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Sifting through some journalistic sawdust

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With the AWFS fair over and done, it’s time to empty my reporter’s notebook of a few recent news items:

The Cabinet Makers Association is offering an on-demand webinar that discusses new OSHA-required training for all employees. This session runs just over 11 minutes and will help keep business owners and managers in compliance with mandated health and safety training for employees.

“Everyone who has been in business long enough has heard the horror stories of huge OSHA fines levied on businesses. No one wants to knowingly put themselves in line to be on the receiving end of one of those levies,” CMA executive director Dave Grulke says. “This recorded webinar contains data and provides additional information on resources available to keep employers in compliance with newly adopted OSHA regulations that mandate employee training on hazard communications by December 1, 2013.”

There is no charge to attend or register for this webinar, but advance registration is required. This webinar is prerecorded and available on demand, meaning it can be viewed anytime from any Internet-connected device.

For information, visit

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U.S. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell announced on Aug. 6 that Michael T. Rains accepted the position as director of the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis., effective immediately.

Rains has served as the Forest Products Laboratory’s acting director since March 2012. He is also the director of the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and will continue to lead both organizations.

“Michael’s experience, leadership, and unflagging passion for forestry and the wood products field make him the perfect candidate for running our Forest Products Lab,” Tidwell said in a statement. “Four decades into his career, there’s no one more qualified, committed or energetic about the issues.”

Rains’ 45-year career with the Forest Service began as a wildland firefighter for California. He has since served the agency in many capacities, including director of information resources management and deputy chief of state and private forestry.

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The IWF and the International Surface Fabricators Association announced the formation of a partnership geared toward increasing the focus on the countertop industry for the 2014 IWF show.

The partnership includes an agreement in which ISFA will work with IWF to develop a full countertop educational track for the show and a “Countertop Pavilion” which will be co-sponsored by ISFA. The educational track will include six educational sessions geared toward the countertop industry, as well as continuing the full-day Countertop Symposium that ISFA has put on for the past two IWF fairs.

“With so many laminate and solid-surface fabricators already attending the IWF it makes sense to expand upon that and open the show up to fabricators of all countertop materials,” IWF 2014 chairman Rick Hannigan said in a statement. “The new educational track will include sessions geared toward laminate, solid surface, quartz surfacing, natural stone, concrete and other countertop materials.”

The next IWF will be held Aug. 20-23, 2014 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

For information, visit

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue.

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