Local Calgary CKCA MeetUp – Well attended!

CKCA continues to reach out to members and non-members across the country. When an opportunity to hold an event at Richelieu’s brand new distribution centre in Calgary came along we grabbed it! An evening of updates about trends coming out of Eurocucina, combined with great conversation with industry made the evening a great success. CKCA Past President and President of Denca, Heidi Boudreault, was the “local champion” who helped get this event off the ground.

Heidi was so excited about having this event she posted this on social media:

As someone deeply passionate about the cabinet industry and having served as the past CKCA president, I’m thrilled to champion this Calgary event for the CKCA Local MeetUps in Alberta. These gatherings hold special significance to me as they offer a platform to raise awareness for the CKCA and to connect with potential manufacturing members. CKCA membership warmly welcomes cabinet manufacturers, millwork manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and associates from all corners of Canada. Let’s come together to strengthen our community and shape the future of our industry. Join today at ckca.ca

Thank you Heidi and Richelieu for making this event a great success. We look forward to hosting next next meetup in Edmonton on May 9 and here’s to future meetups and all the valuable connections that are yet to be made!

 

 

CNC Automation invites you to their Prelude May 16

Are you ready to witness innovation firsthand? Before our highly anticipated open house, we’ve arranged a special prelude exclusively for you! Get an exclusive sneak peek at our cutting-edge lineup of machines fresh off the boat to Canada.

Join us for an intimate preview where you can immerse yourself in the future of our industry. Discover the latest in technology and machinery that promises to revolutionize your workflow. This is your chance to experience firsthand.

Mark your calendars and secure your spot for this unique opportunity . We’re thrilled to have you with us on this journey towards excellence.  Get ready to be amazed! ✨🔧🔩

Date: Thursday May  16th ( we can also accommodate Wednesday evening or Friday  with advanced notice to me please )

Location:521 Rue Leger, Riviere Beaudette, Quebec  J0P 1R0

Doors open at : 9am Thursday May 16th 2024

Please confirm by email to Jacqueline McGowan jmacgowan@cncautomation.com that you will be attending this exciting event

Partnership Opportunity with UBC’ Wood Products Co-op Program

Dear CKCA Members,

As the woodworking industry continues to evolve, finding skilled and innovative talent is essential to staying ahead of the curve. We’re excited to announce an exceptional opportunity for CKCA members to partner with the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing | CAWP at UBC Forestry Co-op Program and access a pool of talented students ready to tackle your company’s most pressing challenges.

 Why Choose UBC Co-op Students?

UBC’s Wood Products Co-op Program currently has students available for 4 or 8 month terms starting in May/June.  Students would be ideal for projects such as:

  1. Quality Control: Ensure the highest standards of quality in your products by engaging co-op students to assist in quality control measures and process improvement initiatives.
  2. Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Streamline your operations and enhance efficiency by working with students to develop and refine SOPs tailored to your company’s unique needs.
  3. Facility Layout: Optimize your workspace for maximum productivity and safety with the help of co-op students skilled in facility layout design.
  4. Production Planning and Scheduling: Improve your production processes and minimize downtime by enlisting co-op students to assist in production planning and scheduling tasks.
  5. Machinery Evaluation: Evaluate and optimize your machinery and equipment to ensure they meet your company’s production requirements and goals.

Benefits of Partnering with UBC Co-op Program:

  1. Access to Specialized Skills: Leverage the expertise of students trained in Wood Products Processing to address specific challenges and opportunities within your organization.
  2. Flexible Work Terms: Choose between 4-month and 8-month work terms to accommodate your company’s needs and project timelines.
  3. Cost-Effective Solutions: Benefit from cost-effective staffing solutions while gaining access to motivated and talented individuals eager to contribute to your company’s success.  (BC companies may qualify for Wood First Funding)

 Connect with Us:

Ready to take advantage of this exciting opportunity? Reach out to alberto.renteria@ubc.ca  to learn more about how you can partner with UBC’s Co-op Program and harness the potential of our talented students.

Let’s work together to drive innovation, efficiency, and growth within the woodworking industry!

Jason Chiu  B.Sc

Managing Director

UBC – Centre for Advanced Wood Processing

2939 – 2424 Main Mall

Vancouver, BC  Canada  V6T 1Z4

Tel: 604 822-0082

Email: jason.chiu@ubc.ca

   

Corian® Design is thrilled to offer a new pallet of aesthetics for 2024

Willis is pleased to announce the new Corian colours.

For more information or to order samples please visit www.4willis.com.

CORIAN® QUARTZ: A FRESH AND MODERN CANVAS.

Crafted in North America, the three latest Corian® Quartz aesthetics fuse fresh inspiration and timeless elegance. Influenced by the iconic and timeless looks of stone and quartzite. From homes to commercial environments, Corian® Quartz aesthetics brings the majesty of the great outdoors inside.

CORAIN® SOLID SURFACE: THESE AESTHETICS WILL MOVE YOU.

Made in America, the four latest Corian® Solid Surface aesthetics fuse manufacturing technology and timeless elegance. Inspired by the timeless, majestic, and awe-inspiring beauty of nature, the latest colours bring captivating style to any environment. And with the inclusion of colours manufactured with recycled content, the latest aesthetics from Corian® Solid Surface can make a positive impact on every design and the environment.

Eurocucina 2024 – Trends from two perspectives

CKCA recently sent a group of kitchen cabinet manufacturers to Europe to attend the world’s largest kitchen show – Eurocucina.

This trends setting show is packed full of all the latest in kitchen design and functionality and serves to inspire the transformation of our living spaces.

Blum Canada hosted the group as sponsor and have put an excellent summary together of the trends they saw from the show. We also got the perspective of one of the participants, CKCA member Trevor Chaulk from Chaulk Woodworking. Their two perspectives combined offer valuable insight into what’s trending for the kitchen cabinet industry.

Trevor Chaulk, Chaulk Woodworking

I would like to start off by saying a large thank you to Blum, CKCA, Richelieu and many others who helped make this experience memorable.   The hospitality we have experienced was second to none as usual with CKCA events.

To see many Blum plants in one day and observe how this large company operates, the experience  was really inspiring. From the unified feel across all plants to how they engineer and manufacture all their own machinery(with help from machine companies) and above all their skilled trades apprenticeship programs, it showed me that progress and innovation are not only required but needed for growth and future stability.  The apprenticeship program especially stuck with me as I believe it is imperative for companies to assist with skills training.  The joy and aspiration of their apprentices was uplifting and I would like to see this culture closer to home…It all starts somewhere.

The Eurocucina event was very large.  The amount of effort put forward for a show like this is tremendous!   We toured the Kitchen and Bath Halls, and we identified the importance of creative design and uniqueness of the end consumers of Kitchen and Bath Cabinets (Furniture), fixtures and overall feeling of the space environment.  The innovation is really showcased at this event mainly in new materials being introduced to the marketplace that have vibrant colours, textures and durability.  We noticed the amount of mixed materials in the designs and the element of a modern but grounded feel.  There was a fair amount of new hardware features that we would like to implement back here in Ontario, Canada.  I look forward to attending this show in the future.

Blum Canada

Here’s what Blum had to say about the tour.

Here’s a report Blum has prepared highlighting the trends at Eurocucina.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this a great program!

     

Creative ways to help their community

We’re always so pleased to see the innovative ways our members outreach in their community. As we know our industry struggles to find the right skilled labour and Chaulk Woodworking in Minden, Ontario has come up with a new idea and kuddos to them for giving this a go!

At Chaulk, community is at the heart of their core values and they’re looking to help with both the housing and the skilled trades crisis in their community.

Their approach: Additional Dwelling Cabinetry Discount

For anyone who has the desire and ability to help with the housing crisis by creating an addition dwelling on their property, Chaulk is offering a 25% discount on cabinets for those units. This offer excludes short term rentals.

Chaulk has launched their Skilled Trades Bursary to financially assist a local student with education costs in attending a Skilled Trades Program. For every additional dwelling unit project they work on, they will contribute $100 towards the Chaulk Bursary.

Lastly, they are sharing a CALL-TO-ACTION for all area businesses to get creative with their programs and offers to help solve the housing and skilled trade crisin in their community. Chaulk is happy to promote and and all programs. Business owners are invited to contact Chaulk’s President, Revor, at trevor@shopchaulk.com to discuss their plans.

 

Local MeetUp BC April 25 – A Success!

CKCA hosted a second local meetup for it’s BC members on April 25 in Coquitlam at Troico, a CKCA member’s showroom.

Troico had recently undergone a showroom upgrade and were excited to show their new layout to the industry. Michael Richter, Founder and Owner welcomed 17 attendees to this event. In addition, Blum Canada was kind to sponsor the food and Cameron Porter from Blum provided a presentation “hot off the press” on the trends coming out of Eurocucina that just wrapped up in Europe a week ago.

Michael Richter says “The event went well, some good conversations and some connections made. A worthwhile event for sure!”

Amrita Bhogal, People & Culture Manager at Sunrise Kitchens (and incoming CKCA President) also attended this event and says “I think these local meetups are so important for the community to get to know each other and share insights about our industry. I would also like to thank Michael at Troico for hosting and showing us your beautiful showroom and to Blum for sharing the upcoming general information about our industry.”

Local MeetUps are a way to connect the industry in any region across Canada. The format is a Thursday evening, 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm. We are always looking for local champions who are willing to host a gathering in their facility. The agenda includes a topic of discussion and food is served by the sponsor. These events are free to members and non-members. The goal of meetups is to foster collaboration and industry community in a geographic area. While CKCA works to build the national community,  it’s a big country and we know that creating smaller “pockets” is a personable way for industry to connect.

We look forward to seeing everyone at future local events in BC. If you’re a CKCA member and would like to host a meetup, get in touch with us at sandra@ckca.ca.

Budget 2024 – CKCA’s Concerns, Comments and Message

In response to the Federal Government’s Budget 2024, announced April 17, 2024.

Analysis from our partners is now available, CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) and CME (Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters).  CFIB Press Release  CME Press Release. CKCA is pleased to support both these organizations and their position and response to the budget.

Other reputable sources include, The Conference Board of Canada (Press Release here) and RBC Economics (Press Release here) both publishing their commentary. All of this is helpful for obtaining a summarized version of the more than 400 pages of budget documentation.

So what does it mean for the kitchen cabinet industry?

Background:

  • The Canadian kitchen cabinet industry is comprised of more than 4,000 manufacturing shops across Canada making us part of the “economic engine” of Canada and one of many manufacturing sectors that contribute to the GDP.
  • In 2023 we generated more than $5 billion in gross revenue sales and employ more than 25,000.
  • We supply  essential infrastructure (kitchens, bathrooms and other millwork) to the housing industry and are comprised of mostly small to medium sized business (1-500 employees).
  • We are an industry in transition that is being impacted by the volatility in the market (interest rates, housing shortages etc.), the skilled labour shortage, an aging demographic of workers and business owners retiring, environmental conditions affecting supply (such as forest fires), advances in automation, complex trade and supply chains and a new generation of workers and business entrepreneurs entering the industry.
  • We are a resilient industry that continued to operate through Covid because we were considered an essential industry sector.
  • We are considered a “high mix, low volume” industry because we produce a highly customizable product that makes our manufacturing process complex.
  • We adhere to Canadian employment standards and safety protocols,  environmental standards and we live and work and contribute to communities across Canada.
  • Our industry is grass roots and, like so many businesses in Canada, we are comprised of workers and business owners who have brought their woodworking skills to Canada from all over the world.

Our concerns:

  • The cost of doing business continues to rise for our sector with increasing taxes, business fees, cost for supplies, labour and more.
  • Our industry continues to adopt new technologies and automation that requires significant  financial investment. This also comes with increased business risk from cyber attacks and requires retraining/reskilling our employees. It also requires increased  dependency and consumption on the power grid (utilities) to run our facilities, all of which is costing more each year.
  • Remaining competitive is challenging and we are being impacted by offshore, cheaper product entering Canada at 40-70% cheaper making it impossible to compete, especially on lower end housing. Our industry’s response to this has been to move into the mid to higher end markets to survive.
  • Fluctuation and volatility in the market, with inflation impacting interest rates, not only slows the market it increases financial pressures on our businesses who must navigate long lead times and delays before full payment is received, creating risk to both borrowers and lenders.
  • The increasing population is growing faster than our ability to build homes which further adds pressure on the housing and rental markets.
  • Cycle times on building remain long and since our industry installs some of the more final components in the home, we are frequently faced with costly delays.
  •  Our sector’s profit ratios remain below the national manufacturing average of just over 9% (we are between 7-8%) which leaves little room for market changes and can create very difficult financial conditions for even the most successful of companies in our industry.
  • While many have the perception that our industry did well through Covid, many companies struggled to operate during these challenges times and are still recovering from the unprecedented changes that occured. As one member who has been in business over 40 years told us: “Since Covid, although a few costs have come down, the major contributing costs (our fixed costs) will not come down and if they do, its minimal due to the new cost of doing business. Even though we raised our prices 30-40% during Covid and had a record year in sales due to this increase in 2023, we still had a $2 million shortfall in order to break even.”

Our comments on the budget:

  • What Government decides and how it budgets impacts our industry. Our partners have all echoed concerns around the new capital gains taxes and we share their concerns.
  • Canada’s GDP has slowed, productivity in Canada has slowed to levels that the Bank of Canada has declared “an emergency” and it is concerning that capital gains taxes on business may de-incentivize further investment in Canadian business.
  • We are pleased to see increase funding for SR&ED that supports R&D, our industry is one of many that need more R&D to drive innovations.
  • We echo CFIB’s comments that the Employee Ownerships Trusts, that allows business owner to access a special capital gains exemption of up to $10 million when selling a business to their employees, is good as our industry is seeing an increasing number of businesses changing hands and we will continue to see this as our aging workforce retires.
  • We are also pleased to finally see some Carbon Tax rebates being returned to small business and commend CFIB for working hard on that issue to represent small business.
  • We echo the concerns of the CME who are deeply concerned about the pace of implementation of previously announced measures by Government.
  • It is good to see the budget has earmarked $409.6 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to launch a new Canada Secondary Suite Loan Program, enabling homeowners to access up to $40,000 in low-interest loans to add secondary suites to their homes.
  • Increasing affordability for housing, including subsidized housing paid by Government (using taxpayers money) is an important initiative, but creates additional pressure to produce product at the lowest possible price which will likely attract more off-shore cheaper product, even though we can and do manufacture kitchens in Canada. Off-shore product is counterproductive to the Government’s efforts to improve our environmental performance when we know “made in Canada” offers many environmental benefits.
  • The budget proposes more support for modular and pre-fab building techniques, this is interesting, but it is too early to know if this will make the significant dent in the housing crisis. A lot will depend on whether the pre-fab industry can scale up quickly enough to respond to high demand and it could further perpetuate cheaper off-shore product entering Canada as a result.
  • It is good to see amendments that will help first time buyers afford a home (increasing amortization to 30 years from 25)
  • We are pleased to see housing gaining more attention and being prioritized by Government. Our industry wants to be part of the housing solution and to be recognized as a valued stakeholder.
  • We look forward to learning more about the Canadian industrial strategy for homebuilding as well as improved data collection from CMHC and StatsCan who will receive $20 million over four years to enhance their data collection and dissemination of housing data, including municipal-level data on housing starts and completions.
  • There is no one clear solution to the housing crisis, it is a multi-faceted and complex issue that requires a multi-pronged and innovative approach.

Our message:

While the push to build more homes continues, all levels of government need to ensure they create policy to foster the right conditions that enable Canadian business to effectively supply to an already pressurized housing industry. Our industry’s ability to compete and be successful is at a vulnerable crossroads. With demand for housing never being higher, our industry is not only working through skilled labour shortages and the cost of automation upgrades, it is also changing hands as we see an exodus of people from our sector and businesses being handed down to the next generation. This combined with higher interest rates, carbon tax, increased labour costs, increasing material costs, increasing property and rent costs, higher insurance and more, creates significant risk  for many businesses who are looking to Government to provide support as business evolves. The ability to move business from one generation to the next needs to have every opportunity to be successful and viable for those taking over. Federal, provincial and municipal budgets must come with constructive policy and nimble regulations that provide for a positive future and a healthy competitive environment for the next generation of business owners.

Every home has a kitchen. CKCA wants that kitchen to be made in Canada.

 

Sivam Coatings S.p.A. makes strides in expansion

Sivam Coatings S.p.A. is making significant strides in expanding its presence in North America, with a clear focus on solidifying its position on the East Coast while venturing further westward across the USA. As part of this expansion initiative, they are pleased to welcome two distinguished professionals to their North American team.

Jose Luis Sousa, originating from Ontario, Canada, brings with him over 30 years of invaluable expertise in the wood coatings industry. His specialization in aiding designers, manufacturers, and finishers, coupled with extensive experience collaborating with European manufacturers, uniquely positions him to recommend exceptional finishing options for various applications including design pieces, cabinetry, millwork, and furniture.

Joining from Utah, USA, Jared Pemberton brings an impressive 20-year career in coatings, characterized by a strong dedication to excellence and meticulous attention to detail. With profound knowledge spanning coatings, sales strategies, and market trends, Jared’s practical experience will be instrumental in driving sales and fostering relationships, complemented by his outstanding networking and communication skills.

Furthermore, as part of Sivam’s expansion strategy, they are enthusiastic about promoting their proprietary tinting system and Water-Based (WB) technology. These innovative solutions not only enrich their product offerings but also underscore their steadfast commitment to sustainable practices within the coatings industry.

Together with North American Sales Director Jakub Stachurski, Jose and Jared collectively contribute over 75 years of extensive experience in the wood coatings industry—a remarkable achievement perfectly aligned with Sivam’s 75th anniversary milestone.

Kitchen Cabinet Production Worker Training Program – A model of success

The Kitchen Cabinet Production Worker Training Program – you need trained workers and we’re creating a supply stream

December 2023

CKCA is thrilled to see a second Cohort running for this training program that was piloted in BC in early 2023. Working in partnership with Northwest Skills, CKCA hopes to expand this program across the country and continue to see the successful placement of these students into jobs that need to be filled.  Many students are new residents to Canada who not only learn skills for employment, these are universal skills that offer a foundation to help them settle in Canada. Work prospects in the kitchen cabinet industry remain strong as our demand for housing continues.  We’re excited to see this program continue and expand.

The program was created in 2023 in direct response to CKCA members stating there was a need for labour and not just anyone but hires who could hit the ground running. Under the Northwest Industries Association, who has extensive experience as an association running similar employment training, this 9-week government funded training program was designed to prepare unemployed and underemployed persons for work within the Kitchen Cabinet sector. Working closely with CKCA members to understand their needs and skill requirements in potential employees, the Northwest Skills Institute created a hands on training program focused on the use of power and hand tools where students built projects each week, the application of safety, how to create and read blueprints, numeracy skills around imperial to metric conversion, quality control measures, finishing skills using sanders, spray paint guns, stain and varnish, online CNC training, Forklift Theory, Daily Kaizen, OFA 1, WHMIS and much more.

As the training is full time, 9am-4pm, Mon-Fri, it also increased the job skills of participants in terms of punctuality, attendance, attitude, working with and communicating with others, computer skills for online content, set up and take down of tools and equipment, continuous learning and the importance of a clean working environment.

Weekly tours with CKCA members helped students learn about common equipment, the application of Kaizen at work, production procedures, job order tracking software and systems, and opportunities within this sector. Employers in turn had the opportunity to promote their companies and to meet potential hires ahead of time. CKCA would like to sincerely thank those participating companies!

The first cohort started May 15th-July 15th with 15 participants. Fieldtrips included: Nickels, Sunrise Kitchens, Sofo Kitchens, A&A Holz, and Merit Kitchens. For job placements, Merit Kitchens hired 2 persons with Kitchen Makeover, I Love Kitchens, Armstrong Cabinets, WestCoast Mouldings and Millwork, and Makihardwood Flooring all hiring at least one. A&A Holz and Sunrise Kitchens also provided opportunities for interviews.

Update – Dec. 2, 2023

Cohort 2 started Oct 2nd-Dec 2nd with another 15 students ready to start their new careers within this sector. The diversity within the cohorts was fantastic with newcomers from Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iran, India and local born Canadians. There are younger persons just starting their working careers and those with extensive experience looking to change. All are seeking the opportunity to attain training and learn more about this exciting industry.

This group has now finished their program on December 1st and it is a proven model of success in terms of recruitment, skills training and job placements. Northwest Skills is actively looking to help place this next group of students in jobs around the province. This program is active in BC currently and we are looking at opportunities to expand the program further.

If you’re looking to hire some workers into your shop, be sure to take a look at these 16 graduating students. They’ve already demonstrated commitment to work because they attended this 8 week program.

Plus there’s an excellent wage subsidy program that’s hard to pass up.

Interested? Contact Cormac O’Reilly, Senior Program Manager,

Northwest Skills Institute

cormac@nwskills.org

604-900-1980 ext 122