Nick Canter parts with Lowe’s
The Nov. 17 announcement of Nick Canter’s retirement at Lowe’s, after 36 years with the company, was brief and to the point. The executive VP merchandising will retire March 4, 2011, and his replacement will be named by Jan. 31. Canter’s long career with the North Carolina retailer was summed up in two sentences:
“Canter has served as executive VP merchandising since 2006. He began his career at Lowe’s in 1974 and has held numerous leadership roles, including more than 30 years in store operations.”
But a look into HCN’s archives shows that Canter helped usher Lowe’s from a collection of contractors’ yards in the Southeast to the nation’s second-largest chain of home improvement warehouses. He joined the company in 1974, working in a number of operations and merchandising positions for the next several years. Canter oversaw building materials, hardlines and home decor for the company before becoming VP merchandising for millwork. In 1998, he was appointed senior VP and general merchandise manager for the building materials group, responsible for millwork, rough plumbing, electricals, lumber and building materials.
Canter’s move into operations included a five-year stint as regional VP operations for Lowe’s Atlanta-based Southeast region. Canter also led the retailer’s entry into the Northeast, becoming senior VP operations for the newly created Northern division in 1999. He was at the helm when Lowe’s opened stores in New York, Philadelphia and Boston.
Canter was later promoted to senior VP operations and, in 2005, became executive VP operations, which included directing the company’s installed sales and commercial business customer initiatives.
In 2006, when Larry Stone was named company president and chief operating officer, Canter stepped into the role of executive VP merchandising.
Kleer Lumber gains distribution through iLevel
iLevel by Weyerhaeuser is now distributing Kleer Cellular PVC Trimboard, sheet goods and other Kleer cellular PVC building products from its Baltimore, Md., and Easton, Pa., distribution centers.
iLevel is a new partner for Kleer as the company serves the key building markets of New Jersey, metropolitan New York and other Mid-Atlantic regions including Eastern Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
“iLevel is an ideal partner for Kleer Lumber because of its strong brand name, the products it represents in the marketplace and its commitment to outstanding service,” said Walt Valentine, president of Westfield, Mass.-based Kleer Lumber. “iLevel’s renewed commitment to focus on specialty product groups aligns perfectly with the core product development strategy at Kleer Lumber.”
Construction industry loses more jobs
The construction unemployment rate rose to 18.8% in November as the sector lost another 5,000 jobs since October, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, which just released an analysis of new federal employment data. The analysis indicates that the construction sector has been the hardest hit of any industry during the economic downturn, association officials said.
The industry’s 18.8% unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was the highest of any industry and roughly double the overall unemployment rate. The construction industry has lost 2.1 million jobs since employment in the sector peaked in August 2006, according to the association. Since November 2009, the industry has lost 117,000 jobs, while the private sector added 1,088,000 jobs.
“The unemployment report shows construction still has not broken free of the recession that has gripped the industry since 2006,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Other than the stimulus and other temporary federal programs, it has been a pretty bleak four yours for the industry.”
The only construction segment to add jobs in the past years has been heavy and civil engineering construction, which has benefited from federal stimulus, military base realignment and Gulf Coast hurricane-prevention projects, Simonson observed. Meanwhile, residential construction has lost 79,000 jobs over the past 12 months, while nonresidential specialty trade contractors and nonresidential building — the other two segments in the nonresidential category — have lost 62,000 jobs.
Association officials cautioned that the stimulus and other temporary federal programs would begin winding down in 2011, most likely before private, state or local demand for construction picks up. They urged Congress and the Obama Administration to act on a series of long-delayed legislative bills for water, transportation and other infrastructure programs.