April 2-5, 2019
Woodworking Industry Conference (WIC19)
Omni Amelia Island Plantation
Amelia Island, FL

May 27-31, 2019
LIGNA 2019
Hannover Exhibition Grounds
Hannover, Germany
Click here for information on having your company participate in the WMMA pavilion

July 17-20, 2019
AWFS Vegas
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, NV USA


NAM Monday Economic Report — November 12
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, as expected, but the Federal Open Market Committee is widely anticipated to hike short-term rates at its December 18-19 meeting. The Federal Reserve not only noted slowing business investment, but it also continued to acknowledge overall strength in the U.S. economy, especially the tight labor market. Read more ...

NAM Monday Economic Report — November 26
The latest data show housing market struggles persisting, with activity much weaker in the second half of 2018 than the rates earlier in the year. Affordability (e.g., higher mortgage rates, increased raw material costs) and workforce issues have taken a toll on demand, but weather has also played a role of late. Along those lines, Freddie Mac reported that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.94 percent on November 15, the highest mortgage rate since February 24, 2011. Read more ...


Woodworking Network
The MiLL receives top honors at CASB annual convention

The MiLL was the honored to accept the 1st Student Achievement Award, presented by the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB). The presentation of the award was during the CASB’s 74th annual convention held at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs. The MiLL was one of only two programs in the state of Colorado to receive this award.  

This award recognized The MiLL’s innovation in creating opportunities for students to excel in CTE pathways, as well as highlighting the collaboration between Peyton and Widefield school districts to make The MiLL possible.

This was a great opportunity to share with school boards across the state how the partnership developed and how it is working successfully.

Lead instructor John Stearns said, “Historically school boards work independently, our situation is unique and people are curious how The Mill works. I believe that founder Dean Mattson has created a good model for CTE programs across the country. We are excited to be the first recipient of this award, being one of the two schools selected in the state of Colorado is an honor.”

Four upper level students from the MiLL were invited to accept the award and run a booth at the convention. This gave the students an opportunity to showcase projects, as well as network with local schools and businesses.

“We had four students from The MiLL attend the event and I was really impressed with all of them,” Stearns said. “Tatiana Latorre, a second year cabinet manufacturing student, shows a great deal of leadership for women in this field. She took the lead in making connections with people on the convention floor; distributing flyers and business cards to everyone she came in contact with. I look for her to be a great leader in our program and I am confident she will be successful in the woods manufacturing industry.”

Latorre said, “I would go from booth to booth so excited to share information about a place that I love being a part of. During the presentation I was amazed by all of the people there, and I felt so proud being a part of The MiLL and accepting the award.”


Posted: 12/18/2018

Tariff survey: Diving deep into your responses
How is the woodworking industry reacting to the fallout from recent trade disputes and tariffs?
We at Woodworking Network conducted a survey last month, which asked our audience of professional cabinetmakers, furniture manufacturers, and makers of millwork, retails displays, and other wood products, how tariffs are affecting their businesses. All of our respondents use imported materials or components to make their products.
85 percent said they will increase prices to customers.
Specific responses ranged greatly. Some expect great losses of revenue, some are okay with rising costs of material, some expect no difference in their business, and some are more nuanced:
  • The current 10% tariff added to our previous 3.3% has resulted in an 11% drop in sales during our usual best months. If the threatened 25% comes into play we will virtually have to consider shutting down and laying off all our employees.
  • Not much, our imports are a very small portion of things we buy. We are hoping the tariffs are extended to impact products that unfairly compete against us.
  • Your clients will only pay so much for product. Domestic sources are still too expensive. There is a slow down of opportunities.
  • The most acute effect of tariffs has been those tariffs China placed on U.S.-grown lumber. This has driven raw lumber prices down and significantly reduced our raw material costs.
  • Started last year with imported Chinese oak plywood. Hate to say it, but domestic mills were and are producing inferior panels AND at higher prices. It wouldn't be as bad if the quality was the same - I'd even happily pay a reasonable extra price. Even what we pay now. But we 're paying more for crappier materials from domestic mills who don't have to care. Hate to say it, but everyone knows this is true.
  • My guess is that at least as far as sheet stock is concerned, the Canadian mills of plywood and particle board will be the only sources for some sheet stock because why would a U.S.-based firm build a plywood plant only to have the next president remove the tariffs.
  • No real effect. We enthusiastically support the president.
  • Business is booming, tariffs will not have a big effect.
  • Material costs will go up, but buying American will help other American companies and I'm for building our country first.
  • If the tariffs go to 25%, we will likely lose in excess of $15 million in annual revenue. About 65% of our business.
We asked: "Why not buy from domestic sources?"
  • I use both sources to make sure that I don't get locked into only one supplier.
  • There is no sign that domestic plywood manufacturers are interested in selling commodity plywood that can be used to laminate countertops. That's what we primarily use imported plywood for.
  • I would prefer domestic products. The domestic companies aren't making products of the same finish quality as the imports
  • American quality does not appear to be so good and prices are too high
  • Tariff or false claims of "dumping " are not made to equalize the playing field, but are a vehicle to allow domestic suppliers to increase their price and margin of profit. It's a game, with manufacturers, and the American consumers as the losers.
We've also heard from several companies outside of the survey. Cabinet Joint, Sunco Cabinets, CNC Cabinetry, JSI, and others have sent letters to their customers indicating prices would increase or that they could. Trendway Corp., a Michigan employee-owned office furniture manufacturer, has announced its commitment to no price increases in the next 12 months.
At a recent Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA) in Nashville, wood product executives named tariffs as one of the main challenges they are facing, along with trucking problems and a labor shortage.
The Reshoring Initiative (RI), whose mission is to teach manufacturers that local production can reduce costs of ownership, is telling multinational companies hit by the tariffs to do the math correctly.
Most companies make sourcing decisions based solely on price, oftentimes resulting in a 20 to 30 percent miscalculation of actual offshoring costs. The firm offers a free online tool, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Estimator, designed to help companies account for all relevant factors — overhead, balance sheet, risks, corporate strategy, and other external and internal business considerations — to determine the true total cost of ownership. TCO allows companies to better evaluate sourcing, identify alternatives and even make a case when selling against offshore competitors. 
As of early December, the trade war is on pause. According to the New York Times, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached an agreement that will result in a 90-day halt on tariff implementation plans. In the handshake deal, Trump promised the U.S. would hold off on the 25 percent tariffs scheduled for January 1 and China "agreed to an unspecified increase in their purchases of American industrial, energy and agricultural products."
Both countries must reach a more concrete trade agreement in 90 days. If an agreement cannot be reached, the 25 percent tariffs are back on.
We will see what happens. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Posted: 12/18/2018


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Industry Leaders Converge on Capitol Hill For Day of Advocacy
Leaders from the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and Association of Woodworking & Furnishing Suppliers converged on Capitol Hill on June 21 to advocate for the most important policy needs of the industry. First-time attendee Dan Christensen, Pillar Machine, and WMMA Public Policy Committee member, talked about his experiences in this short video.

WMMA Announces Steve Carter as WMMA President

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