Posted on

FCICA doubles down on educational initiatives

March 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 20

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.24.55 AMSan Antonio—FCICA, the flooring contractors association, commemorated its 35th annual convention here by refocusing on its principal values: education, training and enhancing the skill sets of its core constituency—the professional installation manager.

“From what I have seen over the last six years, I think this group is as healthy as it has ever been—not just financially but in terms of great member retention,” Mike Newberry, chairman of the FCICA, told FCNews. “There is a renewed commitment and energy here, and we have a laser focus.”

The FCICA’s flagship program, what Newberry calls the group’s “cornerstone,” is the Certified Installation Manager (CIM) program. This eight-module curriculum provides training tools and assessment for qualified professionals within the commercial flooring space. To date, 29 have successfully completed CIM and there are 102 currently enrolled in the program. In addition to technical issues, installation managers learn “soft skills” such as how to professionally handle irate customers and deal with other issues that require strong interpersonal skills.

James Bissler of Texan Floor Service, Houston, said he became CIM certified because he wanted to separate himself and his company from the competition. “I have certified installers so it made sense to take the next step.”

Newberry said there is strong momentum for the CIM program, which is in its third year. “Being a member is great, but when you have non-members who want to participate in the training program it says a lot about its value. Internally we feel CIM is the only program of its kind in flooring that is training the project/ installation manager, which is a term we use interchangeably.”

Kelly Fuller, director of education, said the CIM program has information installation managers cannot find anywhere else. Best of all, it is all accessible online. “It is a program that is constantly evolving.”

The CIM emphasis comes at a time when the installation trade is being challenged on all fronts—from a dearth of qualified installers to the question of where and how to recruit the next generation of an aging workforce. Larry Chandler, commercial sales director for William M. Bird, a top 20 distributor, is chairman of the FCICA’s Member Benefits committee. He told members that educational opportunities like CIM are imperative. “Margins are getting squeezed all the time that it is almost impossible to go back out on a job site for a second time [without losing money on the project]. The job needs to be done right the first time.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.26.16 AMThe focus on continuing education carried over to the vendor trade program where product demonstrations were included during and after the four-hour trade show that featured 48 vendors. “Any organization willing to promote more training, the better off we all are—and FCICA is big in this area,” said Daniel Tallman, strategic business manager for Schönox, who conducted a product demonstration of the company’s newest synthetic gypsum self-leveling product. “We are a big proponent of getting the proper knowledge in the hands of the people who are going to be handling our material.”

Cathy McVey, customer service manager for Ceramic Tool Flooring Transitions, said she appreciated the interaction with the flooring contractors. “They made a point to come by and visit with us. All you want is a little traffic, and we had plenty of that.”

On the rise

This year’s convention featured 42 first-time attendees and eight new associate members. FCICA now has 201 members—108 contractors and 73 associate members (mostly suppliers).

One first-time attendee, Greg Epperson, technical services manager for Chilewich, which supplies carpet tile, broadloom and carpet mats to the commercial trade, noted, “I have been to some shows where the contractors come around and barely show interest in you. Here the contractors have genuinely been interested in our products and their uses.”

Of the 154 people in attendance in San Antonio 24 were considered “successors,” those less than 40 years old. Graham Capobianco, chairman of the Successors Committee, said his group plans to hold successor-specific programs to spur membership and promote greater involvement within the organization. “We are trending upward with successor involvement,” he told members. “We want to grow with existing members first.”

Posted on

Call for Entries: Certified Installation Manager Scholarship

install_logo_2color_pathsGlassboro, N.J.—Install, in collaboration with the FCICA, is offering a unique educational opportunity for installation managers to elevate professional skills. The Install Certified Installation Manager (CIM) Training Scholarship ($1150) will enroll the chosen candidate to successfully complete the training.

cimimage-123904Submissions are due by this Friday, Dec. 9, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 14.

 

 

 

 

Posted on

INSTALL supports professional development through CIM Program Scholarship

Install logoGlassboro, N.J.—INSTALL, in support of FCICA, has launched the 2016 INSTALL Certified Installation Manager (CIM) Program Scholarship and is now accepting applications.

Now in its second year and developed to support installation managers’ continuing training and professional development, the scholarship will benefit one deserving candidate. The $1,150 scholarship provides the opportunity for a floorcovering professional to enroll in and successfully complete the CIM training.

The deadline to submit an application is Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. Click here to submit your application. Winners will be announced on Dec. 14, 2016.

cimCriteria for scholarship program applicants include:

  • Employer needs to be an INSTALL contractor
  • Membership status and INSTALL certifications held by the applicant
  • Reason for requesting the training

Judges for the scholarship program include John McGrath, director of INSTALL; Tom Lutz, INSTALL Michigan; and Kelly Fuller, FCICA.

Posted on

INSTALL creates scholarship program

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 10.27.09 AMHaddonfield, N.J.—INSTALL, the International Standards and Training Alliance, has created the INSTALL Certified Installation Manager (CIM) Scholarship Program, in support of the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA). This educational opportunity was developed to support one installation manager’s continued training and professional development. The $1,000 scholarship will allow a floor covering professional to enroll in and successfully complete this training.

Criteria on which applicants will be judged include:

  • Employer must be an INSTALL contractor
  • Membership status and INSTALL certifications held by the applicant
  • Reason for requesting the training

Applications can be submitted via installfloors.org/Scholarship-Program.xml. Deadline to submit is Oct. 31. Winners will be announced Nov. 6.

In addition, three flooring contractors have recently achieved the status of INSTALL Warranty Contractor (IWC). The newest IWCs are American Floor Covering in Avon, Ind.; Tri-State Flooring in Pittsburgh; and Weiffenbach Marble & Tile in Clayton, Ohio.

INSTALL has also named flooring accessory company Lonseal Flooring as an Alliance Partner in its mission to improve installation training and certification standards across the floor covering industry.