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Kickstart: A view of shortages, education opportunities at window companies

A view of shortages, education opportunities at window companies

In mid-April, I ordered a new window to replace the existing picture window in my living room that had been installed in the mid-1970s. At the time, the company I ordered from warned there was a backlog in window deliveries because of … everything.

I assured the company I was well aware of the shortages of PVC material, shipping and the manpower needed to make and install the windows. The company gave me an estimate of “sometime in July” for delivery.

Considering the ongoing shortages, I’m wondering just how much further that delivery could be delayed.

Obviously, I’m not alone in waiting. Window profile extruder Veka has just declared a force majeure for its products for upcoming projects.

The European summer holiday season is adding to bottlenecks in production in Germany, Veka said in a letter to customers, according to PlastEurope.

“Orders can no longer be completely fulfilled within usual delivery times,” PlastEurope wrote. “Thus, backlogs were being cleared rather slowly. The company asked its customers to increase their own buffer times and to submit new orders with as much lead time as possible.”


Happy graduation!

While we’re on windows, how about a cheer for an hourly employee at Milgard Windows & Doors of Tacoma, Wash., who took advantage of an education assistance program from the company to earn two college degrees.

Katie Crittenden graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Washington State University this year, following up on an associate degree from Pierce College in Puyallup, Wash.

Crittenden started working at Milgard in 2016 as a pultrusion line operator. She now works in receiving.

“I bet on myself and beat the odds,” said Crittenden, who, for a time, was a full-time student and full-time Milgard employee while also raising her 5-year-old daughter. “I’m eternally grateful for all the support and encouragement along the way.”

She is now studying for her Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM) exam to further her study of supply chain management.


Honoring Poly Styrene

Not the material this time, but the punk musician who founded and led the band X-Ray Spex. Poly Styrene (real name Marianne Elliott-Said) had a blue plaque added to the home where she lived in St. Leonards On Sea, England, prior to her death in 2011.

The plaques are part of a United Kingdom project to honor famous people and events.

X-Ray Spex didn’t last for long, but it still made an impact on the punk scene with songs like “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” while Poly Styrene was praised for the style and passion she brought to the band.

On the flip side for polystrene the material, Hawaii’s Maui County is considering a ban of inexpensive bodyboards, made primarily of expanded PS foam.

The boards break easily and are typically purchased by tourists for short-term use, then abandoned, County Council Member Tamara Paltin told local TV station KHON.

The proposal still requires two readings before any vote. Maui County covers the islands of Maui, Lana’i, Moloka’i, Kahoʻolawe, and Molokini.


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