Kansas City, Mo. — ProSource of Elk Grove Village, IL hosted a CFI laminate and wood training and a carpet training workshop recently. “The CFI events are always well attended. They add to our flooring installer recommendation base to service clientele who expect professional flooring installation. CFI training and certification give us a method whereby we know the qualifications of those who represent ProSource. Installers attended from Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida, as well as neighboring communities,” said Jeff Bernstein, Regional Sales Manager for ProSource.
“The laminate and wood training and certification are difficult; there’s no doubt about it, but when the installers complete the requirements, we see that change to a very confident and skilled professional. The benefit that we as instructors receive cannot be measured after completing two very long days with the group. Our program starts with the basics, including moisture testing and during the certification, the installers will complete wood and laminate floors, make a repair and work with all types of finished wood flooring using the various methods of installation and thoroughly understand all the issues associated with them,” said Bob Gillespie, CFI #1 and instructor. “This group arrived ready to take on the tasks before them. They shared ideas and working together, we completed the two-day course.”
“The majority of the installers will apply for their Armstrong Certification and the NALFA Certification after successfully completing the CFI requirements. They do work hard. After finishing an intensive ten-hour day, they have another 4-5 hours of tests to take at home to return the following day. It is not easy. Only those who excel in their skills and knowledge can complete the rigid requirements. Our sponsors with products here today are AAT, Armstrong, Bostik, Bostitch, Bullet Tools, DeWalt, Duo-Fast, Home Legends, Koolglide, Kronotex, Lam-Hammer, Leggett and Platt, Lignomat, MP Global Products, Pergo, Personna, Seam Master, TRAXX and Wagner Meters. They believe strongly in education and make it possible for this type of hands-on training and certification,” continued Gillespie.
“I have been an instructor for many CFI events, but this was an exceptional group of individuals who came to pick up new ideas and techniques for carpet installation. They were professionals and exhibited this in the skills they were requested to perform. In one area, Nate Hall, CFI Master-II and President of the Milwaukee CFI Chapter worked with the Residential-I and the Commercial-I group and in other areas, Jim Walker and I worked with the advanced categories, pattern matching and stretching techniques and stair upholstery,” said Dave Garden, CFI Master-II from Michigan.
“Most of the group I worked with will return in the fall to test for the advanced categories. The carpet backings and terms tests are difficult and require research to complete successfully as well as the more advanced installation techniques. After completing this segment of the certification, they will be confident to advance to the next levels. Jeff Bernstein was instrumental in the founding of CFI Wisconsin and has done a superb job in preparing the installers for the workshops,” said Nate Hall of Wisconsin.
“You make it happen. You are the professionals who turn an ordinary home or business into someone’s showplace. You are responsible for a flooring installation that becomes an investment in the customer’s lifestyle. You came to add value to your careers. Flooring installation is not a job; it is a career. It is something we look forward to every day and when the work is finished, we pat ourselves on the back for another job well done,” said Jim Walker, CEO at the carpet seminar on Friday. “CFI is more than training and certification; we are about pride and professionalism with the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction. There are no CFI police out there checking on your work; it is the integrity of this group that makes CFI what it is. I promise you’ll enjoy your two days and become an inspiration for others to get involved. CFI needs you.”
“We invite professional flooring installers to attend the CFI programs. ProSource will be hosting another carpet certification and a resilient certification in late summer or early fall. Everyone is welcome even if they don’t represent our stores. Education is the key to their futures and to our customers receiving what is expected when we make a flooring sale,” said Bernstein.
He continued, “Because of the limited space for the hands-on training, we used every corner of this facility to accommodate 31 people. The modules were full and the installers thanked us at the conclusion of the event for hosting the training. It is always rewarding for a store to know that their installation representatives are not only the most knowledgeable and skilled, but also excited about their careers.”
“I also appreciate the sponsors who make this type of training available. The World Floor Covering Association makes it possible for professional installers to invest in their careers through scholarship funding. I would invite any of the WFCA members to see the difference this type of training makes and the important role that CFI plays in sharing it with the flooring installers. We look forward to hosting more CFI events. I have seen firsthand the value this brings to the dealer’s business,” said Bernstein.
“I wish we had more “Jeff’s” in this business as he truly understands how important it is for the dealer to support installation training,” said Gillespie. “Flooring dealers who lead the way and develop a team of professionals understand true partnerships that benefit everyone and especially, their customers. I commend ProSource for taking this initiative.”
“For more information on CFI training, visit www.CFIinstallers.com or call (816) 231.4646. It’s important to become a member of the World Floor Covering Association and attend training events for one-half the stated cost. The benefits of WFCA membership are unlimited. The business information is just as important for the successful flooring installer as it is for the dealer,” said Dave Garden. “Today, there is really no excuse not to receive the latest training in this industry. The sales associates can also receive a CFI Technical Certification by participating in the workshops. The CFI Team of 76 instructors is very busy this year with a full calendar of events. We invite the entire flooring industry to become involved.”