April 22, 2021
AWFS SmartBrief
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Top Industry News
A 13% jump in nonresidential building starts drove a 2% gain in March construction starts, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Residential starts increased less than 1%, and Dodge notes soaring material prices pose risk to further gains.
Full Story: Dodge Data & Analytics (4/16) 
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Manufacturing and Innovation
The furniture industry is facing supply chain backlogs of materials, increased demand and fewer assembly workers due to social distancing requirements, forcing customers to wait longer for orders. "It's a very unique experience to have this level of demand and not be able to keep up with it," said Kevin Bowman, president of Hickory Chair Furniture in North Carolina.
Full Story: Fox Business (4/15) 
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Factory production rose 2.7% last month after declining by 3.7% in February, while overall industrial production also reversed a February decline, according to the Federal Reserve. Manufacturing capacity utilization for the month was 73.8%, up 1.9 points.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/15),  Reuters (4/15) 
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Connect With Insights
The 2021 AWFS®Fair is live, in-person, and packed full of new things to see this July! Join us at a discounted rate! For the month of April when you buy one registration you can get one free by using the code BOGO21.
Construction and Housing
New York City, San Francisco and Honolulu top a list of cities with the highest construction costs. The list comes from construction-management firm Cumming, which predicts the third quarter will mark the beginning of construction's recovery from the pandemic.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/16) 
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CTE and Workforce Development
The manufacturing industry should adopt newer digital tools to retain talent and attract younger workers, writes Parsable CEO Lawrence Whittle. "Connected-worker tools can eliminate isolation while improving all aspects of safety, quality and productivity," Whittle writes.
Full Story: Smart Industry (4/14) 
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Iowa students help build 100 beds for peers
More than 125 high-school students put their language arts, finance, business and marketing skills to use as they helped the Sleep in Heavenly Peace nonprofit agency build 100 beds for students who were without their own. Working with the Iowa BIG project-based learning program, the students cut, sanded and stained wood to help build the beds.
Full Story: The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Marion, Iowa) (4/18) 
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The Biden administration's proposed corporate tax increase to fund infrastructure would marginally affect contractors that are established as pass-through entities, says Erin Roberts, global engineering and construction leader at EY. However, Matthew Turkstra of the Associated General Contractors of America says increases to S corporation taxes could be in a later version of the infrastructure plan.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/19) 
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Hot Topics
TuSimple, which went public last week, announced plans to test its self-driving trucks on Arizona roads during the fourth quarter without a backup driver on board. TuSimple's vehicle handles regular conditions well, and what remains "is how does the truck react to somebody on the road not doing what they're supposed to do?" says Chief Administrative Officer Jim Mullen.
Full Story: Fleet Owner (4/19),  The Wall Street Journal (4/15) 
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News from AWFS
AWFS Volunteer Leadership commits their time to participate in regular meetings and make big decisions about the strategy and direction of work for AWFS®. They oversee the budget, engage in strategic planning, recommend member benefit programs, advise on critical AWFS®Fair decisions, participate in the DC Fly-in and other advocacy efforts, and support educational activities such as SkillsUSA and MFG Day. Read more.
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We realize that the AWFS®Fair trade show has a huge impact on the environment, and AWFS® has been trying to do its part to keep the Earth clean. That's why we are ecstatic to partner with WEIMA America to bring back Destroy Responsibly™ at the 2021 AWFS®Fair. Read more.
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Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson Baker,
poet, writer
April 22 is Earth Day
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The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) is a non-profit organization that owns and produces the biennial AWFS®Fair. AWFS® members include manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, software, tooling, components, wood products and supplies for the wood industry. To learn more, visit http://www.awfs.org/.

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Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®)
Elena Potter
Marketing Coordinator
(323) 215-0308

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