
      2nd Public Comment: Open July 1 through Aug. 15, 2011
      USGBC said additional public comment periods will be held as needed.
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Business Tools

Want to Overcome a Troublesome Business Challenge?

Join an AWI Best Practice Group. Your peers have faced similar challenges and have solutions. Now, more than ever, when the economy is presenting you with unparalleled challenges, peer mentors can offer insights from a non-competitive perspective. How will you benefit?

Ken Bertram of Herrick & White, Ltd. in Rhode Island, a member of Best Practice Group 5 says, "Being part of the best practices is how we work together to get through the economy.  Whether it’s sharing ideas, or working together on completing challenging projects, it’s a network of people facing the same challenges you face in your business every day.  Their input is invaluable."

Several AWI Best Practice Groups are seeking new members. AWI members who are from non-competing markets meet on their terms and set their agenda for periodic meetings of owners/company principals. Contact AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org for more details and to explore available opportunities.
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Next Quarterly AWI AOE Submission Period Opens

Need a reason to stay in touch with your past and present customers? Tell them you earned an AWI "Award of Excellence" (AOE). Look who’s featured this week – Ohio Wooden Bench Company.

Pictured is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in a recent AWI "Award of Excellence" quarterly competition. Shown here is the Boy Scout Achievement Center Lobby Lookout Tower in Cincinnati, OH. Fabricated by Ohio Wooden Bench Company of Cincinnati, the tower features White Oak, the railing pickets are American Beech, and the reception desk front and the floor with the compass is wormy soft Maple. Other views of this project can be seen in the fall issue of Design Solutions.
Photo Credit: Ryan Masson, Cincinnati, OH 

Get noticed; apply for an "Award of Excellence." Visit the AWI Web site for information about submissions. They are now being accepted for the spring 2011 program. The deadline is February 1, 2011.

Use an AOE award to market your excellence and gain a competitive edge during these challenging times when bids are very competitive and others are seeking entry into your markets. All Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate. Gain exposure within the design/build community among the outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal.

Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of Design Solutions Magazine which is open for business 24/7, plus distribution to more than 25,000 industry professionals.
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Open AWI Discussions: What Are They Talking about this Week?

What are the hot topics this week among AWI members connecting on the AWI LinkedIn network?

Right now, members are actively discussing the following new issues:

  • Employment Opportunities
  • Researching Machinery, Materials, Suppliers Online
  • Specification of Millwork by Architects

Click into the forums anytime to find out what’s important among architectural woodworkers. The AWI LinkedIn home page is here. See what your peers are saying. If you’re not yet registered with LinkedIn, do it when you check out the current discussions. It’s free and it’s a useful networking tool among AWI members.

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Learning Forum

Coming Soon: AWI’s Spring Professional Development Seminars Lineup!

Save the date – May 11-14, 2011 – it’s important for your business growth. Fine-tuning skills, expanding knowledge, gaining tips, and learning new techniques for operating your business more efficiently – and profitably – in challenging times offer a big return on your investment.

Details will be coming soon. Meanwhile, watch for upcoming issues of AWI e-briefs for extracts from full-length articles about Estimating, Lean Manufacturing and Operations, Project Management, Contracts, Money Matters, and more in upcoming issues of AWI NewsBriefs starting in January 2011.

The devil is in the details. Make a New Year’s resolution to tighten up any slack and gain better control of the details.

Plan to attend the AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars in St. Louis, MO!
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Industry News

The Employment Situation – November 2010

The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8% in November, according to the report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on December 3.

Following job growth earlier in 2010, employment has been relatively flat, on net, since May. Employment in most major industries changed little in November. The unemployment rate was 9.6% in each of the prior three months. The situation is disappointing to say the least.
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Member News

Registration Open for 9th Stiles Executive Briefing Conference

Stiles Machinery Inc. has announced that online registration is now open for the ninth Executive Briefing Conference (EBC).

Stiles noted it is committed to offering EBC under the auspices of Stiles Education, the internationally accredited educational branch of the organization, because education and learning are critical to the industry's future success. Since inception in 2002, the EBC has become the premier venue for key manufacturing executives to network and explore new ways to succeed, Stiles announced. The consistent theme of the EBC is to answer the questions "What’s Now, What’s New, and What’s Next?"  Providing strategic and practical information to help solve manufacturing challenges, the EBC is an opportunity to gain a broader perspective of the business landscape.

The ninth EBC will be April 10-12, 2011 at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Given the setting at 3M's Innovation Center, the theme of the 2011 EBC will focus on innovation. John Brandt will deliver the opening keynote address, which will provide specific recommendations to prepare for "Next Generation Manufacturing," based on an extensive research study conducted by his firm, the MPI Group. By popular request, Alan Beaulieu (AWI convention speaker in 2009 and 2010) will be the closing keynote speaker to enlighten the audience with his insights on the latest economic trends. The briefing topics include innovative strategies in areas such as research, product development, technology, and niche markets. Once again, the EBC will feature case studies (informal on-stage interviews between a company representative and an industry colleague) to highlight key innovations across the country.

Online registration for the EBC can be accessed via www.stilesmachinery.com/ebc. Take advantage of the "early bird" conference rate of $995, which includes hotel accommodations at the Sheraton St. Paul Woodbury for two nights, all meals, admission to the briefing sessions, as well as tours of 3M’s World of Innovation and their Center for Abrasive Materials (CAM).  After December 31, the conference rate increases to $1,195.

Stiles Machinery has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1996.
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Stiles Hosts Inaugural Tour of Technology in Industrialized China

Stiles Machinery Inc. invites the visionaries of the woodworking industry to participate in the first Tour of Technology to China February 25 to March 6, 2011.

On the Tour of Technology to China, Stiles will escort attendees to some of the most innovative, efficient and productive manufacturing facilities in the world. The tour provides an opportunity to observe the changing worldwide woodworking industry and generate new ideas to make business more competitive in the new globalized economy.

The Tour of Technology to China is presented by Stiles in conjunction with Homag China Golden Field Ltd. This all-inclusive trip is offered for only $4,545. Hotels chosen for the trip all offer superior quality with four and five star ratings. The Tour of Technology has limited space, so interested parties are encouraged to register early to guarantee a spot.

Register online at www.stilesmachinery.com/events before January 3, 2011 or contact Stephan W. Waltman at 616.698.7500 or for additional information.
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Safety Matters

OSHA Extends Comment Period on Noise Control Interpretation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is extending by 90 days the official comment period on the proposed "Interpretation of OSHA's Provisions for Feasible Administrative or Engineering Controls of Occupational Noise."

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments online, by mail or by fax by the March 21, 2011 deadline.

Responding to continuing high levels of hearing loss among employees in the nation's workplaces, the notice proposed clarifying the term "feasible administrative or engineering controls" in OSHA's occupational noise exposure standards to make enforcement consistent with that of all other OSHA standards. The agency will also hold a stakeholder meeting before the end of the comment period to listen to the concerns of businesses and workers about the proposed noise interpretation. See the news release for more information.
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AWS Errata Web Site – Check for Latest Changes

The AWI Technical Committee reminds members about Errata published – and changing continually – for the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS). See the latest changes.

AWI members are reminded that the Errata List is a living document and should be checked frequently for changes in the AWS. Don’t be caught using outdated information on your next project that specifies the AWS.

Many changes have been made since October 1, 2009 following publication of the First Edition of the AWS in August 2009. The Errata Web site is the ultimate source of information which is posted as AWS data changes.

Visit http://www.aws-errata.com/ for errors and corrections to the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) jointly produced and published by the three developers: AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute (WI).  
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Federal Scene

IRS Announces 2011 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the 2011 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on January 1, 2011, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 51 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes 
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Independent contractor Runzheimer International conducted the study.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously, the IRS announced.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates, according to the IRS.

Revenue Procedure 2010-51 contains additional details regarding the standard mileage rates.
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Extension of Unemployment Insurance Benefits & Tax Credits

"President Obama has said that Americans don't expect Washington to solve their problems, but they rightfully expect government to work for them — not against them. I agree," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said.

"....our federal legislators have had an opportunity to extend Unemployment Insurance—a critically important program that brings immediate returns to our economy while helping Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. But a lack of bipartisan support blocked the effort."

"If Congress fails to act on an extension of the UI program two million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance by the end of the year. And millions more could join their ranks in the coming months. As a nation, we simply cannot let this come to pass," Sec. Solis said.

Congress is considering a compromise worked about between the Obama Administration and Republicans not only to this issue but also to the equally testy matter of extending tax credits introduced in the Bush era. According to today’s Washington Post, the House of Representatives is expected to deliberate on the Senate-passed measure this week. At press time, however, the House failed to act but is cognizant of pressure to do so. The December 31st deadline is looming, as is the departure of the lame duck Congress before then for its annual recess and adjournment for the current session.

Criticism abounds on all sides about the compromises being conceded considering the huge budget deficit and the effects of the economy on most taxpayers. If the current measure passes, the tax breaks for all American’s will be extended for two years beyond December 31, 2010.

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) has prepared a comprehensive report on the White House-Republican Tax Compromise; however, at press time, the measure is still under consideration and is changing. For more details, contact ASA at www.asaonline.com
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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 Virginia Chapter
When: January 14, 2011 (10:30 am – 4:00 pm)
What: Chapter Meeting (see attached)
Presentation: Architectural Woodwork Standards presented by AWI Chief Learning Officer Greg Heuer
Where: Courtyard by Marriott, Charlottesville, VA
Registration/Information: Chapter President Bruce Cody at bcody@arcwoodva.com 

AWI Oregon Chapter (Under Development)
When: January 26, 2011
What: Organizational Meeting about Oregon Chapter Opportunities
Where & Registration: TBA
(AWI National Members, local Suppliers, and local Design Professionals are welcome to attend.)
Special Guests: Scott and Kirsten Ingham of Pearson Millwork; Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services
Program Coordination: Reid Giving, Stiles Machinery
Information: Greg Bednar at gbednar@awinet.org 

AWI Washington Chapter
When: February 9, 2011 (5:30 pm)
What: Chapter Meeting
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter
When: March 10, 2011
What: Program on Forest Stewardship Council and Organizational Meeting
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. Contact Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services at gbednar@awinet.org

Members are encouraged to check chapter event listings in the most recent issue of AWI e-briefs, as well as with chapter officers and chapter Web sites for program changes. As plans become finalized, dates and presentations may change for chapter programs previously listed. This issue of AWI e-briefs contains the most current information available to AWI National.
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published January 6, 2011.

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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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Cautionary Disclaimer

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) makes every effort to ensure that published information is accurate and current. Neither AWI, nor any content contributor, officer, or employee of AWI warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published in AWI News-Briefs and/or AWI e-briefs, nor endorses any products, services or other information resources linked from AWI’s editorial content and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of the information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at their own risk.