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AWFS seeks board members, founder of C.R. Onsrud dies

The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers is seeking to fill open positions for its Board of Directors starting in 2022. Each position requires that the volunteer initially serves a three-year term, with the goal of extending it into a second consecutive term based on meeting the requirements in place for AWFS Board members.

“Serving on the Board of Directors is a rewarding way for AWFS members to give back to the industry. By volunteering their time, knowledge, and experience, Board members are instrumental in developing and monitoring the policies and strategic goals for AWFS and the AWFS Fair,” the association said in a statement. Apply by Dec. 31 at awfs.org.

C.R. Onsrud, a CNC manufacturer in Troutman, N.C., announced the passing of founder and former CEO, Charles (Charlie) Rudolph Onsrud, on Nov. 21.

Onsrud, born on Aug. 26, 1931, was the grandson of Oscar Onsrud, founder of Onsrud Machine Works. He invented C.R. Onsrud’s first machine, the Inverted Router, and won several industry awards, including two Challengers Awards at IWF, the Baldwin Award from the Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers of America for leadership and outstanding contributions to the millwork industry, the first Partner of the Year from the Woodworking Machinery Distributors Association, and the President’s “E” Award for excellence in expansion of U.S. exports.

“He formally retired in 1996 turning the reins over to his sons, but with a Subway sandwich in hand, he came to the office most days to visit the production floor, ask about the new technologies, chat with employees, and watch the company and machines grow tremendously,” the company said in a statement.

“He was admired and respected in the industry and built enduring relationships. He was an Army veteran, a proud American, and a proponent of American-made products. Although never shy about speaking his mind, he did so in a genuine, kind, and honest way. For all of those who knew him, he is remembered fondly for his big smile and his even bigger heart.”

In other news, initial unemployment claims totaled 199,000 for the week ending Nov. 20, the lowest level since the week of Nov. 15, 1969, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Total unemployment insurance payments dropped to $45.2 billion in October, the lowest level since February 2020, after peaking at $1,395.8 billion in June 2020.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent from 4.6 percent, but U.S. employers added just 210,000 jobs in November, far below expectations of a 550,000 gain.

Veneer exports are up 30 percent over 2020, according to the Decorative Hardwood Association, while log exports are up 24 percent in volume and 32 percent in value.

The House infrastructure bill, passed the first week in November, quadruples funding for reforestation projects in national forests. In addition, the bill includes a system for subsidizing sawmills near forest rehab sites and helping manufacturers reduce waste and pollution as well as several provisions related to trucking, according to the Forest Resources Association. 

This article was originally published in the January 2022 issue.

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