CFI and their new vision

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

  1. Hmm, somewhat borderline philosophical/wisdom nicely said!
    Kyle gets it, I see % increases for him.
  2. Incognito

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

    Not all that philosophical/theoretical as you might imagine Mike. I have family spread all over the world now. When I spend money on tools I actually have too think about that money I could be using to visit Atlanta, Newburyport, Dresden, Chiba, Aliquippa, St, Luis, Washington DC, San Francisco.........

    You think tools and training are expensive try airline tickets, rental cars, hotels and restaurants!
  3. I agree. This school is looking more affordable. I endorse it, gotta start at bottom, learn basics, grow.

    Got a request to install carpet, we try not to.

    Attached Files:

  4. Incognito

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

    In spite of being in TWO union apprenticeship programs (only completed one) I have damn near zero FORMAL carpet laying training. The first was Local #24 Carpenters where I barely showed up because they really didn't do anything about flooring. I wasn't interested in carpentry skills then. Then I quit the union. Many years later in California I never even tried to pass the Carpet Journeyman test nor did I take those classes. I have spent a few thousand..........MANY thousands of hours depending on if you consider carpet tile carpet ( I dont) -----on the job training.

    Installing a flight of stairs is something I never really had to do over pad. I've done a few dozen flights and many, many steps in theaters, auditoreums and such with all sorts of glue down carpet.

    Come to think of it I don't even know the basics of stretching in carpet over stairs. I don't know whether to start at the top or the bottom. I don't know how to strip. I don't know if you stretch and tuck into the sides..........?????????

    That's really all besides the point though. It would be nice to be SCHOOLED in what's right and what's wrong as far as how to do basic stuff. Of course the instructors and actual on the job installers will disagree on small details. You will have learned something by which to form your own EDUCATED opinion.

    Makes a big difference in life..............being educated.
  5. Daris Mulkin

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

    That my friend is one area no matter what there will be disagreement in. Spacing of tackless is critical. Some say strip the sides others[myself included] don't strip the sides. Starting from the top is the way I was taught[without stair stretcher], now I start at bottom unless I'm using my stair stretcher.
    Another thing is how to pad steps that is disagreed on. Pad should cover the nose of the step. Probably 50% cut it off at the edge of the nose leaving a wear area really quick to notice.
    I learned a long time ago not to argue the points. If it works for them-continue, just don't let me be the inspector.


  6. Daris Mulkin

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

    I don't care if you go the the Install schools, the CFI school, or the school of hard knocks, get all the education you can get for your specific fields. There is always something you can learn that can make your job easier.
    When you get older you will understand what I mean. CFI has a saying: "To earn more learn more." It may not happen instantly but it will somewhere down the road. Quite frankly it happened for me after I retired. Techs earn more than installers let's say.
    Oh another thing. Take a business class of some sort. You will be glad you did.


  7. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Words of solid gold Daris. Solid gold!
  8. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I'll piggy back on Daris' post and add that This school will not put you at the top of the pay scale. It may get you in position to climb that ladder to the top of the pay scale.
    Right now there is a shortage of "qualified" installers. If you can't make money now, you might want to look at your business model and/or business plan. Installers who know which end is up are making as much as the hard surface guys and sometimes more.
  9. Daris Mulkin

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

    Thank you Mr. Hunt! True compliment indeed.


  10. Daris Mulkin

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

    Nate get off my back! You are to heavy to carry all the time[also to ugly].:p:coffee:


  11. Sorry in advance for the soapbox!

    The questions raised in this thread are all great ones. I know that many of the flooring mechanics - I prefer that term over installer because of the amount of responsibility in determining the outcome of the job they shoulder - have not really embraced the main philosophy that CFI teaches which is professionalism.

    Flooring installation tends to be a family affair in our neck of the woods and many times sons follow fathers into the trade. However, I've noticed for the last ten years that has changed significantly. The sons are not following in dad's footsteps. With the downturn in the economy many of the "dads" are opting to work alone so they don't have to pay help and provide benefits. While this has helped them survive, it's been pretty troubling as well. There is no younger generation coming into the trade. These guys are reaching their mid 40's and the trade has taken its toll on their bodies. These experienced pros are getting off their knees and moving into other parts of the industry such as sales, estimating, or project management.

    This is creating a tremendous void in the qualified workforce. Now every cloud has a bit of a silver lining I guess. Because there are fewer qualified mechanics, the ones that are really qualified can demand more for their work.

    From speaking with people within CFI, I know that this lack of knowledgeable people is their concern too. Looking down the road this shortage is going to become pretty severe in the very near future. This is one reason they are looking to start training guys in hard surface flooring categories as well.

    In my opinion it's time that the store owners who have the philosophy that installation is just overhead wake up and smell the coffee. Good mechanics are worth every penny they ask. They can literally turn a floor into a piece of artwork. Anyone can sell products, but if the product isn't installed correctly it doesn't matter what you sell them it's a problem for the store. These problems equal a loss of profit, a loss of reputation, and ultimately loss of the customer. So they have to ask the question what's cheap labor worth? The answer is less than nothing because it will result in a loss. Nobody in the business is doing this to lose money. I think over time people become desperate to secure work and go to the bottom of the barrel to get the job in hard times, then they forget to come back up. They just keeping giving things away and leaving money on the table.

    Builders and general contractors are another huge problem for dealers and installers in this industry. They are always threatening to find someone to do it for less. They play with everyone else's money and string stores and mechanics out for months at a time with threats and promises.

    My point in this is that we all have to remember that we've all made contributions to this sad state of affairs. From Manufacturing all the way down to the mechanics who install. While I agree that a five week course doesn't give a mechanic every skill he'll ever need in the flooring industry, it's a far cry better than getting someone who doesn't know which end of the hammer to use to drive a nail. We have to start replacing the excellent tradesmen we are losing somewhere. While CFI may not be the be all end solution, it's a far cry better start into the industry than probably most of us on this site got.

    I would also ask everyone to remember that these are the same reasons Jim started The Floor Pro community. If we don't support one another and share information to help each other, who will? How is someone new supposed to learn the trade if we don't teach them? I think most of us on here enjoy and care about this industry or we wouldn't be here.

    My comments here aren't meant to offend or scold, just to offer some food for thought. If taken that way you have my sincere apologies. I always welcome opposing views because I learn that I can be wrong and passion is what drives and inspires us to learn. I also know that this post isn't all encompassing regarding the issue we face and I probably missed a few points that might resonate strongly with others here so I look forward to your replies.:p

    I would also like to take a moment and thank everyone at The Floor Pro for everything you've shared with me. Even though we just passed Thanksgiving there's never a bad time to say thanks!


    PS Everyone have a safe and fun weekend and if you took the time to read this ginormous post letting me vent a little!
  12. That was pretty good! Heartfelt! I can't see the soapbox, lengthy, etc. just your perspective, I agree with you.

    I think there should be some communication from all groups about TFP, everyone participating, why not CFI,Install, all the other associations,etc.

    Do they have something to fear?
  13. Daris Mulkin

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

    Well if it is anything like when we first let it out of the bag we were CFI then you caught a lot of grief. That is when the arguments would start. So I'm sure that soured a lot of people saying they were CFI, Union or any other organization they may belong to.
    I had the opportunity to help Nate and PJ do a woven training in Detroit for a Union shop. These people were just as serious as can be to learn about different woven. We were invited to dinner with the upper echelon of the area and we really had a very interesting evening sharing each others views with no hassles. Before that evening I may have had a chip on my shoulder from past experiences but they stayed behind at the door.
    So now there is room for more organizations and hopefully no grief.


  14. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    John McGrath from install was at the CFI convention and had a lot to offer to guys who want to ply this craft but don'the want the hassles and headaches that come with running an independent business.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  15. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    John McGrath. Yes they even had a booth so people could talk with them.
  16. Incognito

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

    It's a sign of a relatively new attitude of the international and local unions. It's something I've always believed in. We're not going to change the hearts and minds of the public, employers or the non-union worker by using hostile slogans like SCAB, antagonistic attitudes and........unscrupulous political and mob muscle.

    Old habits die hard but those tactics never really worked and in fact were always counterproductive to the cause long term on a national and international scale. It took a few generations of winning battles but losing the war to learn this lesson.
  17. Rodney Henderson

    Rodney Henderson Pro Member

    What lesson is that? I mean no offense, even though it totally sounds like it reading in my head haha! I am only just curious about the union end of this profession
  18. Can someone tell me who the guy was that was starting a school in Dalton? 11 week class maybe training as a helper? Trying to put names and faces on these training people. I saw McGrath's video with Dave Foster in TalkFloor, I like the guy and his philosophy.
  19. Incognito

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

    Hi Rodney.

    I have both a cousin and an uncle with that name by coincidence.

    My cousin Rodney is a priest in the Orthodox church. The Uncle was a union man who eventually ran for and won small time local public office for some period of time..........far, far away, a long time ago in another land. (G)

    The lesson local and international unions should have learned from the last 50-75 years of declining influence and membership is that they can't expect to increase participation and general support from workers, employers, customers and the public with a hardass, bullyish attitude.

    Have you seen the Marlon Brando movie On the Waterfront?

    One of the all time best movies but it's a story that highlights the worst corruption in the worst city in the worst unions EVER. Believe it or don't public opinion is somewhat stuck on this stereotype of unions from a period BEFORE my grandfather was a Recording Secretary in the International Steel Workers union. You think that's by accident? Guess again.

    The nation as a whole isn't so much like the docks of NYC. The international and national union movement are not systematically more corrupt than your local politicians, your local CHURCH, your local businesses. The national and international unions, churches, politicians, corporations are that much more corrupt as a function of HUMAN weakness. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    When the unions had a brief period of great power they suffered great corruption. Let's face it. Outside GOVERNMENT the union movement in America is about as dead as a door nail.

    That's not a good thing for the working man.

    I'm a working man.

    No offense taken whatsoever Rodney. Regardless of how all this plays out it's me and my truck and tool box against the world out there. I'm not looking for confrontation or controversy. I just have some strong opinions and a general interest in others who have similar experience regardless of whether they agree or disagree.

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