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FCLC holds strategic planning meeting, funds installation research

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 3.21.11 PMOrlando, Fla.—The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) held its annual fall meeting Aug. 16, here, in conjunction with the Second Annual Installation Summit. The primary focus of the FCLC meeting was to hold a facilitated strategic planning session designed to prioritize objectives and confirm a plan of action for the coming year. Volunteer leaders and executive staff from 11 flooring associations participated in the meeting.

The FCLC noted it cannot solve the challenge of installation until the scope of the problem has been formally quantified and analyzed. The council has identified its current mission as follows: Quantify the scope and severity of the lack of installation professionals on industry sustainability and growth.

A comprehensive research project will be funded by the member associations of the FCLC designed to give a clear picture of the severity of the growing installation challenge and the level of resources ultimately needed to ensure long-term industry growth. An experienced research firm will be engaged to conduct the work. A task force comprised of FCLC member volunteers was appointed to develop the request for proposal and recommend the research firm. The research project will be completed in early 2018.

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FCLC reconvenes to discuss, address industry issues, initiatives

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.51.48 AMCharlotte, N.C.—As part of its mission to work together to resolve some of the flooring industry’s largest issues, the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) conducted its first meeting of 2016 on April 29 here. Fourteen volunteer representatives from flooring industry associations representing all sectors of the industry attended the meeting.

The two-year-old group’s initiatives, decided on in 2015, include improving communications between member groups and the industry, collaborating and sharing industry-wide professional training programs between member organizations, and addressing needs and issues related to the installation crisis.

As part of its initiative to streamline communications and cooperation between organizations, members of each group comprising FCLC provided a general overview and update on the state of their respective groups at the meeting. Discussion points included general news, executive hires and staff changes, upcoming events, and industry-related issues facing each association. Once each organization shared its updates, members collaborated to discuss which of the issues faced by their groups could be better addressed by working together at the local, state and national levels. In addition, representatives shared information on their own training programs and initiatives that are available for use by members of other FCLC associations. Updates on the group’s own website, fclcouncil.org, which houses a database of all member industry events as well as industry news, were also discussed.

One of the most pressing topics for the group at its April meeting was the need to address and resolve the installation crisis. Certified Floorcovering Installer’s Association (CFI), whose own mission is tied closest to this industry-wide issue, provided updates about the launch of its new school located just outside of Dallas. Throughout the year the school provides a full schedule of professional installation training and certification to students at all levels and in every category of flooring. In addition to its lineup of ongoing courses, the school also regularly offers a one-of-a-kind, proprietary accelerated five-week carpet installation training course throughout the year. Robert Varden, vice president, CFI, shared news about international attention that the school has attracted. He told the FCLC attendees that discussions of CFI training programs overseas are underway.

FCLC attendees also elected members to fill open positions for the 2017-2019 term. The term begins January 1, 2017 and ends December 31, 2019.

  • Chair- Michael Martin, NWFA
  • Chair-Elect- Bob Blochinger, NICFI
  • Secretary- Kim Oderkirk, FCICA
  • Chair of Communications- Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD
  • Chair of Training- Stephanie Owen, NWFA
  • Chair of Installation- Robert Varden, CFI
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Floor Covering Leadership Council approves new logo

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 9.49.51 AMAnaheim, Calif.—The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) is pleased to announce it has approved a logo. According to Kim Oderkirk, committee chairman, communication and cooperation committee, “the logo represents various aspects of flooring including tile, carpet, resilient, stone and wood. We also wanted the name to be written out and avoid simply using the letters FCLC, as there are so many acronyms currently being used in the flooring industry. The new logo is a great representation of this organization.” The council plans to use the new logo on letterhead, press releases, marketing materials and the website which is the next project to be completed by the committee.

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Floor Covering Leadership Council formed

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 2.46.16 PMAnaheim, Calif. – The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC), an organization currently comprised of 15 associations—all dedicated to flooring—was formed in July, with the goal of addressing and improving some of the most pressing issues and problems faced by members of the flooring industry.

Organizations that have expressed a Council membership commitment include the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors (NICFI), Marble Institute of America (MIA), Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Carpet Cushion Council (CCC), Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Flooring Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA), Certified Flooring Installer (CFI), Floor Installation Association of North America (FIANA), National Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), North American Laminate Floor Association (NALFA) and American Flooring Association (AFA.)

FCLC represents an evolution of the Floor Covering Industry Issues Council (FCIIC.) The remaining active members of FCIIC, including WFCA, voted to overhaul the organization. They adopted a new name, revised their mission statement, and plan to revitalize membership and bring about a positive impact in the industry. The exploratory meeting to determine interest in and need for what would become FCLC took place on April 16, 2014, in Nashville, during the National Wood Flooring Association convention.

The new purpose statement for FCLC reads: The Floor Covering Leadership Council exists to identify issues and develop solutions that lead to the success of the floor covering industry and its professionals.

The official first meeting took place in Orlando on July 29. Seven associations were represented at this meeting and worked to identify the overall mission of FCLC as well as an ongoing agenda for the group. Members agreed the most effective way to bring about industry change was through group-focused action and cooperation. They identified the three most pressing issues affecting the flooring industry: access to training, the looming shortage of flooring installers, and the need for improved coordination between the several trade organizations that exist within the industry.

The topic deemed most important was access to efficient, effective and affordable professional training and instruction for industry members in all capacities. The FCLC organizers noted that manufacturers, associations, and colleges and schools across the country offer a vast number of training and education programs. They decided that the industry could derive great benefit from a centrally organized online portal, bringing all of those programs together and providing users with information about and links to courses in their areas of interest and their geographic locations. Ideally the information bank will also facilitate streamlining of training so organizations can avoid the costs of developing instructional programs for their employees that already exist and can be made available by today’s technology.

The second concern was in the area of flooring installation and its future. Currently the installation side of the business is facing a tremendous shortage of trained professionals across the country. This shortage has its origin in the recent economic recession, but the upturn in the U.S. economy has had little effect on the number of people turning or returning to careers in installation. Members of FCLC voted to begin work on a campaign designed to showcase and promote the many benefits of being an installer.

The last initiative identified by the group was establishing effective and ongoing communication and cooperation between associations in the industry. Members of associations dedicated to this industry recognize that they represent more power and influence together that each on its own. Through a concerted focus and effort the group hopes to bring the flooring community closer together, streamlining communications in order to keep everyone fully informed and capable of acting in concert to further the interests of the industry.

At the same meeting the council also identified leaders to head up each of the three issues identified. Jim Hieb, CEO, MIA, will direct the training program. Robert Varden, chairman, CFI, will oversee the installation and next generation initiative. And Kim Oderkirk, executive vice president, FCICA, will head up the communication and cooperation issue.

In addition, the group also elected Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA, to chair FCLC and Michael Martin, president and CEO, NWFA, as the vice chair. Kay Wiley, executive administrative assistant to Humphrey will serve as secretary. All will serve two-year terms.

“I am thrilled to be at the helm of such a powerful and motivated organization,” Humphrey said. “By bringing these associations and their member constituencies together I have no doubt we will be able to make a positive impact in the industry from which everyone can benefit.”

“We’re at a unique time in the flooring industry where a changing of the guard is taking place in many associations at the same time,” Martin said. “This group provides a forum for us to not only learn from each other, but to also develop new products and services that will have tremendous benefits to the entire industry. The spirit of collaboration is growing as we learn to see each other’s perspectives and define our goals together.”

Going forward the group plans to meet two times per year. The next meeting will take place in Miami in conjunction with the International Surfaces Event (TISE) on Oct. 19, 2014. Associations focused solely on flooring are welcome to join FCLC. For more information on the Floor Covering Leadership Council or to become a member, contact Scott Humphrey at 800-624-6880 or via email at shumphrey@wfca.org.