Training course

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by mcurrin, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    Fair questions all & thanks for caring enough to ask..

    The school IS NOT YET a real facility, WE have been creating & working out the location, sponsorships & funding for almost a year.

    We believe we will be open in Spring 2015.

    WE will have sponsorships & grants from some of the mills & trade associations & coops to help us fund the build out.

    WE will be soliciting some of the biggest companies in the industry to Fund a SCHOLARSHIP fund that will allow us to offer ever applicant a $2,500 scholarship for their schooling.

    The Tuition will be $5000 for the month all room & board & books & tours included & they will get a basic tool kit & tool box to take with them. Take away the Scholarship & the students will fund the $2500 balance

    FAST is a Ga Based 501-3C Not For Profit Corp & we can raise tax deductible donations to help fund the school

    Our instructors are very experienced industry trainers with mill tech & floor experience, two have mostly Gray hair & the other two soon will! For me the most important part of the instructor selection was that they came to me & said they wanted to work for the school even if it meant a cut in pay.
  2. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    WE agree that no one is training a journeyman installer in 30, 60 or 180 days, we only promise to produce a great & competent helper! WE NEVER say anywhere that we train INSTALLERS

    We work for training a HELPER that will be an asset to the Installer that he works for & apprentices for. Whether he stays or goes depends on a lot, but in a world where college grads with $100,000 in student loans are making your coffee or working part time for $8 an hour at the home center with no benefits. We can offer a trade that they can work hard at & build a business of their own..

    Our goal is to offer young people that are good with their hands a chance to learn a career, improve our industry and maybe they stay & maybe they drive a truck.. FAST is a Ga Registered Not For Profit, educational facility.

    Best I can offer is our website right now & my personal Linked in info..

  3. epoxyman

    epoxyman Pro Member

    Well I see it on your site as this
    To me you are saying or leading guys to believe that they can be a master installer in less then a year. I do a total diff kind of flooring
    so I can care less if carpet stays or gos just hate to see young guys spend money on a broken dream. Been installing for over 33 years and been working for my self for the past 23 years seen a ton come and go.

    I just see these guys going off to Lowes or Homedepot for more big box hack jobs. Not saying they all are but I rip up more stuff from them then any other place in the state of FL. So yea they can use better guys but.... Good luck with your school.
  4. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    Please remember that we ONLY train HELPERS, which we place as Apprentices & hope they will mature for a year before starting their own crew & being a basic flooring installer.. WE DO NOT SAY anyone will make this as an apprentice.

    Thanks for the comments & thanks for trying & caring...It's a marathon, not a sprint, you will use what frustrates you today, to motivate you for the rest of your life!!!
  5. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    Keller is a fine company & I am proud to know David Keller as a man of integrity & vision.
    Yes I did work for Keller when we started this project, but 100% of my time is now dedicated to FAST Career Institute which is a 501-3C Georgia Based Not For Profit Corp, designated as a educational venture for the flooring industry.
  6. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    WE agree that no one is training a journeyman installer in 30, 60 or 180 days, we only promise to produce a great & competent helper! WE NEVER say anywhere that we train INSTALLERS

    We work for training a HELPER that will be an asset to the Installer that he works for & apprentices for. Whether he stays or goes depends on a lot, but in a world where college grads with $100,000 in student loans are making your coffee or working part time for $8 an hour at the home center with no benefits. We can offer a trade that they can work hard at & build a business of their own..

    Our goal is to offer young people that are good with their hands a chance to learn a career, improve our industry and maybe they stay & maybe they drive a truck.. FAST is a Ga Registered Not For Profit, educational facility.
  7. Incognito

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

    Oh Boy, there's so much meat there on the bones I don't know where to begin. Great to have someone of your experience here. Rather than try to break down a couple dozen questions or points of contention I'd rather just express appreciation for your participation and hope we can go point by point as future discussions warrant.

    Again, good luck with this effort. I think you're onto something.
  8. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    My hope is that you won't continue to Copy & Paste these boilerplate responses. You have repeated the above post word-for-word several times already. Saying the exact same thing over and over doesn't make believers, it makes skeptics.

    I spent several years as a helper before my only boss gradually allowed me to do work on my own. The best part about him was he sent me to seminars and schools. That's where I learned what a terrible installer my boss was - and an even worse teacher.

    In my 35 years of experience as an installer and as the in-house trainer and recruiter of helpers with varying levels of experience, I learned something very important: Even a good installer isn't always a good instructor. It's the same with every aspect of the independent flooring installer - being a great installer doesn't also make you great at accounting, marketing and other essential business skills.

    If I were a great teacher, far more of my "students" would have become good installers and gone on to bigger and better things in the flooring industry. Out of the dozens of helpers I tried to train, I could prob'ly count on one hand the number that continued and grew in this business. That's a piss-poor average. Apparently, I was not a good teacher. At least not as teaching standards go.

    If someone came to me back in those days, as a graduate of FAST, they probably would have made it to the tryout list. If they were as well trained as you suggest your students will be, I would have gladly offered them work at $10.00 per hour or more (that's what I started my helpers out with zero experience) - and that was 8 or 10 years ago.

    Although I think your marketing BS is as bad as the next guy in this industry, I applaud your goals. I would like to see something like this succeed because, no matter how good some of our members are at installations, I also know that some of them are pretty poor at other aspects of the business they are in. One of those may just be as trainers, which is where an organization such as yours might be a huge benefit to the industry.

    So, welcome to TFP and please ease up on the boilerplate answers.

    Jim McClain, owner/admin
    The Floor Pro Community
  9. Talk about an uphill battle, just getting someone convinced into doing flooring is a miracle in itself!
    I don't see any residual dollars to afford to pay a helper well. Our shop carpet guy now uses another installer, as well as other shops I see that teamed up installers, seems to be the logical way or way the lanes merge together.
    And yeah that poster or whatever that advertisement is should go, at least the #'s
    Candles- I hate them, my wife owned a candle shop, I always worried about people burning their house down, Darkness - that's reality, how I choose to light it up is by LED, Sorry Ben.
  10. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Jheeezh! "Tuff Room" huh Don?:yesss:

    I personally think the concept is great and see no reason why success wouldn't be forthcoming. I agree however that the lofty forecasts of an individual's income should be silenced, at least in print anyway. That topic is better served in conversation down the road because not everyone will recognize their personal performance is the cornerstone of their own success.

    I have repeatedly trained countless individuals (helpers) over the years. Most of them came to me because they needed diapers and gas for their cars. That's about the extent of their knowledge in my trade so I have spent hundreds of hours doing the work while they stood over me and watched for a while. If only they had just a small clue as to what was going on would have been of great benefit to me.

    There are many that had interest and did well, well enough to go down the street to compete with me. None of them ever hurt me very much simply because I carved out my own niche with quality workmanship and constant learning about new products and technique. Hopefully some of [that] rubbed off on some of them.

    I too am now a boomer but my hair isn't gray, it is white. I try like hell to retire (my body already has) but I find a strong need to pay the rent and keep beans on the table. I am however more than willing to step aside for the next generation, if only someone can get them to put down their damned smart phones.

    At any rate..."here here", I'm sure your fresh approach will work just fine.:D
  11. Floored by Newman

    Floored by Newman Floored by Newman

    Its a start at best! I do foresee this as a recruitment system for large box stores though. Good help or installer can be hard to find these days...Here with what other options are available I cannot get help at $15 hr. KIDS LAUGH :eek: Pay scale is far to hard to predict. I could never make those wages that are stated as a helper so...
  12. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Okay I am a CFI Master II installer. No way anyone could ever get to that level of expertice in 2 years or even 5 years! Some things are only seen once every 5 years. The many types of backings and cushions along with the Surfaces to go over and the combinations are infinite. The union requires apprenticeship to last 5 years. CFI requires 2 years minimum to achieve the most basic certification.
    I must ask if you are flooding the labor market to drive prices down? Right now installers have the power in the flooring market. Are you attempting to take that away?
  13. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    Yes it does kinda feel like a tough room sometimes.. but I have been in tough rooms before & sometimes we win & sometimes not so much. Our intentions with FAST are honorable & I do know more about what we are up to than anyone, so it is my fault if Im not communicating well...I do appreciate your very even handed analysis it is much appreciated..

    When there is no information, people get skeptical & sometimes they even invent opinions & "facts" to fill the void. We have been very carefully & quietly working on this for almost a year.

    Much of the planning & research & funding negotiations were done under non compet agreements that prohibited us from disclosing any info. Only recently have we been freed from those & been able to start letting out the (never yet complete) details as best we know them on any day.

    I know some don't like my "boiler plate" approach to fielding my first day of questions, but the first read was pretty daunting & when the questions (accusations) are the same, the answer may well be the same, so I used the easy technology of Cut & Paste...

    I have pretty thick skin & will keep coming back & trying to light that candle, rather than curse the darkness. I & we care what the install community knows & thinks of us. I will try to do a better job of communicating.

    I don't think it is wise and I do think it is far to ham handed to shout down the other guy on either side of an issue & to call what I say or believe as Marketing hype or BS is kinda crass & harsh, but at least we are talking & I have certainly been called worse & had harsher criticism of my work..

    One of my mentors in life was the recently passed Bill Bane of the cleaning industry. He would counsel EVERYONE that would listen to never use NUMBERS in their ads or articles.. Bill would shake his head & say "No matter what number you print someone will take exception, One will be sure it is too high & the other will swear it is too low & either way the only thing they will agree on is that YOU are wrong!"
    Bill was a wise man & great friend & still right on! I miss him

    Thanks The Rev
  14. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    I appreciate your concerns, but the basic premise of the FAST Career training is that we don't train Installers, WE RECRUIT, TRAIN & PLACE the worlds greatest helpers & set them on a solid first step for a career in the industry. Time waits for no man & we are losing great certified & un certified installers every day & there is no other program that is dedicated to bringing in the next generation, It's a blindspot, underserved area that we see as a need that we will fill.

    I really doubt that one school with a capacity of about 30 students per month in an industry our size could ever be realistically accused of being a plot, plan or scheme to flood anything...LOL I too often hear our efforts as not being big enough & a DROP in the bucket & floods come in neither drops nor buckets..

    We can hope they will STAY, we hope they will Mature & we hope they will someday become your brothers as certified flooring installers, But mostly we hope they will get a great start as a great helper & add to the dwindling capacity in our industry.. FAST is a friend to the installation community & to the Certification process.
  15. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    In light of the many opinions here, I will revel in the faint praise of "It's a start at best"!

    all I ask our brethren is Please don't try to kill an idea in it's infancy or project unfounded opinions of greatness nor failure on us.. If we do well by our students we win some, If we fail them we have truly failed them & our industry & we cant do that.

    WE are taking a unique & poorly understood approach to "training installers by NOT TRAINING INSTALLERS" & many find that confusing & a few see it as refreshingly out of the BOX!

    Thanks for being open minded..
    The Rev
  16. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With toes I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I have been pushing to open up the certification process to to apprentices. At both CFI and NFIC I have floated the idea of letting apprentice observers come to certifications to see higher education in process.
  17. Daris Mulkin

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

    Rev, being an installer with 48 years experience and also a trainer for Orcon for 2 years and 20 years for CFI my hat is off to you for the effort. You will run into many hurdles that other organizations will buck against what you are trying to do. I have even thought about doing the same thing, starting a school for apprentices. Even was approached by one of our local school systems to train an individual to the point in 30 days to be able to install a room. I did refuse as I could only see a bunch of hacks that were cutting prices and lowering what little bit we were getting paid.
    Now thinking back over the years I think yes you can turn out a somewhat educated helper in 30 days if done right. He would have to know what tools are what and what they are used for and how. I would not let him seam as that is the biggest complaint with carpet installation. But in 30 days he would be stretching Br's and other small rooms.
    It also depends on how fast an individual picks up on things. He has to want to learn and know that it is extremely hard work and hard on the body. Most carpet installers are rocket scientists, but like to work with their hands if you know what I mean. We aren't the smartest fish in the sea.
    I also have a question-who are the trainers and where is the material coming from? Are they experienced installers or book trained? Carpet is a fast changing industry, are they kept up to date on new materials and how to install?
    30 days he is going to be a glorified grunt basically.
    Just a few thing, I'm sure there will be more later. Again I feel there is a great need for training no matter how long one has been in the industry. You can never get enough education. :yesss:
    If I can be of any help pm me.


  18. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    I am a teacher at heart. I set up lesson plans for my helpers. I quiz them on the way to work, and the way home on their successes and failures of the day's work. I prepare them for problems they may encounter, as well as accept calls and questions at all times from the 5 guys that I personally brought into the trade and are now my competition. You would think that I made a big mistake as filling my market with installers would hurt me. It hasn't worked out that way. I am doing great and, hold the applause(or groans), just made my first payment on my flooring store that I have been yapping about buying for the last few years.

    My training regimen is to send home scraps of carpet to seam together as soon as the guy shows any interest outside of texting and "when's lunch?". Get them busy understanding where they are going and they will be in it for the long haul.

    I don't know how I got through the first two years. I was ridiculed, embarrassed, and generally disrespected in front of homeowners on a weekly, if not daily basis. A terrible way to learn, for sure. I'm sure I was paying for "makin' babies with the boss's daughter" as well as having more math smarts. I remember after a long day of asking questions and making "intelligent" observations, my father-in-law hollered, "Why can't you stop thinking and just work?!?!":)

    It is 4 am, here, and I am rambling a bit...SO...just one more quick story. A couple of years ago I had just let a good helper go at the end of the summer. I got a call from another installer in the area who was playfully complaining about how I had shown this guy how to back butter tiles wrong. I use a "back butter buddy" and this guy doesn't, I hadn't had much tile going on that summer, and OMG, it was only 2 months that he'd been with me anyway. I took a moderate helping of offense at this "accusation" and kinda blew up. "Does he strip and pad excellently? How are his carpet seams? Does he know all the tools? Does he take care of them? Does he trim carpet or vinyl outside his shoulders? Does he leave coffee cups in window sills? Does he talk to the homeowner about the job or does he defer all discussion points to you when the homeowner is asking about something?" I heard back...Yes, Great, Yes, He blows them out with the air compressor, No, and he seems very respectful of my relationship with the homeowner, the jobsite, as well as the home we are working in." I ended that conversation with a "You're welcome!"

    This is a true story, admittedly condensed for your convenience. My point is, if this guy comes in and wants to help train your future helpers, or installers if you are a retailer, then OFFER UP IDEAS (because he seems like a guy that can take advice/criticism), ASK HELPFUL QUESTIONS, RESPOND WITH WELL-THOUGHT OUT ANSWERS from your many years of experience and SIT BACK AND WATCH.

    One of my favorite quotes/poems is:


    Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
    But he with a chuckle replied
    That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
    So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

    Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one ever has done it;”
    But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
    With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

    There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure,
    There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
    But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
    Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
    That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

  19. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    I mean this in all sincerity, God bless you for thinking outside of the box & trying to do what others aren't, That is exactly what we are trying to do. The blessing I have is that in my career I have had the chance to meet some people that have the ability to help me make it happen & influence some folks with the money to sponsor it..

    I I asked you to describe the average carpet helper today, It probably would be a pretty dim view of a human being.. All we are trying to do is recruit a better recruit & draw them in with a career path that we can make happen, if a few folks will cooperate. If we keep even a few of these well trained & well recruited guys, we have done them a solid favor in their lives & we have helped the industry.. Thanks for that insight & follow up..

    If CFI had the interest in doing apprentice training, recruiting & placement we would have never started down this path, But CFI seems to be sticking to their well established & successful mission, vision & values... God Bless em!

    I know it's overly simple but we think you have to plant something before you get to harvest it & the seeds of great installers are great helpers.. We choose to plant helpers!
  20. The Rev

    The Rev Pro Member

    Len Digiovani at Orcon was a great friend of mine & he did much for the industry & tried to drag us into the 21st century, hope you knew him...

    Thanks for the conversation, I think you & I are kindred sprits, When I was 27 years old I created & taught a carpet installation class at IVYTECH in Muncie Indiana for the building trades department.. I learned a lot about teaching & I hope the students learned a bit about flooring installation...

    One of the things that a lot of the installers that push back on the 30 day helper issue don't stop to think about is that we don't have to complete an installation each day & we don't care if they make mistakes & we don't have any drive time.. 2 hours of classroom, learning math, measuring, estimating & layout, accounting, health & safety & 100 other "head skills". Then it's 6 hours a day with 4 instructors to look over their shoulder & coach them in what & how. Our students will literally chew through 100 feet of seaming a day to learn how they get it right, rip out yesterdays work, move furniture out of the mock up & seam, seam, seam.. cut, stretch & install every day, non stop 6 days a week for 4 weeks.

    Mistakes are welcome, they don't cost anyone anything in the mock ups & they make great learning material. We want a 10x 14 room to have 40' of seams in it, its good practice & we don't have any customers to please & no deadlines to meet.

    The training environment IS different than the work day environment & that's what "ACCELERATES" the training/ learning experience.

    I love that "you get it" & understand that we can produce a good HELPER in 30 days..

    Another reason we chose Dalton Ga is that it puts us at the center of the product universe, we will see the new stuff & may even be writing the install instruction before anyone else sees it. WE have Carpet, IVC Vinyl, Hardwood, Laminate, LVT all produced in this county, keeping is up to date on the best & newest the mills make!

    WE also don't take everyone that staggers into the shop in the morning, these guys will have $$$ Skin in the game, a good background & a vision of a career that is far better than what they found at McDonalds, Walmart & Starbucks or even Home Depot.. They can see a day somewhere in their future when they might own their own van & tools & mature enough to be a beginner installer somewhere...A tough trade but a Much better future than 20 hours a week & $8 an hour flipping burgers!

    The REV!

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