December is time to look back on the year and make predictions. We join that time-honored tradition with our annual Almanac issue. In these pages, you’ll find a host of useful tools for
your own forecasting and year-end evaluations.
Special projects editor Karen Koenig has painstakingly
compiled nearly a dozen pages of fascinating charts covering
different segments of our diverse industry. A lot of this data is
not easily accessible or properly segmented for the woodworking industry if you can even come up with it on your own.
If you want to know what leaders in our industry think is
going to happen in the coming year, check out our industry
forecast. We put the call out to people in the industry we
consider especially insightful, and they did not disappoint us.
Most are positive about the year ahead, but also, be sure to
pay attention to some of their concerns and predicted trends.
Associate editor Robert Dalheim, who makes sure our online presence, Woodworking Network, has all the latest news
of the industry, has compiled the top stories for 2018. You
might be surprised at the stories that made the top ten.
Speaking of top ten, we’ve also got a list of the top ten
products of the year as seen
by our editors. This is a purely
subjective list, so tell us what you
think should have made the list.
We picked products recognized
as widely innovative and significant in the industry.
The annual Cabinet Makers
Association Benchmark survey
offers statistics you can use as an
effective yardstick to measure
your own shop against others.
Here’s to a great 2018 and an
even better 2019! ✚
We saw a great example of industry, suppli- ers and vendors, and associations coming together to create a successful event recently. The idea for event was developed by Chris
Hofmann of Colonial Saw, who is WMIA’s Education Committee chairman.
Herrick & White, manufacturer of architectural millwork,
hosted the event and provided tours of the shop to show students
what a modern wood products manufacturing company is about.
Another participant, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future,
provides high school students with internships and connects
education with the workplace, allowing students to learn
about new careers.
Part of the issue is that high school-age students may not
know anything about current careers in woodworking.
Herrick and White wanted to demonstrate that there are career opportunities available, such as supervision, engineering, estimating, project management, accounting, sales and marketing.
Also, wood shop classes in the public schools have been
closed when the instructor retired or due to budget cuts.
Woonsocket Area Career and Tech Center doesn’t have
woodworking programs, but does
have students that are looking for
good job opportunities.
WMIA is working on another
open house in early 2019, and
wants to create a prototype that
their members can utilize in
their own communities by partnering with vendors and schools
in their area.
It’s their future and your
future. So why not work together.
What does your company have
planned for 2019? ✚
by William Sampson
by Karl D. Forth
on skills shortage
✚ Follow Will
Karl online at