Flooring Apprenticeship Initiative

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Mike Antonetti, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Just got an email thought I’d pass along.

    NFCAP is formed to train and educate students, both male and female, into the flooring installation trade. This group is made of industry veterans brought together to facilitate the installation shortage identified by our industry.

    Robert Blochinger, chairman of the former FCLC, current President of the National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors (NICFI), Carlos Mongalo, president of Mongalo Designs, a second-generation wood flooring installer and finisher, started this movement in 2018 with intention of using a national chain of training facilities. In conjunction with Sonny Callaham, Director of Education for National Academy of Floor Covering Training, (NAFCT) and Greg Roberts, Philanthropic Advisor of GIVE TV, have formally organized NFCAP to move forward the training of students in the flooring installation industry.

    An advisory council, made up of installers, manufacturers and inspectors, has been formed to ensure progressive movement of the NFCAP and guide the curriculum of the NAFCT to graduate students that are qualified and certified to become an apprentice. Students will learn substrate preparation, installation of products with adhesive and free-floating products as well as both hard and soft flooring products. This aggressive program also has a job placement guarantee for the apprentice with local and/or national flooring contractor thru a formalized agreement of support. After graduation, the apprentice is evaluated for up to 12 months during their employment for positive progress and continued training.

    This effort will require support from everyone in our industry. Please reach out to Robert Blochinger at Bob@blochinger.net or Sonny Callaham at Sonny@NAFCT.com and find out what you can do to help!
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  2. Steve McIntyre

    Steve McIntyre Pro Member

    It's about time. I see so many young hacks out there installing products 20 different ways, none that make sense. How they continue to do business is a Mystery. I believe some high volume shops just put up with it in order to move more product. I hope the program is successful and brings back the craftsmanship.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  3. Floor Boss

    Floor Boss Flooring Professional and Mgr. I Support TFP

    I agree that training, or lack there of, is needed in our industry, but we have to realize that if the compensation outlook is inadequate, than the training won't appeal to anyone.
    We've kinda had this conversation before, and to be honest, the demographics and economy for every region is different.
    Our Bay Area pays more for installers, than the surrounding 'extended' Bay Area communities. But lo and behold, the pay is not adequate to be able to actually Live in the Bay Area itself.
    Which leads to two things:
    1. Our installer pool is coming from 'extended' Bay Area residents who put up with 1 to 3 hour one way commutes so they can afford a place to live.
    2. Why would any local kids, or career changing adults want to pursue training for a job that wouldn't allow them to live in the area they grew up in?

    We've also discussed some of the underlying causes of this situation, but the truth is, consumers have been brainwashed into thinking that Flooring Installers work for free, and that we are not worthy of respectable wages.

    Every time, I ask my company to increase the labor rates, the sales staff cringes and talk about how many clients they are going to lose if we do raise labor rates. Ultimately, they win out.
    And it's not just flooring installers, it's working, labor trades in general.
    You'd think with all the Wealth the Country is supposed to be experiencing, that it would trickle down.
    Well if it does, it's merely a drip by the time it hits the floors.
    at least in my Bay Area, and in my opinion.
    I wish them success and hope there are areas of the country that have the ability to entice yougens into our trade.
    All the best,
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  4. Elmer Fudd

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

    In my role i see different installers everyday, from Nova Scotia to NYC, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and St. Louis. The best i have seen recently are the Union guys around STL, they get training and livable wages. Other areas it is hit and miss, depending on the projects. For example in Ohio tract housing is being installed for 95 cents a ft. for LVP and they are paying as little as $1.95 for stretch in carpet.
    Rural areas wages are ridiculously low.

    I hope Sonny and Bob can make it work.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    What happens here with most retailers they do not want to take on apprentices as the retailers say once we teach them the apprentice will leave to another retailer
    What the retailers forget is that some other retailer or someone else has taught the layers of which the retailers are quite happy to use for their work at no cost to that retailer
    This is the problem which has to be got around somehow
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    They have called and talk with me. They just did a Heat welding training. Your going to see more starting a training arm. The WFCA and Floor Covering Education Foundation is working hard on having money and getting grants for it.
  7. Daris Mulkin

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

    WFCA already has CFI, they going to be starting something else up?


  8. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Also another issue I found was that the big boss retailer suggested they would get me an apprentice with me paying a third of the guys wages
    AH NO as most jobs size wise I do the apprentice would end up earning more than me as he would be on wages, I am on a yardage rate
    Next good deal I was offered was the retailer would pay all his wages
    Think I stupid as apprentice would be on wages for a length of time so retailer could get a return on his "investment" so any easy job he would get while I get all the hard ones as apprentice is still learning and not have the skills. I get enough hard, not good paying jobs now so I dont want more
    It would be really cutting my own throat and dont mention that somebody taught me so I should be putting something back into the flooring game. I spent about 10 years with the flooring association with no reimbursement for my time. Thats my putting back into the flooring game
    . Its getting tough here for the self employed contractors as I think one would have to pay the apprentice 3 weeks? holiday pay, also there are about 20? odd paid special day holidays here a year on top of the 3 weeks along with other costs. Big money for nobody doing any work to earn money for those days
    I would presume that the USA has also a lot of small independent layers like here with the same type of issues
    To me one has to get around these issues to make it economic for the smaller contractors to take on apprentices
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  9. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    No, Foundation is only lining up people and money. It is not saying who they have to go to. This opens up other people that could start training.
  10. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    Ii have always paid helpers a percentage of the job total or a minimum depending on their abilities.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Training is hardly the problem, there is ample training available. It's the lack of enforcement for qualified mechanics to handle material and scabbie subs and contractors that chase the bottom dollar.
    If you think of all the available training from manufacturers, governing bodies, here we have government certified trade training.... there is no lack of training opportunity. What is lacking is the forced requirement or even incentive to take it. I have lost more jobs because I know what I am doing and won't than I ever would if I was jus stupid and took the money
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  12. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I would think that would give the guys an incentive as well
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. kylenelson

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

    My helper is coming back to me after a year and half, he’ll be going on a percentage basis. I really want him to learn the trade and grow his income.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Even M.Sli at his customers apartment complex ?

    IMHO, if the logistics could be worked out, on the job training is the way to go and empty apartments would give students real world experience. I'm assuming NFCAP would cover the students with Insurance and
    provide a small stipend for the trainer.

    Best scenario, off the top, would be one student at a time for appx. two weeks. Maybe housing can be arrange at the Apartment complex, staying with elderly tenants ? They could also act as chaperones the way Armstrong school did and maybe still does ? My younger brother, back in the 80's called his Cruella Deville :eek: :)

  15. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    Back when I started, there was an installer doing that in the NW. Taking a guy or two for 6 months on every one of the jobs he had and got paid to do it.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. kylenelson

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

    On the flip side of things, I have to have huge levels of trust with a helper. I’m often working in homes in the $1mm+ range. Skills can be learned with time, this job isn’t THAT hard. How someone was raised is almost as important to me as anything else
    • Agree Agree x 3

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