Utilization Group, Inc.
Quarterly Partnership Meeting The AHUG Wood & Lumber Partnership held it’s quarterly meeting on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at the Red Fern in St. Marys. Project Manager, Amy Shields, welcomed all of the members. Amy reviewed the highlights from activities
held in 2007/2008.
The partnership membership has grown to 55, which includes 39 hardwood companies, 8 logging operations, 18 sawmills, 8 secondary processors, 7 education institutions, 9 service providers and 5 others. Plans for the 2008/2009 years were outlined. They include possible programs to be offered such as LEAN Manufacturing, FSC Certification, New Technology, Green Building, Integrated Trucking, Basic Skills and Employee benefits. The partnership will continue activities on career awareness and distribute the new career DVD.
Amy urged members to take advantage of our new Career Display for career fairs, etc.
The Human Resources Best Practices handbook, by Jenna P. Stites & Judd H. Michael has been completed. This handbook can be downloaded at the AHUG website, www.ahug.com. We are continuing work with the Lumber Heritage Region on the Career Ladder project. A Training Needs Survey had been sent out to members with several ideas coming back with training that was needed, such as NHLA Certification, Saw Filing, Hardwood Bucking Optimization Training, Welder Training, Combustible Dust Training,
Stewardship Plan Writing, Supervisory and Management Training. Partners will be notified of specific dates and times for all training.
The Partnership will hold quarterly meeting in February, May, August and November.
Wood & Lumber Resources Seminar The AHUG Wood and Lumber Industry Partnership and the Northwest PA Industry Resource Center (NWIRC) co-sponsored a half-day Wood & Lumber Industry Resources Seminar on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at the Holiday Inn in Warren, Pa. The seminar brought presenters offering information, grant opportunities, and resources for programs specific to the industry. Topics included “LEAN for Lumber”, presented by Vic Bowser, CEO of Bowser Enterprises; “Energy Saving Opportunities”, by John Pletcher, Forest Products Technical Specialist with PennTap; “IT Programs”, by Susan Hileman of NWIRC, who substituted for Brad Moore, Director of Marketing of eBizITPA - Center for eBusiness and Advanced IT; and “FSC Certification”, by Jason Shuey, Forest Products Marketing Coordinator for PA Certified Forest Products Initiative of the Rainforest Alliance. Vic Bowser spoke about concepts in LEAN manufacturing and the steps necessary to build a high- performance organization. John Pletcher talked about how businesses can save a considerable amount of money by improving problem areas that relate to compressed air, boilers, steam, hot water, pipes, lights, and motors. He also distributed a handout with potential funding sources for energy assessments that are available through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Susan Hileman explained how eBizITPA links talent, technology, and expertise of regional colleges and universities with their client companies in need of IT solutions. Barb Conti, from Matson Lumber, was on hand to give testimony on how well the program worked for her company. And lastly, Jason Shuey described the process companies undergo to become FSC Certified and he also sparked a discussion on green building and LEED’s credits for wood products. Amy Shields of St. Mary’s Lumber stated how becoming FSC Certified has influenced her company. If you are interested in any of the presentations, they have been made available on the NWIRC website by
going to www.nwirc.org and clicking on “Resources”.
ON-LINE SEMINAR SERIES NEW DRUG TESTING
(FRA Information Alert) The Pennsylvania Forest Web Seminar Center will On August 25, 2008, new drug and alcohol offer one-hour on-line, live presentations by experts in a testing requirements for drivers of commercial vehicles variety of fields related to the stewardship and issues of become effective. The U. S. Department of Transportation Pennsylvania’s forest resources. The online seminars offer a (DOT) amended certain provisions of its drug and alcohol chance for landowners, extension educators, and natural testing procedures to ensure “the complete reliability and resources professionals to learn and gain resources to accuracy of controlled substances tests.” enhance their own practices. While most commercial drivers do not test positive for drugs and alcohol, DOT data shows that each Live seminars are scheduled for the second Tuesday year (from 1994 to 2005), 1.3 percent to 2.8 percent of of every month at noon and 7 p.m., skipping July and truck drivers tested positive. August. The kickoff web seminar, “Introduction to the PA To help prevent accidents due to drug and alcohol Forests Web Seminar Series: Pennsylvania’s Private Forest use by commercial drivers, federal law requires drivers to Landowners and the Issues They Face,” occurred on October be tested: as part of the pre-employment screening 14. Future topics include: timber taxation; oil, gas, and process, on a random basis while employed, and following mineral leasing; harvesting; timber sales and markets; an accident involving a fatality. Commercial drivers who wildlife habitat; invasive insects; succession planning; fail a test, refuse a test, or otherwise violate the drug invasive plants; forest management and regeneration; and testing requirements are required to complete a return-to- water resources on your forestland. duty process before returning to work as a driver. A recent GAO Report (GAO-08-225T) revealed Each session will be recorded and loaded onto the several vulnerabilities in the DOT’s current drug testing web Seminar Center along with a copy of the presentation procedures. In a letter sent to House Transportation and and any handouts. So, if you are unable to participate in the Infrastructure Committee Chair James Oberstar on June “live” session, a recording of it will be available for you to 30, 2008, these vulnerabilities of the current drug testing view at your convenience. Of course, none of the interactive procedures were identified: use of synthetic products to elements will be available when watching the recording. To defeat drug and alcohol tests, failure to complete return-to- view the upcoming seminars schedule and to register to take duty requirements, and “job-hopping.” A job-hopper is a part in the live seminars, visit driver who tests positive for one carrier; is fired, quits or is http://rnrext.cas.psu.edu/PAForestWeb/ not hired; and subsequently tests negative on a pre- employment test for another carrier. The GAO investigators noted that while some drivers abstained from drug and alcohol use to pass the second test, several others A MARKETING GUIDE FOR SMALL & used a wide variety of commercial products that mask MEDIUM SIZED PRIMARY FOREST PRODUCTS drug use. A copy of the GAO letter to Chairman Oberstar PROCESSORS is attached. Due to the significant number of drivers not in The Center for Forest Products Marketing & Management at compliance with the current drug testing procedures, the Virginia Tech and the U.S. Forest Service Wood Education DOT issued a new Final Rule (published in the Federal and Resource Center have a new publication available online Register, Vol. 73, No. 123, pages 35961-35975) on June at http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/detail.cfm?id=5485 and in 25, 2008. A copy of the Final Rule is attached. CD format. Key changes to the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing procedures include: This guide provides marketing tips and information for 1) Drug testing facilities must now categorize non-entrepreneurs, owners, manager, and employees of small to negative drug tests as: positive for drugs/alcohol, positive medium sized primary forest products processors, such as (diluted), adulterated, substituted or invalid. start-up sawmills or existing sawmills, to help them maintain 2) Pre-employment and other drug tests that produce an