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Partnering with Industry

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AWMAC by Larry White
Larry White is the president of the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada. He can be reached at: info@awmac.com
As I head into my 14th year on the National AWMAC board next May, I have had the pleasure to work with, or have met, many of you and I reflect on how much change I have seen in our industry in those 14 years.
Technology continues to evolve, product lines change to meet the demanding needs for LEED, and manufacturing continues to improve its practices. Education for the woodworking industry has never been more important than it is now.
For those of you who are familiar, and for those who may have just have recently come to know AWMAC, the first thing that typically comes to mind is our GIS (Guarantee and Inspection Service) program.
While the GIS program is important and forms the foundation for AWMAC, there is another thing AWMAC does that one would not immediately think about. With the diversification of our core membership made up of manufacturers, architects, designers, suppliers, and educational institutions, if we wish to reach out further into our industry, AWMAC must have another key ingredient to growing the awareness of AWMAC and its many other programs and that ingredient is collaboration.
When you look up the word collaboration in the dictionary it states, “working together to create or achieve the same thing”.
On April 10, 2017 AWMAC took a new direction and entered a new partnership with another key stakeholder from our industry that being Woodwork Institute (WI). This alliance has enabled us to take the lessons learned from both sides of the border and apply them in sync to provide value for our many members and related industry. Within this structure, the benefits are easy to point out — “consistent messaging.”
You can simply look at the publication of the North American Architectural Woodwork Standards (NAAWS) manual to test the value in working together. NAAWS is a detailed industry manual that was compiled by a dedicated group of industry leaders on both sides of the border forming what is known as the NAWWS Committee. The committee continually works together ensuring that today’s best practices are being followed and adhered to for the manufacturing of architectural millwork.
Together, through marketing our brand and staying true to our mission and vision statements, AWMAC is committed to provide the customer with exceptional value and peace of mind.
AWMAC has also entrenched its outreach to the educational and career building sector. Working with several educational institutions from high school to post-secondary across the country, AWMAC offers its experience and guidance to future woodworking students allowing them the opportunity to pursue a career in the cabinetmaking industry. Apprenticeship programs across the country experience valuable input from manufacturer and supplier members. Many of these members volunteer their time at the various AWMAC apprenticeship contests across the country that showcase a student’s talent at manufacturing a predetermined project designed by AWMAC using the industry standards. The winner from each chapter then has their project judged within their chapter and then, once again, against all other winners for 
a National award.
AWMAC also participates 
in career fairs and Skills Canada events by providing students with educational materials and hands-on projects that a student can do while learning about the trade.
There is also our Partnership Program with our committed suppliers.
These suppliers not only invest financially to help grow and maintain our many programs, but you will see them offering their time participating at the many local chapter events on behalf of AWMAC. Having our supply partners teaming together 
with AWMAC keeps the candle burning brightly and that just solidifies unity.
Where else are we investing?
You will see the many AWMAC members creating and presenting lunch and learns to continually reach out to educate architects and designers. Topics such as: how to specify architectural millwork; GIS program; grades of millwork and navigating through the standards are just a few of the many learning opportunities and discussions. The architectural and design community are the gateway to continually meet the customer’s needs and partnering with them allows AWMAC to give them confidence and guarantees complete satisfaction with members’ products.
So, you can now see how the strength of working together within the industry and reaching out and partnering through collaboration makes 
all of us stronger.
Together, with our industry partner’s help, AWMAC can obtain our vision “to be the architectural woodwork authority in Canada.”
The message is clear when we all collaborate!

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