CFI and their new vision

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Mike Antonetti, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Thought I'd post this here as it expands to industry wide verse CFI only topic.

    Ideas sound good with schools etc. Robert Varden is energized and capable.

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  2. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    Quote from the Video:
    " In five weeks we can take a man that's never had a knife in his hand and he'll be able to do a three bedroom basic install."

    Not in my house LOL...

    I think these schools are great for trainees but they will never replace on the job training.... Apprenticeship programs need to be incorporated into the educational process.

    Advanced programs for seasoned installers to learn new techniques and new products are always a great plan... Like Forbo does, the manufacturers should absorb the bulk of the cost.
  3. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    the idea is great, but there are just so many variables in an installation. I still run into new problems all the's experience in knowing what works and what doesn't that gets you through those problems successfully. The schools would be great for a foundation in the fundamentals.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  4. Don Monfils

    Don Monfils PRO CARPET Charter Member

    It does seem like a great idea.
    But, who is going to pay $5,000
    to train a carpet installer when most
    stores pay next to nothing to install carpet.
  5. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    5 weeks and $5000 worth of training is sufficient to create a low paid grunt who can do the absolute most basic residential stretch carpet job

    But are YOU going to send this grunt out with higher grade carpets in complicated layouts and fussy customers. Let's face it. There's a shit end of the stick here in every floorcovering specialty and we're all on that end of it for a good portion of the year. These programs have the potential to get a man in on the bottom rung of the ladder......

    Union apprenticeships for EVERY trade that I know of are 4-5 years and MANDATE concurrent on the job training. Raises are scheduled according to the satisfaction of the classroom hours and hours actually worked.

    For some reason every apprentice in my shop always seems to be hitting ME up to sign off on their hours. I always ask where the comment section is (there used to be one) because I have a LOT to say.

    My buddy is fluent in Chinese and Vietnamese. When the apprentices tried to ask him to sign for them he wrote all kind of Chinese stuff on the card.

    Poor kids got in trouble.

    The apprenticeship is partially funded with state Department of Education financing. So they don't have much of a sense of humor.
  6. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    Here in New York in addition to putting in the hours, you have to pass physical tests. Not written tests, you're on your knees, if you don't have the skills you will not pass.

    I agree with everything Incognito said except for one. Five weeks of classroom training will produce a good residential helper at best. I wouldn't send him out alone on even the simplest install.
  7. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    In five weeks a good helper is what you want. It all depends on the person and how well he learns and retains the information put forth. In that amount of time he should know the tools and how they work. We are talking drop bedrooms that sort of thing. The first thing I taught a helper other than tools was to stretch. If I could put him in a bedroom then I could be doing seams and layout work. You can retain a lot of know how in 5 weeks. Journeyman status by no means.
    Not knowing the agenda I'm sure it will be classroom then on the floor doing what was just talked about and shown.
    When doing training's for both CFI and Orcon it is unbelievable how many installers didn't have a clue how to run a seam iron or work a power stretcher. In Denver i hd a guy that had over 50 years installing and had never run a seam iron. Should have seen the lid of his tool box with all the needles in it. When the day was over he knew how to make a seam with iron. He was so happy I thought he was going to cry.
    But like I said it will depend on the individual on how much he learns and retains.


  8. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    All the training in the world is useless if at the end of the day a man cannot make a decent living!

    There I said it!!!!!!

    Until we rid the trade of the scourge of poorly trained, transient installers working for $2 a yard this trade will not attract quality individuals to go thru the training.

    The only training that has worked n the past is that provided by the union, why, because a man could look to the future and a decent living for a hard days labor. In most areas that is slipping away today because of the shops running a double system, if they can get away with it. Most large cities have a small union presence, to service those accounts that require it. The only area that I know of with any union clout is St Louis, the union still has a strong hold on residential labor.
  9. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    It will be 6 days a week. You get someone with hand skills you will be suprised what they can learn in 5 weeks doing the same things over and over again.
    I don't know about you, they person I learned from had me stretching in walkin closets within a month. Standard rooms within 3 months. That was starting with not knowing nothing.

    Elmer, John MaGraff from the Union had a booth at the CFI convention. He was there the whole time. We even gave him time to talk.
  10. I see everyone coming together, union is teaming up with NTCA, etc. they understand they're in it together.

    Elmer, that question sat in my mind the whole two interviews. I think Jim Walker was more concerned about pay for installers. Not that he had much power to change it. But it appears they are training employees, not contractors.

    I took a class back after I started maybe a year into installing. I knew I needed formal training, as Kyle said it gives you fundamentals. I'll always remember Armstrong donated tools and materials for the school. G I bill will pay for the class, mine was 1k for I think 8 weeks, but some gi bills are 85 k.

    Once again, the pay needs to sustain a living, take home needs to be 600 a week, is that sufficient? What is a starting pay to really make it a career?
  11. OrangeOrcon

    OrangeOrcon Resilient Journeyman

    In our company, you can go five years through the apprenticeship program and not know how to lay out a square room for carpet tile, ive personally seen that! And were the biggest union shop in the midwest with one of the biggest, best training facility in the country. If they dont want to learn they never will.
  12. Unions preserve living wages and prevent abuse from companies who try to take advantage of labor. I'm guessing your company training needs revamping/overhaul.

    Here's part two, if you are not subscribed to talkfloor on the web, get it, even if you don't have time to look thru everything, little tidbits of info help keep you up to date.

    Lightbox Player
  13. OrangeOrcon

    OrangeOrcon Resilient Journeyman

    The twist is, the owner of our company sits on the board with the union. Ya, its crooked. So, our company CAN abuse us and the union lets them because we donate millions a year to the union.

    The carpenter school has nothing to do with our company. Its actually a great school. With huge mock ups, all the tools and material you can practice with. I learned all my hard surface skills on those mockups, flash, welding, pattern scribing. Its possible to prepare yourself at the training center for the real world.

    But these kids are so lazy and our company keeps them around for labor and bodies. When they turn journeyman they get laid off!
  14. Yes, I know they're in bed together, same here. What you put into something is what you can get out of it.

    Same with these schools that are being set up. Thing is around here for a few reasons, things do not get installed properly and guys have been doing this for 10-20-30 years.

    How's this in a brand new model home, carpet not power stretched and the seam! 270k $ home, aside from carpet being ugly, the rest of home is pretty nice.

    Attached Files:

  15. Still some things never settle in my head, nor will they, until it's explained,. How did they come together? Was there a purchase?
    And how does the training facility INSTALL relate to CFI's training which I read opened a center in Texas as well. Does CFI have an office in Dalton? I assume a training center will be there. And who was the other guys company that already has had his first class in Dalton, how did that go? I think that was 5k as well.

    And how do the other surfaces organizations relate(NWFA,TCNA) to tie into industry wide proven standards.

    IICRC seemed to have motivated the sit back approach.

    One other thing, I think school needs to occur day of installation by reading directions on materials, seriously, it's like everyday we are working with new products and adhesives, it's really unbelievable, we get no heads up, here's the product, install it properly.
  16. OrangeOrcon

    OrangeOrcon Resilient Journeyman

    I just took the resilient test, and the teacher put out two types of glue for three products. We did vct, sheet goods and lino. I was the first to start gluing and i didnt read the bucket fully. One glue was thin spread for vct, and the other was multipurpose. On the multipurpose bucket, the front said for carpet, lino and sheet goods. But on the back, it said felt back sheet good only. The thin spread didnt say anything on the front, and vct, lvt and sheet goods on the back.

    I used the multipurpose for the sheet vinyl, with a smaller notch, and let it flash a bit. Everyone else followed my lead haha. I didnt fail the test but i got points deducted.

    I didnt have bubbles, thats all that counts right!!

    This is the INSTALL cert that is also in compliance with the ARMSTRONG cert, which we get credit for if we pass the INSTALL.

    Vct on a 45, must swing arcs to find the 90 and 45.
    Pattern scribe vinyl
    3 wall scribe lino.
    All seams under scribed and an accent weld. (I think a true seam should have been there for the weld, so you can get the full feel for welding a seam)

    It was fairly easy of you do this day in day out, i had the sheet vinyl in and the vct field in by 9 am.

    INSTALL is working on a flash cove cert, cant wait to take that!

    Attached Files:

  17. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

  18. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Kindly consider these two thoughts and how they mesh, compliment or contradict each other.

    Supply & Demand ?

    Needs & Wants ?

    First, supply & demand:

    Is there a demand in our industry for entry level installers? Followed with; is there ample supply to meet that demand?

    Next, needs & wants:

    Does our industry need more entry level installers? On the same token, does our industry want more entry level installers?

    Here's my thoughts and I will try to be brief and I hope you will share yours.

    There seems to be no shortage of entry level installers. Yes, we always hear retailers lamenting about the need for more workers, but is it because of a shortage of actual persons willing, capable and able to do the job? Or is it, as I believe, the availability of workers willing to do the job for the sub-par wages the retailers want to pay?

    Clearly one point I am certain we can all agree is; labor rates for professional carpet installation are far below rates for comparable trade professionals. It is my contention that the primary cause for the suppressed rates is a saturation of entry level workers with limited skill sets and an even greater limitation of business acumen. Which begs the question, does our industry truly 'need' more entry level installers or does it simply 'want' more entry level installers to prevent labor rates from increasing to comparable scale with other construction and home remodeling professionals?

    It is my opinion that what our industry needs is a greater supply of highly skilled, highly trained advanced flooring professionals to not only service the needs of the market. But to also create a channel of opportunity to bring entry level participants into an arena of being a well compensated trade professional.

    You see my friends, as I see it, the real problem with our industry is not do we need more entry level installers. The real problem is a identical level of compensation being applied to the entry level worker and the twenty year veteran. Solve this issue and we will simultaneously resolve the issue of retention that is the reason for departure of the best, brightest and most capable who find themselves in this trade but cannot be enticed to stay.

    That's my opinion. What's yours?


    David Hunt
  19. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Mr. Hunt, My only comment would be and I agree with your post most of the way. My comment is "entry level installers will be the 20 year installers in the future."
    Now doing installations as of late what I am seeing is the product that we are expected to install is PURE JUNK!!!! Even the wovens if you want to call a face to face Wilton a woven are so far out of wack its next to impossible to straighten out.
    And yes the pay scale is horrendous. There are installers here in Flint, Michigan that are getting $3 and no extras. And they are furnishing the supplies to put it down. Most haven't had a raise in over 10 years. Whose fault is that? THEIRS!!!
    As far as CFI having a school good for them, The union has theirs and have done very good with it, with excellent training. But not everybody is union so CFI may be the next best thing, time will tell.
    I'll get off my soap box now.


  20. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I will absolutely agree, after 30+ years I could no longer find someone to compensate me to the extent I felt was necessary. So I moved inspections. Again the remuneration was not comparable with the job. Move on again......someone came looking with a technical job that has given me the opportunity to do the teaching and training I have always desired. Unfortunately because of company politics I must remain under the radar, if you will. Suffice it to say I am much happier than in the past few years. I still miss installing but can make 50% more than the pittance paid for installing hard-surface in my area.

    A couple more years and I will retire, hoping that I have made a small difference in the world of installing.

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