AWI e-briefs
A semimonthly news publication for Manufacturing & Supplier Members of the
Architectural Woodwork Institute
April 21, 2022
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AWI Standards

ANSI Approves Third New AWI Standard—Countertops—in March

On March 31, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved ANSI / AWI 1236-2022—Countertops Standard.  It follows ANSI approval of two other new AWI Standards in March…ANSI / AWI 0400-2022—Factory Finishing Standard and ANSI / AWI 1232-2022—Manufactured Wood Casework.

Stay tuned for announcement of the effective date. When released the new Countertops Standard will supersede Section 11 of Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 2

1236 Standard Scope
Provide aesthetic and performance standards for various countertop materials including but not limited to plastic-laminate clad (decorative laminate/HPDL), solid surface, epoxy resin, natural and engineered stone, solid and veneered wood, and solid phenolic.

Included in scope: a) product as specified under CSI MasterFormat Section: 12 36 00 Countertops; b) product as specified under Division 6 and Division 12 of a project’s contract documents; and c) factory attachment of specified integral sink bowls.

Not included in scope: a) installation of Product; b) furnishing of sink rims or sinks not listed above; and c) structural components, grounds, in-wall blocking, backer, furring, brackets, or other anchorage that become an integral part of the building’s walls, floors, or ceilings are not furnished or installed under the scope of this standard’s requirements.

As with other AWI Standards, it was developed and overseen by AWI’s Technical Committee in an open consensus-building process that began in 2021 with release of the initial draft Standard.


The
Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) has produced and collaborated on the development of standards in accordance with its mission since its founding in 1953 to the present day. AWI is an ANSI-accredited Standards Developer Organization.

Founded in 1918, the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system and is committed to strengthening its impact, both domestically and internationally.  ANSI represents the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations, and 30 million professionals.

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AWI Events

Talking about our Next Generation at Friday Family Gathering, April 22

Strengthening our workforce is a common objective.  How do we encourage interest in the wood industry?  The good news is that our AWI members are already hard at work on that goal.

Join us this week to hear some of their stories and find out how you can partner with schools and others in the community to help educate the next generation.

Whether you have attended all the past AWI webinars or if this is your first event, we are excited to have you join this week's Family Gathering!

Friday Family Gathering
"Cultivate our Next Generation"
April 22 (3:00 pm – ET)
(one hour, online, complimentary)

Register Here

Miss out on the previous AWI Family Gatherings? 
Previous AWI webinars can be found in the “Members Only” area on www.awinet.org.  Login and choose Family Gatherings in the “Members Only” dropdown.

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JUST SCHEDULED—Interpreting & Applying Your Business Numbers Webinar

Financial planning, analysis, and control are the foundation of a successful business.

Join Sebastien DesMarais, AWI Financial Management Team Lead, as he reveals the importance of financial analysis to the health of your company.

We will discuss participation in the AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey and how the results will apply to your bottom line.

Attend this webinar for a greater understanding of why financial management should be your top priority.


Thursday, April 28 at 4:00 pm (EDT)

(online, complimentary)

Register Here

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Business Matters

BIG NEWS—AWI CoDB Survey Extended; Get on Board!

The 2022 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey (CoDBS) of 2021 financials, which opened March 21, will now close May 27.  Click here to submit your data.  What better time to participate than in April, which the Small Business Administration has declared Financial Literacy Month?

AWI’s premier financial management tool exclusively for AWI Manufacturing Members is a valuable resource for tracking financial data input by participants that is aggregated and produces results for helping members analyze and improve their financial health.  It is an avenue to establish consistency and measurable trend data for strategic decision-making. 

The March edition of NewsBriefs here and the April edition explain more.  Learn why participants can benefit in good AND bad times, and how small and large architectural woodwork companies can improve their profit margins.

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Free Digital Tools for Small Businesses from the SBDA

The Small Business Digital Alliance (SBDA), a new public-private co-sponsorship between the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Business Forward, Inc., has published a comprehensive suite of free resources to help small businesses expand their customer base, manage their growth, find and retain talent, and enter new markets.

These resources are being provided by some of America’s most respected leaders in business, government, economic development, and other aligned spaces. The SBDA previously announced its first slate of events and national members, including: Amazon, Comcast, Google, Meta, PayPal, Principal Financial Group, Square (Block, Inc.), TriNet, Venmo, Verizon, Visa, and ZenBusiness. Since launching, the SBDA has brought on LinkedIn and Microsoft as national members.

Learn more.

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Enforcement of COVID-19 Force Majeure Clauses Is Wanning

An article in Construction Dive (free subscription) about force majeure clauses that site Covid note that they no longer carry a punch.   Discover why here.

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AWI Outreach

Spring Edition of Design Solutions Off to Architects, Design Pros & Specifiers

AWI has released the spring 2022 edition of their official journal, Design Solutions Magazine. It is online now and on its way to the design/build community. As AWI Members know, the publication offers in depth features and resources including a technical article and a Product Showcase.

Congratulations to our Award of Excellence winners featured in this issue:
 
Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner, VA
Woodworker: Wilkie Sanderson, Sauk Rapids, MN

Marathon Oil Tower Lobby, Houston, TX
Woodworker: Roomi Group Corporation, Houston, TX

Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren Law Offices, Milwaukee, WI
Woodworker: Lange Bros. Woodwork Company, Milwaukee, WI

Lake Vista Apartments Lobby, Chicago, IL
Woodworker: Bernhard Woodwork, Ltd., Northbrook, IL

The spring 2022 edition of Design Solutions, as well as back issues, can be found on the AWI website, www.awinet.org.

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Industry Event

Big IWF Registration Discount Offered to AWI Members

Mark your calendar and register early!

IWF
August 23 – 26, 2022
Atlanta, GA

IWF 2022 gives you more ways to harness the power of new: new technologies to increase production efficiencies, new products to drive sales, new ways to grow. It’s all the new you need from North America’s largest woodworking technology and design trade show and conference.

Best of all, because we’re now part of the new IWF Industry Partners Alliance, your show registration is 60% off now through June 15.  To receive the members-only discount, use this code when you register:  IWFIPA22

Register Now
!

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Economic Indicators

Demand for Design Service Continues to Grow, Says AIA

Demand for design services in February grew slightly since January, according to a new report today from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for February was 51.3, up from a score of 51.0 in January. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. Firms reported both project inquiries and design contracts remaining positive in February, but while project inquiries increased to 62.5 from 61.9 in January, design contracts decreased to 55.2 from 56.1.  

“Despite the continued healthy demand for design services, activity is plateauing as firms face a myriad of external challenges, from staffing to supply chain disruptions to high inflation and rising interest rates,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “While the rebound from the pandemic has positively impacted firms in most regions, the prolonged lack of demand for design services in the Northeast is of growing concern.”

Key ABI highlights for February include:

  • Regional averages: South (58.6); Midwest (53.2); West (47.9); Northeast (44.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (55.4); mixed practice (53.8); multi-family residential (52.6); institutional (47.2)

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Nonresidential Construction Adds 11,300 Jobs in March

The construction industry added 19,000 jobs on net in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data released April 1 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. After 23 months of recovery, construction employment has at last exceeded pre-pandemic levels. On a year-over-year basis, industry employment has expanded by 220,000 jobs, an increase of 3.0%.

Nonresidential construction employment expanded by 11,300 positions on net, with all three subsectors generating growth. Heavy and civil engineering added 5,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 3,700 positions. Nonresidential building added 2,600 jobs.

The construction unemployment rate fell to 6.0% in March. Unemployment across all industries declined from 3.8% in February to 3.6% last month.

“Contractors continue to signal that they are searching far and wide for additional workers,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “With more workers reentering the labor market, job openings continue to translate into employment growth. Given elevated backlog and the expectation that demand for services will remain high, according to ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator, construction employment is poised to grow further this year.”

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Construction Employment in March Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Peak Level in 32 States

Construction employment exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 32 states in March, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. AGC officials said the government should support more career opportunities to enable people to work in the industry.

“Contractors have been adding workers as fast as they can find them,” said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “But there just aren’t enough qualified workers available in many states, as shown by the record number of construction job openings at the {end of} February.”

Simonson noted that government data from the monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey show that there were 364,000 job openings in the construction industry at the end of February. That was the highest February total since the series began in 2001 and constituted a 52% jump in openings from one year earlier. Openings exceeded the 342,000 employees hired during that month, implying that construction firms would have added twice as many employees if they had been available, the economist asserted.

From February 2020—the month before the pandemic caused projects to be halted or canceled—to March 2022, construction employment increased in 32 states, declined in 16 states and the District of Columbia, and was unchanged in Nevada and Wyoming.

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ConstructConnect Graphs Nonresidential Construction Starts

View six graphs recording 12-month moving averages of nonresidential construction starts tracked by ConstructConnect’s (free subscription). See the graphs here.

"When the value of the current month is higher than for the same month a year ago, the line will turn up; when lower, it will dip."

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ABC Report: Construction Backlog Up, Contractor Confidence Down in March

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported April 12 that its Construction Backlog Indicator increased to 8.3 months in March, according to an ABC member survey conducted March 22 to April 5. The reading is up 0.5 months from March 2021.

View ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index tables for March 2022.

ABC’s Construction Confidence Index readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels declined in March. All three indices remain above the threshold of 50, however, indicating expectations of growth over the next six months.

“Demand for construction services remains strong despite sky-high materials prices, skills shortages and elevated bids,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “ABC contractors indicate that demand will remain strong, with 65% of contractors expecting sales to grow over the next six months. Backlog increased in March, indicating that bidding opportunities remain plentiful. The recent rise in interest rates could induce certain project owners to move forward with construction work to access affordable investment capital while it remains available. It is also conceivable that at some point private demand for construction services will decline as the cost of capital rises.

“If the story ended with demand, it would be as gratifying as a fairy tale ending with happiness across the kingdom,” said Basu. “Alas, one must address the issue of supply. More than three-quarters of contractors indicate that they had recently suffered some setback in delivering construction services.

“Among the primary factors are a lack of sufficiently skilled workers as well as materials and equipment shortages. These dynamics will continue to increase the cost of construction delivery during months to come. The Russia-Ukraine war has exacerbated inflationary pressures and will likely result in more aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve. For now, the average contractor expects to be able to pass along a significant fraction of the cost increases to project owners. It remains to be seen whether that will persist as interest rates rise.”

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Workforce

AGC Releases New Spanish-Language PSAs Urging Construction Workers to Get Vaccinated

Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America is releasing a series of new coronavirus public service ads that feature Spanish-speaking construction workers urging their colleagues to get vaccinated for COVID. AGC reports that each of the workers featured in the ads was unvaccinated and had a near-death experience with the coronavirus. They want their colleagues to avoid making the same mistake, and in the videos urge other workers to get their shot.

This ad campaign is designed to protect workers’ health and offer opportunities to fill construction positions that are still needed to fill.

The ads all direct viewers to AGC of America's Coronavirus Vaccine toolkit which now includes a feature to translate all the site's content into Spanish.

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New “CTE Works!” Fact Sheet Published

The Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) published a new “CTE Works!” fact sheet that provides an evidence-based overview of CTE’s impact on student achievement, education and employment outcomes, and the skills gap and economy.

CTE supporters may share this fact sheet with students and families; federal, state and local education and workforce leaders; policymakers; and the media to convey the value of CTE. It can be used along with ACTE’s “What is CTE?” infographic that introduces people new to CTE to its scope and benefits.

Within the wood industry, the Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC), that includes AWI, introduced materials in January 2021 to promote a career path in the industry.  Learn more by visiting https://youwood.com. WIRC is a collaboration between trade associations representing different sectors of the woodworking industry.  Its purpose is to improve the perception of manufacturing industry careers and strengthen the wood industry workforce.

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Safety Matters

Workplace Injury & Illness Reporting Requirements

Recent announcements by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration include:

  • Employers must post their 2021 Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300A) until April 30.
  • OSHA announced a proposed rule to amend federal occupational injury and illness recordkeeping regulations.

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It’s the Law!

Employers are required to display certain posters informing workers of their rights to safe workplaces and proper pay, states the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These posters are free, available in multiple languages, and may be downloaded online.

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Federal Scene

Dept. of Labor Reports on Pandemic Economic Recovery

DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 93% of the jobs lost in the pandemic have been recovered as of March. Continued investments in workforce development and 21st-century infrastructure will help get us to 100%, according to the DOL.

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Rep. Bruce Westerman Introduces “No Timber from Tyrants Act”

Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Jerry Konter, a home builder and developer from Savannah, GA, issued the following statement in support of legislation introduced April 7 by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.):

“Rep. Westerman’s ‘No Timber from Tyrants Act’ is a moral and economic imperative that needs to be enacted immediately. Banning imports of Russian and Belarusian wood products will help to further economically isolate Russia and deny President Putin another source of funding for his unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. At the same time, the legislation also calls for responsibly increasing domestic lumber production from federal lands to address the resiliency of our national forests, create jobs, reinvigorate the forest industry and improve housing affordability. Time is of the essence and Congress must act swiftly on this bill.”

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Partner News

Updated Roster of 2022 AWI Partners

Premier Partner

Federated Insurance

 

Platinum Partner

Navy Island

 

Gold Partners

M. Bohlke Veneer Corp.

Stiles Machinery, Inc.

Silver Partners

2020 Technologies

Brooklyn Hardware

CCF Industries

Daiek

Eagle Mouldings

Heartland Stairways

Monarch Metal Fabrication

 

Bronze Partners

Axalta

Biesse

Birchland Plywood

Chemcraft

Flexible Materials, Inc.

Gemini Coatings, Inc.

Häfele

IMA / Schelling – American Alliance

Lockdowel M. L. Campbell

Milesi

Roseburg

Sherwin-Williams

States Industries, Inc.

We regret that the graphic listing below of the 2022 Partners is incorrect and cannot be changed due to lack of support by our service provider.  AWI is working with a new service provider to produce an updated e-briefs in the next several months.  Thank you to all of our Partners for your support and understanding.

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AWI e-briefs

Upcoming Editions

Watch for e-briefs on:

  • May 5—News Edition of AWI & Affiliated Organizations (Chapters, WCA, QCP, Speakers Bureau, AWIEF)
  • May 21—Business, industry, safety, construction news, and more

Depend on e-briefs to bring you news of AWI publications and programs and other pertinent information that impacts your architectural woodwork business.

For prior issues of AWI e-briefs, click here.

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Upcoming Education

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NEAR-TERM
WEBINARS

AWI’s one-hour
“Friday Family
Gatherings”

Online at 3:00 pm (ET)
Next Session
“Cultivate our Next Generation”
Friday, April 22
Register Here

“Interpreting and Applying
Your Business Numbers”

Online at 4:00 pm (EDT)
Thursday, April 28
Register Here

___________________

          NEAR-TERM            
SEMINAR

Contracts Seminar
May 6
Host: AWI New Jersey Chapter
Registration Closes April 26
Information / Registration

Financial Management Seminar
May 19-20
Host: AWI Washington Chapter
Information / Registration

Project Management Seminar
June 9-10
Host: AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
Information / Registration

___________________

NEAR-TERM
CHAPTER EVENTS

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
May 24
Arauco Plant Tour
Grayling, MI


AWI Washington Chapter
May 26
Shop Tour at R. Gleason Finishing
Monroe, WA
Contact: Ted Lambert, ted@fifthgeartech.com
Information coming soon!


Click here
for access to all
AWI Chapter contacts.

____________________


NATIONAL EVENT

Save the Date!

70th AWI Annual Convention
September 28-30, 2022
The Grand Hotel
Lake Point, Alabama

 ____________________

AWI PERIODICALS


View the current
quarterly edition!



View the current
monthly edition!

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Wood Industry Career
Awareness Campaign

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Wood Industry Resource Collaborative
(campaign sponsor)

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Federated Insurance Quality Certification Corporation Navy Island 2020 Precision Veneer Stiles Machinery Brooklyn Hardware CCF Industries Daiek Woodworks Eagle Mouldings, Inc. Heartland Stairways M. Bohlke Veneer Monarch Metal Fabrication Axalta Coating Systems Biesse Birchland Plywood Veneer Ltd. Chemcraft Cooper Enterprises Flexible Materials Gemini Coatings Häfele IMA Schelling Group M.L. Campbell Milesi Sherwin Williams Roseburg States Industries