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Certified Floorcovering Installers Association goes global

CFIForney, Texas—Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) has expanded its presence in China, according to Robert Varden, vice president. Negotiations to establish a CFI satellite operation in Shanghai have been underway since last summer.

“A year’s worth of planning, negotiating and research has culminated in a partnership with the Shanghai Chemical Building Materials Trade Association (SCBMTA),” Varden said. “Our new arrangement in China represents CFI’s first free-standing overseas operation.”

The new facility, which will be overseen by Chun Yuan Qi, director of the SCBMTA, opened its doors on Sept. 8. Qi will report Varden, who will remain based at CFI headquarters stateside. Introductory installation classes at the new facility are slated to commence in the fourth quarter.

The initial lineup of coursework will include carpet, tile and stone. All classes will be taught by certified CFI instructors who were trained by lead instructors from the United States. The Asian outpost will be offering a full slate of CFI classes in all categories of flooring by the first quarter of 2018.

“CFI has experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years,” Varden said. “We are clearly capturing the attention of the industry and making great progress toward resolving its installation crisis.”

Varden said the critical shortage of trained installers extends well beyond the United States and affirmed CFI’s commitment to addressing the problem everywhere that it exists. “We are very excited about the opportunity not only to work with and train new students overseas, but to also continue to expand CFI’s presence throughout the world.”

For more information, visit cfiinstallers.org, email clewis@cfiinstallers.org or call 816-231-4646.

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FCLC to hold second Installation Summit

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 9.35.06 AMOrlando, Fla.—Leaders from across the flooring industry will convene at the second Installation Summit next month here, according to Robert Blochinger, president, National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors, and chairman of the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC).

Retail owners, executives and other key personnel will meet on August 16 to discuss the installation crisis affecting the industry, progress made since leaders began addressing the problem and methods for furthering that progress. The meeting will take place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando just prior to the 2017 CFI Convention. The Installation Summit, presented by Informa, will include an esteemed panel of industry members and experts who have been leading the campaign to manage and overcome the installation crisis.

“The FCLC, together with organizations including Certified Floorcovering Installers Association, have made great strides over the past two years in our efforts to resolve the installation crisis that touches everyone in our industry both domestically as well as internationally,” said Blochinger. “When we formed FCLC we worked together with leaders from all sectors of the business to identify the hurdles that are preventing growth and success in our industry. Installation shortage was the leader of the pack.”

For more information visit tinyurl.com/installationsummit or contact Blochinger at 954-830-4426 or bob@blochinger.net.

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WFCA/CFI installation training kick-off a success

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 9.29.21 AMAnaheim, Calif. – The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) announced that the 2014 kick-off of the CFI-led on-site installation training initiaitve was a huge success. Sixty-two installers and associates from  across the country including Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin attended the week-long inaugural program, which took place in Chicago beginning Jan. 14.

Workshop participants received hands-on training and certification in carpet, ceramic, resilient, laminate and wood flooring installation. The initiative also provided training in installation sales and inspection.  All sessions were led by Certified Floorcovering Installers Association instructors and overseen by Jim Walker, CEO, CFI. Tom Jennings, WFCA vice president, Member Services, also provided instruction on client service and customer relations.

At the conclusion of the training, installers who successfully completed the coursework received entry-level CFI certification in the surfaces for which they registered, as well as a CFI identification badge, a completion certificate, and a listing on the CFI website.

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CFI certification courses open at discounted price

KANSAS CITY, MO.—With the support of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) and the CFI Associate Members’ sponsorship, flooring installers can attend installation training in all surfaces for only $125.

CFI must receive a date from a sponsoring party to conduct the training no later than Nov. 4. The event is to be conducted no later than Dec. 16. Continue reading CFI certification courses open at discounted price

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CFI convention: Installers upbeat despite difficult times

KANSAS CITY, MO.—There is no arguing that every segment of the industry has been impacted by the poor economic conditions of the last four years. But those on the lower rung of the ladder, the folks who not only spend most of the day on their knees installing floors, but have to fight for every penny they make, have been hit the hardest. While the hardships currently being endured by this group of people was clearly evident at the 18th annual International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) convention, the overall attitude displayed by attendees remained optimistic that things will get better, and the industry can one day come together as a unit working toward the same goal: to satisfy the end user. Continue reading CFI convention: Installers upbeat despite difficult times

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From industry to consumer, websites command attention

The Internet is an essential element of any business. With a staggering 80% of consumers researching online before ever entering a store, businesses without a strong, updated website are doing themselves a great disservice if not part of that process. If your company is not part of her floor covering education, you will most likely not be part of her purchasing process either.

“We’ve learned the Internet is the most commonly used tool to learn about our floors and to find a retailer that carries our products,” said Richard Milliron, director of eMarketing at Armstrong. “We believe a website should be an aid to help flooring representatives in making sales [and] must employ usability best practices to keep a visitor and guide her through the purchase cycle. Website visitors know they can abandon the site at the first feeling of frustration and visit another website to meet their needs.” Continue reading From industry to consumer, websites command attention