Thoughts on installation training

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Jim McClain, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Floorguy

    Floorguy The Living Dead Charter Member Senior Member

    This is how rumors get started!

    That's all it was, was a story.
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Lots of great responses. I'm happy to see this is an interesting topic for so many.

    Several years ago on another forum, there was a heated discussion about the classes being offered at Surfaces. I can't remember if they had been free or just very inexpensive up to that point, but then a new company bought Surfaces (Hanley-Wood I think) and the price of classes and seminars went way up. I complained quite a bit about it and remember David Hunt defending the cost.

    What David and others said about the value of training was right, of course, and I think I never was able to make the point that it wasn't the cost of training that bothered me, it was only the drastic jump in price. Of course, now that I see pad prices nearly double in less than a year, the high cost of seminars at Surfaces 2001 was just a small look into the future.

    I don't expect to get something for nothing, although most of my years in this business has seen most installation related training at the distributor/retailer level free. There is the odd seminar that costs a few dollars, but that is the rare occasion. Now, here in 2006, the rare occasion is finding a seminar at all.

    Although I am no longer a member of the Sierra-Nevada Chapter of CFI, they had been bringing evening training to Reno and surrounding areas for a while in 2001 and 2002. But, as far as I know, they haven't had a seminar or meeting in quite some time. The two distributors in Reno have not had a manufacturer sponsored seminar in a long time. I hope this is not how things are supposed to be.

    Does anyone reading this know how or who to contact to encourage training opportunities for all? I have asked my suppliers, but they are less than enthusiastic about it. Does anyone have any contacts inside the material manufacturers or tool vendors?

    Just recently a highly respected installation professional said on another forum that he thought the future in training might just be online. If anyone here has contacts, maybe we could offer some of that here in this forum. Or maybe the more tech savvy members could put together a short video course that could be downloaded or even offered right here on these website pages. This might encourage others in the tool and material fields to do the same.

    Just some rambling thoughts and ideas. It's good to see the response a topic like this deserves.


  3. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Jim, I was thinking maybe some online training might be what we need. I have been asked by others about F.I.T.S. offering on line training, and checked into it a little. I have some small workshop type topics we could perhaps use on line. Should it be free or should there be a charge? What does everyone think?
  4. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    I am not against websites who offer online training for a fee and we will do our best to inform our members of those resources, just as we do any other flooring related resource. But all training and how-tos you will find here at The Floor Pro Community, including those we obtain from other sources, will be free to all flooring professionals. The website may have to pay a fee to obtain the rights to reproduce it here but we will not charge our members for access to it.

    After spending many years online and becoming aware of many sites that charge for access to certain content I have discovered the same information and content can be downloaded free at some later date. It seems dishonesty has infected the internet to a large degree and many people will save content to their computers and then upload it and direct people to it through Usenet newsgroups or other means. You could hire a team of lawyers to fight copyright infringement but it is very difficult and nearly futile. When websites post copyrighted work it is easier to have it removed but when it is available on anonymous servers and newsgroups it is almost impossible. That is why the internet is so full of stolen software, music, DVDs and kiddie porn. There are a lot of people who lack morals and steal and make these things available and even more people who will gladly download it.

    One thing we can look into here on this site is to offer affiliate advertising space that allows the developer of the training presentations to earn money off the ads in their training modules. Another idea is to offer training in only select aspects of a given field of interest with more complete training available through the purchase of a DVD or other medium. I'm sure our members can come up with even more ideas and solutions for online training.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2006
  5. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You have stated it very well. I agree with your statement that this site remain a free source of exchangeing ideas and information. What little research I have done, is that it is not as effective as in person training. Therefore, I will withdraw my offer. We can still teach each other without it being called a training session and Selva can continue to award "Smart" certificates.
  6. Jim Dandy

    Jim Dandy Mike Rowe eat your heart out! Charter Member

    Great discussion!

    I think we all agree that education and training in the beginning of our trade and throughout our careers is one of the most important aspects of being a professional.

    I would somewhat disagree that motivation must come from within. I think to make a change in a fellow installer a new recruit or an old timer we must use our enthusiasm our communication skills and any other trick or treat we can think of to get that "ball of motivation" a rollin'.
    How would have CFI progressed with out Jim Walker's dynamic personality?

    Insentive can come in many forms and from many sources.
    Certifications are one of the best motivators if they are enforced by the underwriters.
    Give-aways can be motivating.
    How about someway to make a competition out of it?

    Just some thoughts.

  7. Daris Mulkin

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

    In reading tje Installation Training Clinics & Schools in the back of the FCI Magazine there are a whole host of schools and clinics that can be attended or called and they probably would be willing to set something up in your area if enough people are willing to attend.
    Crain, Dependable and Ardex are just a couple.

  8. hookknife

    hookknife Hard Surface Installer Charter Member Senior Member

    most tec reps can do a seminar for thier manufacturer, but there usually has to be a certain number of people who WILL attend before they can justify the cost, those who can need to offer the place and the attendence and they will usuallt schedule a date for ya:D
  9. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2006
  10. Jerry LA Tile

    Jerry LA Tile Charter Member

    Hey guys, very interesting subject for me. Let me tell ya a little bit 'bout myself and my adventures of trying to learn a trade.

    My name is Jerry,44yrs old and in about 4 or so months I am switching careers from being an aircraft mechanic for the past 16 years to becoming a tile installation contractor. I made this decision because originally my wife started laying tile for friends and I saw how much she enjoyed it. I helped her out a few times and also enjoyed it. I see the tile buisness as an opportunity to make a decent income far above what I can make as an aircraft mechanic while at the same time working along side my wife. Years ago, her and I use to do property management together and really enjoyed working together there as well.

    Ok, let me get to the subject at hand. I am currently in Iraq working as a civilian contractor on the Army's Apache AH64D. This job has allowed me to get rid of almost all my debt as well as tool up for the tile trade. Since I've been over here I have taken a very comprhensive online course for the installation and care of tile and stone. This course is located @ University of Tile and Stone Professional Certifications This course was probably the most well spent money that I will ever invest in my buisness. (cost around $400)

    Since then I stumbeled accross another forum called The professionals over there have given me so much more than I could possibly imagined. Bill Vincent and Bud Cline are two guys who contribute an abundance of knowlege over there as well. I tell ya, a structured class in any format can't match these forums because of the diversity of questions and situations that arise in them. This thread being a fine example.

    Last month I flew home for ($1500) and then flew to Vegas ($600) for Total Solutions and spent 'bout another ($1000) for room and board (and a lil gamblin':D ) I only had 2 weeks in the states and decided to spend 3 of those days away from my 3 boyz to help build our business. When I was home I bought a trailer for ($3000) for the business. I bought 2 sets of knee pads for ($300). I bought misc tile tools for ($475), and plan on buying about ($10,000) worth of more tools before I leave here. Also joined the NTCA which cost about $475 if I remember right.

    I said all that trying to show you that I will have spent almost $18,000 before I leave here and havn't even laid my first professional floor in my company yet. I am here and at other forums trying to gleen the most beneficial knowledge I've come across, and that's you guys. I also plan on attending Coverings in April which will cost a lil bacon as well:eek:

    I know actually doing the work is gonna teach me so much more but after listening to the pros like you guys, I wont have to make half the mistakes the regular guy does that doesn't have ya'll on his side;) . Where else can you get professional advice worth thousands of dollars for free?:eek: Thanks for all the advise on building sucessful buisnesses.;) That's my take on the topic:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  11. Danny Ferguson

    Danny Ferguson Abbey Carpet & Floor Charter Member

    Sounds like your jumping in with both feet Jerry. I know guys who have been laying tile for years, and still don't know the correct way to install. I'm a firm believer that experience is not everything. Your on the right track going to tile schools, and visiting these forums. It's not hard to get in over your head laying tile. Start small and work your way up. I guy can make a good living installing backsplash's, entry's, fireplaces, and bath floors. Good luck.
  12. Jerry Thomas

    Jerry Thomas Charter Member Senior Member

    Hey Skinner :) . With a name like Jerry you ought to do fine :D

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