Submitted by mmetz@kcma.org on Mon, 03/01/2021 - 16:39
Industry News Update March 1, 2021

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association is committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information in the industry. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

BIDEN VS. TRUMP ON RESHORING: A REVIEW, AND A CRITIQUE

Open

Since 2010, companies have brought over 700,000 manufacturing jobs to the U.S., the sum of reshoring by U.S. companies and FDI (foreign direct investment) by foreign companies.

This surge is responsible for about half of the 1.4 million manufacturing employment increase from the March 2009 Great Recession valley to the December 2019 pre-COVID-19 peak. At a given level of U.S. goods consumption, the only ways to increase manufacturing are to export more or import less, i.e., reshore/FDI. Read more.

HOME BUILDERS URGE BIDEN TO GET A HANDLE ON SOARING LUMBER PRICES

Lumber

Soaring lumber prices are adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home, pricing out millions of potential home buyers and impeding the residential construction sector from moving the economy forward, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
 
“According to Random Lengths, the price of lumber hit a record high this week and is up more than 170% over the past 10 months,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, FL. Read more.

TIPS ON RECRUITING SKILLED PRODUCTION WORKERS

Workers

“In factories across the country, fixed locations, tight margins, and higher competition make growing the blue-collar workforce incredibly difficult," explains Heather Salerno, senior vice president of marketing for Appcast.

With so many jobs becoming remote due to the pandemic, people are moving out of urban areas. While this might be a positive move in some ways, it makes it harder to recruit for jobs that need to be done within the walls of a manufacturing facility. Read more.

DOL PROPOSES $264K IN FINES FOR MONTANA MANUFACTURER FOR SERIOUS, WILLFUL VIOLATIONS FOLLOWING FINGER AMPUTATION

Worker Safety

When OSHA inspectors arrived at Western Bee Supply Inc. in Polson to investigate a recent incident that resulted in a partial finger amputation, they found a workplace with unguarded saw blades, rotating machinery, belts, pulleys, and chains.

Machine operators were cleaning saw blades and other machinery without locking out and tagging out equipment to prevent sudden starts, as required. A review of recent work logs by inspectors found the amputation wasn’t the only serious injury to occur on the machine involved, just the first one that had been reported to them. Read more.

KITCHEN REMODEL SPECIALIST OUTLINES PANDEMIC CHANGES

Kitchen

Remodeler Kitchen Magic provides refacing and other services through contractors and designers. The company outlined some changes consumers are seeking in their kitchens as a result of the pandemic.

More storage. Kitchen design includes precise measurements and ideas to ensure the kitchen is more functional for the customers. Hunkering down during the pandemic has taught everyone to stock up, and nearly 98 percent of homeowners that remodel their kitchens reported some extra internal or external storage options. Read more.