Workforce development, an all-too-relevant topic in our industry, was the focus of the November 9, 2018 Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) regional event held at The MiLL National Training Center in Colorado Springs. The event also included a tour of Concepts in Millwork.
The MiLL is the industry’s first national training center where students can learn cabinetmaking and general construction; the evolving program is also soon adding a welding option. Founded by Dean Mattson, the MiLL’s program was initially offered to nearby high schools to complement their curriculum and offer yet another opportunity for their students to gain real-world training.
The MiLL has now expanded its original scope to include classes in the evenings for the Wounded Warrior Project in collaboration with Red Rocks Community College.
The entire program is designed to be replicated throughout the country and plans are already in the works for additional locations.
Students at The MiLL are not simply taught necessary woodworking skills; they also acquire a professional skill set that is quite remarkable. They are encouraged to create business cards as soon as possible, and to network all the time, wherever they are. They are also taught the importance of eye contact and a firm handshake. “These kids make a very strong first impression,” says Amanda Conger, the executive director of the CMA.
Concepts in Millwork, a family-owned commercial millwork company, uses The MiLL to source their workforce. During the CMA event at the MiLL, HR manager Rhynel Evans was part of a panel discussion and explained that she realized the Concepts needed to be creative in their recruiting methods. And so, they began their partnership with The MiLL by offering students an internship program the summer before their senior year. During the 12-week program, the interns are cross-trained in every major area on the shop floor. Concepts has not only had 100 percent placement after graduation but also has a 100 percent retention rate with those employees.
Evans admits that it takes effort. “Managing this generation takes flexibility and patience,” she stated. “They often require customized arrangements, and Concepts has had to learn to adapt to their needs.” One of their employees had trouble getting to work on time in the mornings because he had a new baby at home. After some consideration, they mutually agreed to switch him to the second shift and this has worked out great.
Everyone attending the Colorado Spring event was urged to get involved in their local communities and create a partnership with their respective education programs. Dean Mattson also encouraged companies to establish their own internal education program to train and retain their current employees.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of two scholarships to students of The MiLL by Darryl Hogeback of Savanté Wine Cellars, based in Denver, Colorado. Hogeback was recently awarded prize money by Woodworking Network for an extra-spectacular project, and he chose to donate his winnings to support The MiLL. Upon hearing about Hogeback’s generosity, the management at Columbia Forest Products agreed to match the amount. This development made it possible to offer two scholarships instead of just one. The initiative created the school’s first official scholarship program, and he encourages others to follow suit and make additional contributions.
Hogeback shared his background and passion for training the future workforce in the Fall 2018 issue of CMA’s PROfiles, magazine. The entire article can be read online at bit.ly/CMA-savante
“I came from a high school in Ohio that had a really great shop and taught industrial arts, so I learned woodworking and architectural drawing, and that all helped me in my career path. My teacher would always take students to the state competition, and they would win every year.
“They got rid of that program at my high school about five years ago, and put in a weight-lifting gym instead. It was heart-breaking. It’s a lost opportunity to introduce kids to the trades — woodworking, metal working, welding, automotive work, etc. — and let them find out that they’re good at working with their hands.”
Like others in the industry, he hopes that kids will realize that woodworking offers a great future, reliable work and a lot of satisfaction.
“There’s something powerful about building something with your hands and seeing it afterward,” he says. “I hear that from people a lot. My clients often say they wish they could build something.”
The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) is pleased to announce their shop tours the day before the Wood Pro Expo in Lancaster have sold out. However, they will host another event in November in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The registrations for the full day of shop tours in Lancaster on October 17 has reached the allotted capacity. This event will be held the day before the Wood Pro Expo and will visit local CMA members in the Lancaster area.
The CMA will host one more event this year on November 9 in Colorado Springs at The MiLL that also includes a tour of Concepts in Millwork. Register now to reserve your spot before this event sells out too. For more details and registration information, please visit www.cabinetmakers.org/events
The CMA has been hosting high-value events like this since 1998 as a means of connecting similar-sized shops around North America with the purpose of sharing best practices and business acumen, while learning how other businesses do what they do. In addition to the agenda, the regional events also encourage networking by providing an opportunity to talk shop and share issues, solutions, and even projects.
About the Cabinet Makers Association
Celebrating 20 years, the Cabinet Makers Association was incorporated in 1998 by a group of custom cabinet makers who thought the small to mid-size shop needed to network and help each other grow profitably. Currently, CMA membership is made up primarily of 20 or fewer employee operations, with the vast majority of those being 1-5 person shops. For more information, visit www.cabinetmakers.org.
Chris Corrales, the owner of CNC Factory (CNCFactory.com) in Santa Ana, California, will address the Cabinet Makers Association October 17, one day before the Wood Pro Expo Lancaster event. Cabinetmakers from around the area will learn:
The conference will be held at The Warehouse Hotel at the Nook, 75 Champ Blvd. in Manheim, PA.
CNC Factory designs, builds and manufactures CNC machines in their Orange County, California facility. “With CNC Factory located in the United States, we integrate new technology into CNC systems quicker and more skillfully than any other CNC manufacturer in the world,” Corrales says.
After breakfast at the Warehouse Hotel, the CMA group will tour:
CNC Factory is demonstrating its new Python XPR at Wood Pro Expo October 18 and 19 in booth 205. This robust CNC machine reaches a pinnacle of engineering that combines third generation (3G) robotic loading, spoil board cleaning, unloading and now CNC Factory Printing and Labeling. Users benefit from multi-directional graphic and text labeling instructions on nested materials. With these in place, woodworkers always know which edges need post production attention, and operators never lose track of cut pieces. In addition, Cabinet Vision software allows printing in various orientations.
The Python XPR is designed for profitability, speed and ease-of-use. It is the workhorse of all CNC machines saving users’ backs and delivering a host of grow-as-you-grow features.
Corrales, who designed the Python XPR, notes that he, “included an automated 12-tool rapid carousel that changes tools in just four seconds, and moves 1,800 inches per minute. The Python conquers long, complex, multi-tool tasks efficiently from one to fifty sheets, with just one push of a button. It’s ergonomically, user-friendly, and needs only one operator to run in either robotic or manual mode.”
The Python XPR sells for $69,900 and includes training and life-long customer support. CNC Factory promises that "nobody supports customers better!" See the Python XPR and all the company’s routers, edge banders, thermofoil presses and Lockdowel drilling inserting machines at www.CNCFactory.com
WPE is a regional event for woodworking businesses that brings together suppliers and experts for a localized presentation of equipment and supply solutions. WPE includes a strong educational program on best practices for shop production - including CNC basics, employee recruitment, finishing, lean manufacturing, business management, software, and shop safety - and an expo floor with equipment and supplies geared to small and medium-size shops. To register with free expo hall admission, go to this link and enter CNCFAC18 when prompted: https://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/events/wood-pro-expo-lancaste
Ten wood industry associations are pleased to announce the formation of a coalition aimed primarily at perpetuating the long-term growth of the industry by sustaining an engaged workforce. Since its formative two-day brainstorming meeting in November 2017, the group has chosen to organize under the name Wood Industry Resource Collaborative (WIRC). Pronounced “Work,” the name does a great job maintaining the group’s mission and goals.
The collaborative group is a consortium of trade associations, all related to the woodworking or the wood products manufacturing industry. The group’s purpose is to provide a collection of tools and solutions for the wood industry to attract and retain employees, while improving the perception of the industry. This group exists to connect industry associations with one another and support and strengthen the woodworking industry and their associations’ members by sharing information and resources.
The charter members of the collaborative group agreed to the following goals and identified those influencers who can effectively drive interest in the wood industry as a career path (e.g. parents, teachers, social media, and financial resources):
The primary target for the group’s efforts will be Generation Z―people born between 1995 and 2014 who are the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.S. Fifty-five percent are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American and 4% are Asian. In addition to the youngest generation, the group will also target Millennials and possibly Gen Xers (parents).
If a trade association would like to participate in the group, they are represented by their executive-level staff. Among the benefits of membership in the collaborative group are: inclusion in the ongoing conversation about industry-wide topics, such as workforce development; and access to resources and information developed or shared by the group.
The collaborative group meets monthly via phone and semiannually in person to explore and prioritize the goals and tactics for achieving them. “The group is working to identify what each association brings to the table, and what each needs for their members to change corporate culture and attract and retain good employees,” said group organizer Adria Torrez, Education Director of AWFS®. For more information about WIRC, visit www.woodindustryed.org/wirc.
Charter Member Organizations
Forum organizers and charter members include executive level representatives from the following associations: AWFS® (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers); AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute); CMA (Cabinet Makers Association); HMA (Hardwood Manufacturers Association); NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association); WCMA (Wood Component Manufacturers Association); WMIA (Woodworking Machinery Industry Association); WMMA (Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America); WPMA (Wood Product Manufacturers Association); and WMMPA (Moulding & Millwork Producers Association).
This year’s trade show in Atlanta was amazing, to say the least. Attendance was the best it's been in 10 years, and you could tell: the aisles and booths were quite crowded.
We began the week with shop tours of local CMA shops on Tuesday. The tour sold out and the bus was full! The day
concluded with a BBQ at Dark Horse Woodworks – an amazing example of Southern hospitality and a great way to connect with other members before the show began.
In addition to welcoming CMA members who visited our booth when the show opened on Wednesday, we also began hosting our seminars – there were 12 throughout the show, and they were well-attended and well-received.
Wednesday evening we continued our tradition of hosting a “What’s Your Problem?” roundtable discussion. We filled the room, and the conversations were lively and lengthy. Many members’ takeaway was their relief that other cabinetmakers have the same if not similar problems.
On Thursday, we held the Wood Diamond Awards ceremony and recognized members and the superb quality of their work.
That evening, we gathered for our Annual Membership Appreciation Banquet at Gordon Biersch Brewery in Buckhead. Throughout the evening, we offered tours of the nearby SubZero showroom. It was another great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and also see the amazing craftsmanship of Exclusive Woodworking in the SubZero showroom.
All in all, it was a great show. Connecting with other members and learning from each other is what we are all about, and participating in trade shows like IWF is one of the ways we fulfill the mission of the CMA.
A recent contest turned up a surprising entry from Camp Good Days, a residential summer camp in Branchport, NY for children with cancer or those who have (or have lost) a parent or sibling with cancer. Colonial Saw Company, the U.S. importer of Lamello woodworking tools, ran the 2017 contest among their customers to discover innovative uses of the Lamello P-System.
“I was so pleased to see Jerry’s entry in our contest among many other creative submissions from all over the country,” said Chris Hofmann, Lamello U.S. product manager at Colonial Saw. “It brought his and the camp’s efforts to my attention. I knew that my colleagues at Lamello back in Switzerland would appreciate this particular customer as well!”
Jerry Romanowski and other volunteers run the woodworking program at Camp Good Days for their campers to help get their minds off their treatments, or in some cases, their loss. He cuts the wood components in his personal basement shop and brings them to the camp for the children to sand, paint and assemble items such as bird houses, keepsake boxes, and step stools. Together they create over 600 projects each summer. However, since campers come from all over the US and the world, getting their projects home on an airplane was a problem in the past. Until, that is, Mr. Romanowski discovered the Lamello P-system and the Clamex P-14 connectors, which enable projects to be flat-packed and sent home in their suitcases ready to re-assemble.
Romanowski’s story and the camp’s efforts resonated with Lamello AG, which now supports Camp Good Days with free P-System connectors, tooling, and accessories. “When I saw their contest entry I knew they were something special,” said Marco Ress, Lamello International Area Sales Manager. “No child is ever turned away and services are free thanks to the support of many individuals and businesses. Woodworking is in our DNA and we wanted to help them succeed.”
But the generosity doesn’t stop there. Colonial Saw has joined with Lamello’s CNC manufacturing partner Komo Machine, Inc. and Universal Forest Products to help produce parts for the Camp at the International Woodworking Fair in August. Universal Forest Products will be supplying the wood and Komo will produce CNC-routed component pieces for over 100 campers’ projects live at their booth at IWF (#6734), the largest US woodworking industry trade show. In addition to partially liberating Mr. Romanowski from his basement shop, this effort will help raise awareness about the camp.
It’s a true collaboration between four companies who came together to give children the opportunity to regain some of the fun and camp experience that cancer has taken away from them.
About Colonial Saw
Colonial Saw Company, Inc. is the U.S. importer of Lamello specialty tools and connectors, Striebig vertical panel saws, and the world’s finest grinding machinery. More information can be found at www.csaw.com or visit them at IWF booth 6569.
Lamello’s revolutionary wood joining systems have been inspiring wood workers since 1955. Synonymous with quality, innovation and excellent functionality, they are used across the globe. More information can be found at www.lamello.com
About Komo Machine
Komo Machine, Inc. designs and manufactures an entire line of high-quality, precision computer numerically controlled (CNC) routers and machining centers in the USA, designed and supported by a highly skilled team of individuals. More information can be found at: www.komo.com
About Universal Forest Products, Inc.
Universal Forest Products, Inc., a U.S.-based global corporation founded in 1955 as a supplier of lumber to the manufactured housing industry, is today a multibillion-dollar holding company with subsidiaries around the globe that serve three robust markets: retail, industrial, and construction. More information may be found at www.ufpi.com
Chris Corrales, the owner of CNC Factory (CNCFactory.com) in Santa Ana, California, will speak to the Cabinet Makers Association, August 21 at their IWF Atlanta Breakfast, one day prior to the IWF show. Corrales will cover what is new in CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) equipment for woodworking and what is newly improved. The breakfast will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Centennial Olympic Park at 7:30am.
Corrales will discuss:
1) 3rd Generation CNC Robotics;
2) The new CNC Factory Printing and Marking Block - allows each cut piece to be labeled with post production instructions; and
3) The new Lockdowel Scorpion boring and insertion machine - enables flat-pack shipping and cabinet assembly without using screws or glue.
“Because CNC Factory manufactures equipment in the United States, we can incorporate industry advances quickly, expertly and affordably. Just like we have with the with the Scorpion Lockdowel LDR machine,” Corrales says. “Our LDR machine is equipped with third generation, technology, production controls, real-time virtual support, automated gun cleaning, precise laser measuring - and it’s designed for one operator, even when working with large productions.”
According to the company, CNC Factory will have five different CNC machines on display at IWF:
--Python Router with loading and unloading - $69,000
--Viper Router - $32,900
--Badger 3600AT Edgebander - $16,900
--Cyclone 4896 Thermofoil Press - $23,900
--Scorpion Lockdowel Drilling and Inserter - $69,900
“We will have the newest in CNC equipment at IWF Building C booth 2722. Everyone is invited to come see our live demos throughout the show,” Corrales says.
About CNC Factory
Chris Corrales has more than 20 years of cabinet making expertise. His real-world experience inspired him to start building better CNC machines 13 years ago, with a clear goal of helping companies embrace CNC automation. His mission: To make CNC automation as common place as a table saw.
Today this vision is core as CNC Factory designs and manufactures high quality precision CNC routers, machining centers, edgebanders, Lockdowel insertion machines and thermofoil 3D presses to meet the urgent business needs of customers.
At CNC Factory, providing the fastest, most accurate and dependable CNC Machines and supporting products is only the beginning of meeting customers’ needs. “We never leave them all by themselves,” Corrales promises.
Power up your needs with CNC Factory and capture more opportunities within your market! CNC Factory 2001 South Grand Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705 714-581-5999, CNCFactory.com email@example.com
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