AWI e-briefs
A semimonthly news publication for Manufacturing & Supplier Members of the
Architectural Woodwork Institute
September 5, 2013
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AWI Convention Watch

Going, Going, Nearly Gone … Hotel Accommodations for AWI Convention

If you’re planning to attend the 61st Annual AWI Convention, October 9-11, in Orlando, you will need to reserve hotel accommodations NOW.  In fact, the headquarters hotel – Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Florida – is sold out Monday, October 7, Tuesday, October 8 and Friday night, October 11.

But you have another option – the Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Downtown.  The hotel is located in the Walt Disney World® Resort, and is next door to the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista.  The Holiday Inn is a new hotel with a $145 flat fee rate, no resort fee, a $6 self parking fee, and includes Internet, a microwave and refrigerator in all guest rooms.

Make your Holiday Inn hotel reservations via the AWI Reservation link or call 877-394-5765 toll-free.  The group code is: AWI.

Members are reminded that the cut-off date for reservations at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is September 17.

So, make your hotel reservations today, and also register for the convention by September 8, the closing date!

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What Will You Learn Behind the Scenes to Structure for Success?

Behind the Scenes: Structure for Success

Your business is as sound and successful as its structure.  Join AWI members on a journey behind the scenes to explore effective strategies for growth.  Discover new secrets for success through case studies, customers, and technology experts.

Registration is open at www.awinet.org/convention but closes September 8.  Don’t delay.

Spotlight on ...

“Fiscal Reality: Insights for the Changes Coming”
Thursday, October 10, 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Speaker: Alan Beaulieu, President, ITR Economics™
Business leaders are uncertain in the face of conflicting financial reports. What will Washingtondo? Will Europe pull through? Is China a problem? Our speaker will take a look at what’s reallygoing on in the U.S. and in markets that impact our industry. He will present the economicoutlook for the global economy with the clarity that business leaders have come to expect from ITR Economics™.  

“A Look Behind the Scenes with General Contractors”
Thursday, October 10, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

What does bid day look like? What criteria are considered in selecting the architectural woodworker? Learn from panelists who will share insights from the GC’s perspective.

“Behind the Scenes at the Architect’s Office”

Friday, October 11, 9:00 am – 10:00 am

What are the factors behind the design documents we work with on a daily basis? What are the reasons wood is either used or not selected as a finish product? These topics and more will be presented by a panel of design professionals.  For insights into the decision making processes influencing woodwork, see the September issue of NewsBriefs, AWI’s monthly print newsletter.  The article, “Woodworkers: It’s Not All About You!” features comments by panelist J. Peter Jordan, principal of Jordan Consultants, LLC.  The print copy of NewsBriefs should arrive in your mailbox around September 12.

And much more ...
  • “DeWALT Power Tools: The Inside Story”
  • “Business Behind the Magic at Disney Institute
  • Survey Says: Team Building Activity
  • “Technology Update: Structure for New Market Opportunities”
  • “Information Technology: Structure Behind the Business”

The AWI 61st Annual Convention, October 9-11, 2013 will take place at the Hilton Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, minutes away from abundant dining, shopping and entertainment options and renowned theme parks.

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What Are Members Saying about the AWI Convention?

“With a busy production schedule and growing business, it’s hard to justify the time to attend another out of state event.  That was until, I read the agenda for this year’s AWI Convention.  It’s far more relevant and seems to have an ROI far more significant than anything we’ve invested in this year.  We’re there!”
Will Fuller, Acacia Originals


“I attended my second AWI convention last year in Phoenix. It was a great experience. I was intrigued by the many guest speakers including the economist who gave his predictions for the next six years on how the economy would recover. It was also interesting sharing ideas with other woodworkers about how technology has played a large role in their business and how they use it to function. The convention is well worth the money and only takes a small portion of your time to attend. I would highly recommend it to anyone.”
Dustin Hecht, RCS Millwork LC

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AWI Education Outreach

Regional Education Offerings: Fundamentals & Advanced Project Management, Plus Contracts



September 19, 2013
“Fundamentals of Project Management”


Host:
 Heart of America Chapter

Speaker: Nathan Durr, Wood Systems, Inc. and  Rick Thaler, OBG Architectural Millwork

As the principal organizational specialist on the woodwork team, the project manager is confronted with tight schedules, change orders, resource availability, equipment glitches, conflicts and communication, and more, while assuring that the job proceeds according to the specifications and the contract. It’s a challenge! This intense one-day program will help NEW PMs build a solid foundation for a successful career. You can immediately put to work the best practices, skills and techniques gained in this course. Start using the handout materials – forms, templates, and tracking mechanisms – when you get back to the job. Interact with participants to form a network of PM consultants who share – and successfully meet – the same challenges.

Location: Courtyard Wichita at Old Town, Wichita, KS

More information and Costs: 
Click here

Register here.

Questions? Contact ibuffalo@awinet.org


October 24-25, 2013

“Advanced Project Management”

Host: AWI Great Lakes Chapter

Presenters: Jeff Stück, Stück Wood Works and Randy Lange, Lange Brothers Woodwork Company, Inc.

A project manager guides the team and assures that tasks are completed on time, in budget, and with profit. Elevate your skills and techniques to manage your customers and your woodwork team to control the myriad of details and changes from project initiation to completion. Improve your skills at identifying risks and defining risk strategies, controlling the change management process, implementing a quality management plan, and closing the project. Improve the flow of the job from start to successful punch out with confidence and less stress.

Location: Michigan Career & Technical Institute, Plainwell, MI

More Information and Costs: Click here

Register here. 

Questions? Contact Ilaria Buffalo, ibuffalo@awinet.org

November 6, 2013
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

“10 Commandments of Contract Management”

Host: Future AWI Capital Region Chapter

Presenter: Michael Davis, Esq., Chamberlain Hrdlicka

The program will introduce AWI members to key contractual provisions which can significantly impact profitability, means and methods to revise onerous terms and conditions into acceptable alternatives, as well as the basis for evaluating and analyzing whether to enter into a given contract. The goal of the program is to arm participants with the ability to level the playing field when negotiating, entering into and completing contracts with owners and general contractors.

Location: Carroll Community College, Westminster, MD

More Information and Costs:
Click here.

Register here.

Questions? Contact Ilaria Buffalo, ibuffalo@awinet.org

AWI Chapters are encouraged to tap into the AWI Education Outreach Program to host quality education programs for their members and guests.  Questions about the program may be directed to Ilaria Buffalo at ibuffalo@awinet.org.

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AWI Learning Forum

AWI Hosts Free Webinars—Make the Most of Your AWI Membership

September 25, 2013
2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT WEBINAR:
“Technology Tools: Exploring Technology and Free Tools Available to Chapters”

Presenters:
Kristine Cox (President, AWI Carolinas Chapter), Rowland Woodworking, Inc. and Greg Hublar, (Secretary, AWI Ohio Valley Chapter), Flexible Materials, Inc.

In this Chapter Development Webinar we will explore several free, or nearly free, online tools that can enhance your productivity and chapter communication.  Many chapters are intimidated by social media, fearing it will be too time consuming to keep up with. Learn how to manage your accounts to make them all one-click accessible.  We will explore online invitation services which allow you to send save-the-dates and invitations to Chapter Events, manage RSVP's, create potluck lists, poll your guests, and more – all in one, easy to use site.  Sharing and communication is important for all chapters. Manage and share contacts, calendars, documents and more quickly and efficiently using Google Apps. And, yet again, it is free!  Lastly, we will touch on using PayPal to receive dues and fees for your Chapter. While not free, it is affordable, simple, and makes receiving and depositing payments as easy as clicking a mouse.

Cost:
Free for AWI Members

Register here.

Questions?
  Contact Ilaria Buffalo, ibuffalo@awinet.org


November 6, 2013

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET

CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT WEBINAR:
“Get Ready, Here Comes 2014; Planning Your Year”

Information: Coming soon!

Questions?  Contact Ilaria Buffalo, ibuffalo@awinet.org


November 21, 2013
 
2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern Time

WEBINAR: “Stiles: High Gloss: From Start to Finish”  


Presenter:
Tim Middleton, Product Manager, Stiles Manager

As the trend of high gloss finishes continues to gain in popularity across Europe and the United States, many manufacturing companies are developing strategies and plans to implement the processes and machines to meet this market demand. This presentation will discuss the trend toward high gloss finishes and its impact on manufacturers and will highlight how companies can begin developing a plan to introduce high gloss finishing into their operations.

Cost:
 Free for AWI Members

Register here.

Questions?  Contact Ilaria Buffalo, ibuffalo@awinet.org

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Business Tools

AOE Spotlight: Design Flies High

This month’s Award of Excellence Spotlight shines on AWI Manufacturing Member Allegheny Millwork of Lawrence, PA – elements of Virgin Atlantic’s clubhouse at Newark, NJ, Liberty International Airport.

Allegheny Millwork fabricated the leather upholstered custom seating, the “passion pit” seating, the multi-level, multi-faceted bar and back bar with faceted mirror, and the faceted wall system clad in cement board.  About half of the walls are woodwork and much of the furniture is also millwork. For more views of the project, click here.  The project is gaining exposure in the quarterly spring 2013 edition of Design Solutions Magazine, which is distributed to more than 15,000 design professionals.  The project is gaining exposure in the quarterly spring 2013 edition of Design Solutions Magazine, which is distributed to more than 15,000 design professionals.  Photographer: Anton Stark, Harrogoate, UK

To submit your project for an upcoming issue, click here.  Submissions are being accepted now for the winter edition of Design SolutionsThe deadline is December 1, 2013.

Design Solutions is also posted online for 24/7 access to architectural woodwork Award of Excellence projects throughout North America.

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What Are the Advantages of Employee Assistance Programs?

From Insperity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee per year, or $225.8 billion annually.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) – confidential individual assistance and support services designed to help employees cope with personal problems that adversely affect their lives, behavior, and/or performance – can make a difference.

In addition to improving work performance and productivity, benefits of EAPs include lower hospitalization costs, fewer workplace accidents and workers’ compensation claims, lower turnover, and improved drug-free workplace compliance.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment policy notes that, “For decades, EAPs have demonstrated their value, both to the individuals whose lives they have improved and to the employers and work organizations that benefit from having healthy workers.”

There are costs involved in offering an EAP, but the return on investment is clear.  With an EAP, employers can improve not only the health of employees, but also the health of their companies.
 
About Insperity

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 27 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace.  Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization™ solution.  Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services.  Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees.  With 2012 revenues of $2.2 billion, Insperity operates in 57 offices throughout the United States.  For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit http://www.insperity.com.


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ConsensusDocs Releases Two New Documents on Disputes, Claims & Litigation

ConsensusDocs recently released two new industry first standard construction contract documents to help implement the selection and implementation of dispute review boards (DRBs). DRBs have a proven track record of resolving claims and keeping construction projects out of litigation. The “ConsensusDocs 200.4 DRB Addendum” provides for the establishment and operations of DRB panels to keep projects on track toward completion instead of the court system. The “200.5 DRB Tri-Party Agreement” provides a standard agreement for Owners and Constructors to contract with DRB panelists and establishes DRB panelists’ qualifications, ethical requirements, and payment provisions.

“The new documents are important industry-first standard construction documents that will help facilitate the implementation of the dispute review boards which have a proven track record of avoiding disputes and claims which far too often hamper the efficiency of the design and construction industry,” commented Kurt Dettman, Director of Training and Region 1 Board Member of the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF).  The organization is the 40th endorsing organization of the ConsensusDocs Coalition.

ConsensusDocs are the only standard construction contracts written and endorsed by 40 leading design and construction industry associations, and the only standard contracts that list DRBs as an explicit dispute mitigation option for the parties to consider when structuring their contracts. In less than six years of existence, ConsensusDocs has doubled from an unprecedented coalition of 20 groups to a broad spectrum of 40 industry organizations, including AWI, that represent design professionals, owners, constructors, and surety groups (DOCS). For more information, visit www.ConsensusDocs.org.  AWI Members receive a 20% discount off purchase of ConsensusDocs.  Use code “AWI100” when prompted.

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SBA & Microsoft Deliver Free Technology e-Learning Series for Small Businesses

If you're a small business owner, then you know the importance of technology in running your business. Together the U.S. Small Business Administration and Microsoft developed a new resource with you – the small business owner – in mind to help you more effectively use technology to run and grow your business. The Business Technology Simplified online course series teaches the benefits of using modern technology that can help take your business to the next level of success.

Business Technology Simplified features three self- paced online courses that cover basic technology tools and a range of technology-related areas that are vital to your business. Each course gives tips on how to use modern technology and innovation in the day-to-day operation of a business.  As a business owner, you can learn practical, relevant and easy to use approaches to save time and money, reach more customers, and take advantage of the current business software.

Some of the topics covered in the series include:

  • Desktop Technology Benefits
  • Saving Time Using Technology
  • Using Web-Based Services
  • Reaching More Customers by Extending Your Business Online, and
  • Managing Your Sales Pipeline

You can test your tech know-how with quizzes after each course, and you can also download the e-book of each Business Technology Simplified course for easy reading offline.  After you finish the online series, you will earn a certificate of completion.

Take advantage of this and other free interactive courses that are offered at the SBA’s Online Learning Center to get help with your business needs.
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How to Increase Your Credit Score

Are low credit scores holding you back from getting the credit you need? Credit expert Marco Carbajo lets you know the essentials about improving your score and why it can be so important for your business.

Learn more here at the Small Business Administration.


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Industry News

AAHP States, “U.S. Manufacturers, Employees and Consumers Lose in Government Investigation of Chinese Hardwood Plywood”

As the federal government continues its investigation of the Chinese hardwood plywood market, The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) announced that it takes strong exception to a recent statement made by the Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association (HPVA).

AAHP Co-Chairmen Greg Simon and Gregg Wilkinson issued the following statement:
 
"It's clear that the market realities of this protectionist campaign are taking hold. U.S. manufacturers that rely on a steady, competitive global supply of hardwood plywood are speaking out against the impact that a near 45% price hike on one of their vital raw materials will have on their production and their bottom line. The effects will be far reaching and the recent statement from HPVA is an act of desperation to rationalize this misguided investigation. HPVA and the petitioners continue to allege ‘unfair trade’ and while they are entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts,” AAHP stated,” which are as follows.

Dumping and Countervailing Preliminary Duties –
In two separate investigations into the issue, the Department of Commerce determined that our trans-Pacific trading partners have not engaged in any unfair trade practices, either in the form of government subsidies or unfair pricing, aka, ‘dumping.’ In other words, when Commerce conducted a full investigation, the charges were proven baseless. Despite this finding of innocence, Commerce refused to apply a zero percent penalty to the remaining exporters who were fully cooperative but not lucky enough to be examined by Commerce. Instead, Commerce used an average that included a penalty tariff normally reserved for non-cooperative companies and slapped a 22.63% countervailing duty, along with a 22.14% anti-dumping duty on imported hardwood plywood from China, a product that had a cost $615.5 million in 2011 alone.

Unfair Trade –
If the petitioners and HPVA are so convinced that unfair trade practices are occurring in China, why is there no outrage from them over the Department of Commerce conclusions that not one of the three Chinese companies selected for intensive investigation received any illegal subsidies at all. The petitioners have remained silent and opted not to challenge Commerce's zero-percent subsidy finding, which is very revealing about their true intentions-they are not interested in a fair tariff on Chinese imports. Rather, they are banking that the Department of Commerce will continue the voodoo math that resulted in a 22.63% subsidy tariff on the Chinese industry that fully cooperated in this case. China and our other trading partners are surely watching and it's a sure bet that our U.S. exporters can expect to be treated with the same disregard for rule of law.

Illegal Logging –
Contrary to illegal logging claims by HPVA and the petitioners, The Lacey Act of 2008 was created to stop products being produced from illegally harvested wood from all countries. It is highly effective; U.S. importers have vigilantly complied with all Lacey Act requirements no matter the foreign source.

"There are no hardwood plywood products, which are currently imported from China that cannot be manufactured by domestic producers." –
Not true. Chinese hardwood plywood fits specific niches that are complementary to domestic plywood sources. Many manufacturers rely on Chinese hardwood plywood for very specific applications that cannot be met by current domestic sources. It is an apples and oranges comparison. In fact, there are many hardwood plywood products imported from China that domestic producers cannot, or have elected not to, manufacture. This is nothing new either. It simply continues a trend that has gone on for many decades; long before Chinese developed high quality, renewable fiber sources for plywood production that are efficiently harvested from reputable plantations.

"Will U.S. cabinet producers lose market share in the new housing market?" –
Yes. Combined, the 45% duties are jolting critical supply chains, spiking the cost of imported hardwood plywood overnight and creating painful shortages. The nature of U.S. trade policies are not remedial, they are punitive. The end users of hardwood plywood in America will suffer from choked off supply, especially if retroactive measures are imposed. American jobs in the manufacturing and woodworking industries are set to suffer, which is why they are contacting their U.S. members of Congress to seek any assistance in reversing this decision or at least ensuring a fairer investigative process. Cabinets that were once manufactured from scratch in the U.S. will instead come in ready to assemble and duty-free, not just from China, but also Canada and Mexico.

Trade Retaliation –
Over the last four years US hardwood lumber exports have risen by more than 70%. While exporters are enjoying this growth and demand, China and other countries could counter any imposed severe tariffs on imported products due to U.S. trade laws with their own punitive tariffs on hardwood lumber, hardwood logs or even softwood lumber imported from the U.S.”

Visit the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood at www.aa-hp.org.

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Green Scene

Thomas Edison State College in NJ Awards Course Credit for LEED® Professional Credentials

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced LEED Professional Credentials have been approved for college credit through New Jersey’s State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) initiative. SESP is the result of an award to the NJ State Employment and Training Commission from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to support employment growth and retention within the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

The LEED Green Associate qualifies for three college credit hours, and the LEED AP BD+C and AP O+M each qualify for five college credit hours at Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey (when earned after June 30, 2009). The state’s New Jersey Pathways Leading Apprentices to College Education (NJ PLACE) program, which facilitated Thomas Edison State College’s review of the LEED Professional Credentials for the SESP, has identified two associate and two bachelor degree pathways at the college for LEED credential-holders wishing to use these credits toward an industry-related college degree.

Thomas Edison State College’s programs can be accessed worldwide, so anyone who has earned one of the qualifying LEED Professional Credentials, along with several other nationally-recognized green credentials, can take advantage of this opportunity to earn college credit.

A LEED Professional Credential signifies active participation in the green building movement and contribution of expertise to the design, construction, operations and maintenance of buildings and neighborhoods that save energy, use fewer resources, reduce pollution, and contribute to healthier environments for their occupants and the community. To learn more about LEED Professional Credentials, visit usgbc.org/credentials.

To see the full list of qualifying certifications and for more information on the program, visit www.njplace.com/green or www.njsetc.net/sesp.

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Workforce

What Did the SkillsUSA Keynote Speaker Learn about Dirty Jobs?

Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe delivered an inspiring message on the importance of SkillsUSA and career and technical education programs in general to America's future. Rowe was the keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony of SkillsUSA's 2013 National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, MO. 

Click here to access his presentation.
  He explained what he learned in doing 300 dirty jobs. Information abou Mike Rowe’s organization can be found at www.profoundlydisconnected.com

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North Salem High School Teacher Inspires Audience at WIC 2013

Dean Mattson, a former cabinetry business operation, revitalized the woodshop program at North Salem High School, changing the lives of many students.

He received the prestigious Wooden Globe Educator of the Year Award bestowed by the Wood Industry Conference.  Click here to learn how he built the program to possibly the largest woodworking program in the world with 950 students.

Mr. Mattson is a member of the Woodwork Career Alliance.  The school received a grant from the AWI Education Foundation in 2012.

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AWI News

Who Are AWI‘s Newest Members?

MANUFACTURERS

Last Tangent, LLC,  DBA Top Shelf Solutions, Athens, TX, www.topshelfsolutionstx.com

Alexander Holdings II, Amityville, NY   

Middle Atlantic Products, Fairfield, NJ, www.middleatlantic.com

Cabinet Max Corporation, Baltimore, MD, www.cabinetmax.com

* These new members joined AWI in August 2013.

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

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Industry Learning Forums

ASA Hosts “Collection Strategies for Subcontractors” Webinar

Subcontractors and specialty trade contractors are invited to attend webinars sponsored by the American Subcontractors Association.  The online sessions are designed to help subcontractors and specialty trade contractors achieve better business results.

The program on October 8, 2013 addresses “Collection Strategies for Subcontractors” (Item #WEB064).

Each ASA webinar will take place from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm Eastern time. The registration fee for each webinar is $99 for ASA members and $179 for nonmembers and allows access with one Internet connection. Participants can project the webinar onto a screen or wall and listen to it on a speakerphone for a group training event.

After the program, registrants will receive a link to a recording of the webinar, and an ASA Certificate of Completion that can be downloaded and printed for each person who watched. Learn more and register at www.asaonline.com under “Register for an Event.”

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Standards

AWMAC to Present AWS Education Sessions at WMS Expo

The Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) will present two education sessions – one in French followed by another in English – at the Woodworking Machinery and Supply Expo on Saturday, October 26, in Toronto.

The 75-minute sessions will focus on the soon-to-be-released 2nd edition of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) manual, a collaboration of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and Woodwork Institute (WI).

Martin Boutet of Heritage Architectural Woodwork, Inc. and director of AWMAC’s Quebec Chapter will be the featured presenter. 

For information about WMS, click here.  View the full WMS conference schedule here.

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Member News

Mike DiGiuro Retires from Flexible Materials

Long-time AWI member Mike DiGiuro marked September 12, 2013, the 40th anniversary of his employment at Flexible Materials, as his retirement date.  He retired as a full time employee.  “I will continue in a part time consulting and independent sales capacity for as long as it makes sense to both me and Flexible Materials,” he wrote.  

Mr. DiGiuro will maintain his current e-mail address and cell phone number. “I will continue to be active in the Architectural Woodwork Institute, in any way that helps the organization, and I will be stepping up my volunteer work in our community.”  Mr. DiGiuro is currently the Board Representative of the AWI Development Council.

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Federal Scene

IRS Proposes Regulations on Healthcare Tax Credit for Small Businesses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed regulations that provide guidance on the tax credit available to certain small employers that offer health insurance coverage to their employees under section 45R of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  These proposed regulations affect certain taxable employers and certain tax-exempt employers.

An eligible employer must have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for a tax year, the average annual wages must be less than $50,000 per FTE, and the employer must maintain a qualifying arrangement, according to the American Subcontractors Association.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2013 at www.gpo.gov.  Comments are due by November 25, 2013.

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EPA Extends Public Comment Period for Two Proposed Regulations on Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the public comment periods for two proposed regulations that implement the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, or Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act. Both proposed rules initially were published on June 10, 2013.

According to the Composite Panel Association (CPA), the first notice extends the comment period for the Formaldehyde; Third-Party Certification Framework for the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products proposal from August 26, 2013 to September 25, 2013. The second notice extends the comment period for the Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products proposal from September 9, 2013 to October 9, 2013.

Links to both proposed rules are available at the TSCA Title VI Web site at www.epa.gov/formaldehyde/

For background information about the evolution of the proposed rule, see the article, “The Enemy of the Good” by Tom Julia, President of the CPA, which was published in SurfacePanel.com here.

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OSHA Announces Proposed Rule to Protect Workers Exposed to Crystalline Silica

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced a proposed rule aimed at curbing lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers. The agency currently enforces 40-year-old permissible exposure limits (PELs) for crystalline silica in general industry, construction and shipyards that are outdated, inconsistent between industries and do not adequately protect worker health. The proposed rule brings protections into the 21st century.

"This is a proposed rule and not a final rule," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "We are inviting and strongly encouraging the public to participate in the process of developing a final rule through submitting written comments and participating in public hearings. Our process of obtaining public input will take many months, and we encourage and welcome the public to participate."

Once the full effects of the rule are realized, OSHA estimates that the proposed rule would result in saving nearly 700 lives per year and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis annually. For more information on the proposed rule and how to participate in the rulemaking process, visit OSHA's silica rulemaking page at www.osha.gov/silica  and read Dr. Michaels' new post on the DOL blog.

Meanwhile, the American Subcontractors Association decried the proposed rule proposed regulating the use of crystalline silica on construction projects, as “confusing and burdensome without meeting the shared goal of improved worker safety and health.”

“OSHA’s proposed rule runs 577 pages and details the steps that tens of thousands of specialty trade contractors will have to follow in order to be in compliance,” said ASA Chief Advocacy Officer E. Colette Nelson. Under OSHA’s proposed rule, a construction employer would have to measure and keep records of the amount of respirable crystalline silica that its workers are exposed to if it may be at or above 25 ?g/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an eight-hour day. An employer would have to protect its workers if the exposure is above a permissive exposure level (PEL) of 50 ?g/m3, averaged over an eight-hour day.

OSHA’s proposed rule essentially provides four ways to protect workers from crystalline silica:

1. Train workers on the dangers of silica exposure and ways to mitigate exposure.
2. Limit workers’ access to areas where they could be exposed above the PEL.
3. Use dust controls to protect workers from silica exposures above the PEL.
4. Provide respirators to workers when dust controls cannot limit exposures to the PEL.

For more information about OSHA’s proposed rule on crystalline silica, see the “ASA Special Report on the OSHA Proposed Rule on Crystalline Silica.”

In its evaluation, ASA will determine whether OSHA’s proposed rule adequately addresses the unique nature of the construction industry with non-fixed worksites and transient employees; is technologically feasible in the construction industry with its varied tasks, operations, and controls; is economically feasible in the construction industry, which is dominated by small firms; and is consistent with other federal rules and regulations.

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Affordable Care Act 101: Weekly Webinars for Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority have announced the next set of Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinar dates. During each presentation, small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and what it means for their company and employees.

This free series focuses on both federal and state provisions to help small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include:

  • Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits) — who’s eligible for them and how to claim them.
  • Small business marketplaces.
  • Employer shared responsibility.
  • Cost containment.
  • Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law.

A question and answer period will follow.

September SBA Webinar Schedule


  • Thursday, September 12 at 2:00 PM ET
  • Thursday, September 19 at 2:00 PM ET
  • Thursday, September 26 at 2:00 PM ET


Click here for more details and to register.


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Chapter News

Upcoming Chapter Events—Don’t Forget Local Programs

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. To reach any of the chapter officers for more information, click here.

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: September 13, 2013 (9:00 am start)
What: Fall Membership Meeting
Presentations on: Health Care Reform Bill; Distracted Driving – In the Blink of an Eye”; Risk Management Culture & Profitability
Where: Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel, Myrtle Beach, SC
Information & Registration: Click here

AWI New England Chapter
When: September 18, 2013 (11:00 am – 4:00 pm ET)
What: General Contractor’s Roundtable
Panelists: Executives from Dellbook Construction, Commodore Builders and Consigli Construction
Where: Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Boston, MA
Information & Registration: Click here
Questions: NEAWI.BOD@gmail.com

AWI Heart of America Chapter
When: September 20, 2013
What: Annual Golf Outing
Host: Wend-Wood, Inc., Wichita, KA

AWI Iowa / Nebraska Chapter
When: September 20, 2013
What: Chapter Meeting
Sponsor: Dupont
Questions: Michael Paul, (p) 515-432-8126

AWI Texas Chapter

When: September 24-25, 2013
What: General Meeting
Where: Waco, TX

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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Coming Up

AWI e-briefs Schedule

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published October 3, 2013. Depend on e-briefs to bring you news of AWI publications and programs and other pertinent information that impacts your architectural woodwork business.


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Upcoming Education
AWI Education
Outreach Program


September 19, 2013
Fundamentals of
Project Management”

Host:
AWI Heart of America Chapter

Register Here

 

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phone 571.323.3636  fax 571.323.3630  web www.awinet.org

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