December 2020

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 | 21 Architectural Woodwork customers. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is built using the European model of automated warehouses. During construction of the automated warehouse, the racking was assembled first, followed by the roof and cladding. Approximately 6,400 pallet locations are served by three storage and retrieval machines in three aisles, plus one induction point with a transfer car that distributes and retrieves the pallets at the conveyors. In addition, the new facility includes many concepts for customers in the design and construction sectors like Blum's Kitchen Test Drive for kitchen buyers, where they can assemble and configure a variety of cabinets and other items to get a feel of how a proposed kitchen space will function; or Age Explorer: people who don this apparel get a clear idea of what it's like to have physical limitations, thus aiding in the design of ergonomic kitchens and many more inspiring products such as Space Corner cabinets, Aventos lift systems to name a few. Kevin Tierney, B.C. president of the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC), summarizes the health of his sector in 2020 by pointing out, "Of our 70-odd member compa- nies in this province, many are indeed quite busy – but it's important not to forget the many companies that are heavily involved in serving the hospitality and travel sectors and consequently feeling the pinch." Tierney, who is also owner of Benchmark Architectural Woodworking Inc., sympathizes with members such as Lortap that struggle to attract new talent. "We at Benchmark can't even hire floor sweepers – our shop foreman now does the sweep- ing – mainly because would-be entry level workers are making just as much if not more money staying home and collecting emergency relief funds from the government," he says. "That's unfortunate for the health of our industry overall because a certain number of newcomers who might have stayed long enough to become woodworkers aren't getting their foot in the door." Still, Tierney acknowledges that his colleagues are exhibiting a remarkable resiliency during tough times. "On that score I'm optimistic that things will get better in 2021," he says. "I know a lot of people would disagree with that state- ment, but in B.C. especially there's a fair bit of work in the form of school seismic upgrades and other projects, and I've yet to see any slowdowns other than in the hospitality and travel industries. In short, our spirits are up and we're going to keep rocking on into better times." A Space Corner cabinetry from Blum Canada. Proud member since 2006 Manufacturer, Supplier, Installations of Commercial & Custom Architectural Millwork Olympic View Golf Club Victoria, BC CHFContracting_AWARD_1220.indd 1 12/7/20 1:20 PM

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