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CCA Global Partners acquires Romano Consulting Group

CCAglobal-Logo-680x320Manchester, N.H—CCA Global Partners has acquired the intellectual property assets of Romano Consulting Group to support the enhanced CCA Consulting department. Romano Consulting group has long been respected in the floor covering and home improvement industry for its ability to help businesses identify and overcome business challenges ranging from organizational structure to merchandising and financial management. This acquisition gives CCA’s consulting program access to proven programs, software and industry expertise.

CCA Consulting will combine the expertise gained from Romano Consulting Group with CCA’s proven track record of helping independent businesses in the floor covering and home improvement industry to help improve the effectiveness and profitability of CCA’s member businesses.

“This acquisition has helped us accelerate the growth of our consulting services,” said Howard Brodsky, chairman and co-CEO of CCA Global Partners. “We are now able to offer our members a more complete, comprehensive consulting service to our members.”

In addition to the assets acquired, David Romano, the founder of Romano Consulting Group, is helping to integrate his programs and tools into CCA’s Consulting department’s programs and offerings.

Based on the acquisition, CCA will be repackaging its current services along with the new services obtained under the CCA Consulting umbrella. The group will offer four distinct service lines: Business360, Team360, Leadership360 and Insight360.

“Our team has developed a strong package of services that cover all elements of the business,” said Rick Bennet, co-CEO of CCA Global Partners. “Our members can now access all the tools they need to grow and develop their business right here at CCA.”

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NWFAU reaches 15,000 courses completed

NWFA UniversitySt. Louis, Mo.—Since the National Wood Flooring Association launched its NWFA University a year ago, more than 15,000 online courses have been completed. NWFA University offers a combination of online and hands-on training for wood flooring professionals.

“The engagement with our online learning platform has been overwhelming,” said Stephanie Owen, NWFA education and member engagement director. “Having 15,000 courses completed in just one year certainly has exceeded our expectations, but what’s even more impressive is when you realize what that number equates to on a daily basis: more than 40 courses completed every single day. That’s just an amazing level of participation.”

One thing that differentiates NWFAU from typical online learning platforms is the incorporation of digital badges. A digital badge is graphic representation of a learned skill, but NWFA takes them a step further by embedding its digital badges with metadata that verifies the recipient’s proficiency with a specific skill or area of expertise. This metadata includes information about the NWFA as the third-party issuer of the badge, the date the badge was earned, and the specific skill or knowledge that was exhibited—and confirmed through testing—for the individual to earn the badge. In addition, these badges become part of a life-long digital resume, which makes them especially convenient for attracting customers.

“NWFA uses its digital badges to influence consumers who are looking for qualified flooring professionals,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO. “For those members who engage with NWFA University, they move up in NWFA’s consumer search feature as they participate in more training. Take a series of courses to earn a badge, and bump up; take more courses to earn more badges, and bump up again; earn certification and jump to the top of the list. This is the first time we’ve been able to offer our members a tangible return on training by verifying their skills with consumers looking for qualified contractors.”

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NTCA completes first year of apprenticeship program

NTCAFlowood, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has completed the first year of related content for its apprenticeship program. Year one of the two-year online training program is composed of 64 courses that serve as an introduction to the tile industry, beginning with the basics of cutting, mixing and grouting, and moving to surface preparation, underlayment application and other installation processes.

With 500 enrollments for the first year of curriculum, these courses are intended to support contractors in training by serving as a training resource for employees who are new to the industry, or as the related learning for the contractor’s Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program.

In addition to proper training for new hires, these courses may also serve as continued education for tile professionals who would like to refresh their memory on basic knowledge of the industry. “When we started developing these courses, I knew very little of the actual tile installation process including materials, tools and all of the steps required before installing tile,” said Becky Serbin, training and education coordinator, NTCA. “We worked with experienced contractors and manufacturers to simplify the courses so that someone such as myself, who is new to the installation process, would be able to understand industry terminology and apply course information on the job.”

The second year of the apprenticeship program is currently under development, and will continue to be announced in six-month increments. It will be available for viewing and purchase online as each course is completed.

For more information contact Serbin at becky@tile-assn.com, or visit tile-assn.com.

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CFI honors recent graduates

CFIForney, Texas—CFI’s floor installation training school is honoring its 5th graduating class, according to Robert Varden, vice president. The CFI Institute offers accelerated training and professional certification to individuals seeking to learn how to install all types of flooring. Graduates of the most recent residential carpet installation class came from across the United States, from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest, New England and the Southeast.

“We created our school and launched the very first accelerated carpet installation training course as part of our commitment to tackle the installation problem that touches everyone in our industry,” said Varden. “Together with WFCA and our many supportive partners, we are working continuously to put an end to a problem that affects everyone.”

Through the proprietary class, CFI can take individuals with no prior experience or knowledge in flooring and, after an intensive five-week course, turn out certified residential carpet installers capable of completing a highly professional job in a standard three-bedroom home.

The next accelerated carpet installation class begins this month at the CFI school in Forney, Texas. In addition to the accelerated carpet class, the school also offers long- and short-term training programs in every flooring product category for students at all levels. For more information or to register for the new carpet installation class or another program visit: cfiinstallers.org/school.html.

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RFMS adds implementation team, trainers

image001Tuscaloosa, Ala.—RFMS, a provider of business management software for the flooring industry, recently re-organized its software implementation department to improve the way new users go live with the program. The company also added Jennifer King to its implementation team, and Jamie Gauen and Cindy Thompson to the RFMS training team.

King was a previous RFMS user and brings years of experience not only in the flooring industry but with the RFMS business management system. Gauen bring many years of experience using RFMS and looks forward to providing top level training to all RFMS clients. Thompson previous worked with the RFMS Helpdesk team.

The implementation team prepares a new user’s database, which contains items such as vendors, customers, chart of accounts and accounting setup, product data, commission tables and more. This assistance enables the new users to begin to use RFMS at a faster pace.

“It provides both the client and the trainer with improved education on using the RFMS software without getting bogged down in the initial setup phase,” said Joey Denson, implementation manager, RFMS.

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WFCA University adds to destination training, online offering

WFCA logoDalton, Ga.–In response to a recent membership drive and member demand, World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has expanded its University course offerings with extended online training modules and destination camps across the country, according to Freida Staten, vice president marketing and communications. WFCA University is the association’s own professional training program geared exclusively to the needs and interests of members.

The professional development tool, which is available as a subscriber service for WFCA members, consists of primers, research, online training and seminars as well as on-site regional training programs to help retailers reach the top of their game. Just a few months after its launch, WFCA University has expanded training programs by nearly 20%, with 46 training modules available online through the subscription program and 11 new destination camps planned in seven locations across the U.S.

The extensive training program offers educational courses for professionals in a wide variety of functions including sales, merchandising and human resources. The coursework is broken down based on the career path and professional stage. “Upon initial launch of the WFCA University program we saw many middle, senior and owner-level executives tapping into the training program,” Staten said. “Since that time, the adoption rate of our program has broadened to include many professionals in the early and middle stages of their careers.”

For more information visit wfca.org, email Tom Jennings, vice president, professional development, WFCA, or call 816-231-4646.

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INSTALL, Tarkett join MRCC to host ICRA training

IMG_1530Warren, Michigan—Tarkett joined INSTALL professionals and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCC) to train contractors and architects in the importance of Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) on construction sites in occupied healthcare facilities.

The event, Infection Control Risk Assessment Best Practices for Health Care Construction, brought architects and contractors to the MRCC, where attendees learned how to identify types of preparation required for construction in occupied healthcare facilities, as well the importance of having construction crews trained in ICRA protocol.

“INSTALL contractors hire a specially trained workforce who know how to create a quality product while ensuring safety and efficiency,” said Don Styka, director of field services at Tarkett. “By including architects in this training, we help to create a 360-degree awareness of the importance of infection control in occupied healthcare facilities, from floor to ceiling.”

INSTALL and Tarkett have a rich history of partnership and this training was a natural result of their collaboration to improve industry standards on every jobsite with every worker.

“INSTALL is committed to industry excellence through training and collaboration,” said John T. McGrath Jr., the executive director of INSTALL. “By working with Tarkett and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, we were able to create a unique opportunity to bring architects and leaders in the flooring industry together for cutting edge training that fills a significant gap in healthcare construction. We anticipate that this is the first of many events to come.”

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CFI Convention promises a plethora of programs

PastedGraphic-1Forney, Texas—The CFI Convention and Expo is back with a punch this year taking place August 16-18 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla. The three-day educational event, designed for both retailers and installers, will kick off with a welcome reception sponsored by Personna.

“We’ve been doing this for nearly a quarter of a century and given the positive feedback and the thousands of industry professionals who return each year wanting more I guess it’s safe to say we’re doing something right,” said Robert Varden, vice president, CFI. “No doubt that our industry has changed and evolved substantially over the years but I challenge you to find another conference that packs in the training, education and networking opportunities that are offered through the CFI program.”

This year’s program line-up features:

Leadership strategies that work: Scott Humphrey, CEO of the WFCA, delivers proven leadership strategies designed to engage your team as you lead them through the competitive and ever-changing business landscape.

Third-party inspections: biased or beneficial? And how to tell: Paul Pleshek of the National Academy for Floor Covering Training (NAFCT) provides insight in to the often-perplexing world of flooring inspections—defining proper inspection procedures, common reporting issues and tips for identifying objective and knowledgeable inspectors.

Are you ready for an immigration raid or audit? With the election of President Trump, flooring retailers, contractors and installers need to begin preparing for increased enforcement of the immigration laws. The law imposes strict documentation requirements and significant fines to ensure your employees are legal immigrants. Jeffrey King, general counsel for the WFCA, will explain the requirements for employee documentation and provide practical guidelines to ensure you are prepared for an audit or workplace raid.

LVT installation & repair: The CFI team of professionals, representing leading manufacturers in resilient flooring, present a demonstration of the latest installation techniques for LVT including plank replacement and tips for common repair issues.

#marketingtomillennials: It’s about life-stage, not age: Tony King and Kathryn Baird of TK Fusion will share pro insights that will change the way you market to millennials.

Is my business ready for new technology? Phil Zolan, executive director of fcB2B, identifies technology trends to grow your business in 2017 and beyond.

Getting unruly subfloors clean, flat, dry and sound: The CFI team of professionals present techniques for quality subfloor prep and tips for common repair issues.

To see the full line-up and get more info, register online or call 816-231-4646.

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CFI enters international partnership with FiTA

cfiDallas—Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) has partnered with the South African Flooring Industry Training Association (FiTA) to bring ongoing floor covering installation training classes and certification to professionals throughout the country and beyond.

Nearly 10 years ago, CFI began working with Belgotex Floorcoverings, a carpet manufacturer based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to help establish a formal training program and institute qualification guidelines for professional installers.

“At the time we entered this market there were no set standards and no rules governing flooring installation in the country,” said Robert Varden, vice president of CFI. “The lack of qualified installers in the flooring industry is a global issue. In 2013, The South African Flooring Industry Training Association was formed to address the installation crisis facing the flooring industry. Great strides have been made working with both trade and government officials to clearly define necessary schooling and hands on training requirements for installation professionals that will be overseen by the government and will be required to practice the trade.”

FitaCFI, together with FiTA South Africa, will continue to facilitate installation training and accreditation through apprenticeship programs for entry-level flooring installers who undergo comprehensive hands-on and classroom training. ‘Prior Learning’ accreditation will be made available for installers who are already working and have experience.

To date, over 150 graduates have completed the 12-month training program and apprenticeship and now hold a National Certificate Installation of Floor Coverings. Through an additional regional partner, Belgotex Floorcoverings, CFI and FiTA have entered an arrangement with local youth endowment organizations to bring installation training to school children, grades 6-10. Upon completion, these students will have a floor laying skill, which will enable them to find jobs as entry-level flooring installers.

For more information visit the CFI website or call 816-231-4646.

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Shaw Industries named to Training magazine’s Top 125 list for 13th consecutive year

shaw_corporate_logo_2015_highresDalton–As a result of the company’s stellar training and workforce development programs, Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) has been recognized by Training magazine as a “Training Top 125” company for 2017. This recognition marks Shaw’s 13th consecutive year on the list.

“We are extremely proud of our strong heritage of offering education and training to help associates and customers unleash greatness and reach their full potential,” stated Danny Crutchfield, Shaw’s director of corporate training and organizational development. “We’re committed to continued innovation in the topics we address as well as how we offer our ongoing learning opportunities to meet the needs of today’s workforce. It’s a critical component of how Shaw is able to attract and retain the best talent and how we continue to propel our company forward in a rapidly changing industry.”

The Shaw talent model defines the leadership behaviors required to achieve the desired business results and to drive Shaw’s training and development priorities. The Shaw Learning Academy’s leadership team and staff are focused on helping others align their skills and interests with business needs for greater personal and professional accomplishment as defined by the talent model.

Training Top 125 ranks companies’ excellence and commitment to employer-sponsored training and development programs. The Top 125 ranking is determined by assessing a range of qualitative and quantitative factors, including financial investment in employee development, the scope of development programs, and how closely development efforts are linked to business goals and objectives.

Consistently recognized for its high-quality education and training efforts, Shaw has garnered a range of recognitions in addition to Training 125, including:

  • Being named to the Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers 2016 for the second year since the distinction’s inception in 2015.
  • Ranking No. 11 in the most recent Elearning! magazine’s Learning! 100 list. Honored for the sixth consecutive year, Shaw was among top private sector companies cited for high performance, organizational culture, innovation and collaboration.
  • Rated among the Best Places to Work for New Graduates by Symplicity in 2016.

Shaw’s education and training efforts extend beyond its more than 20,000 associates to customers, the community, and the future workforce.

Additionally, Shaw recognizes that its retailers’ success are inextricably linked. The company has designed comprehensive and customized educational programs offer to help retailers meet their business objectives. More than 15,000 customers engage with the Shaw Learning Academy each year through regional training, online sessions, markets, the Shaw Flooring Network Convention, and other offerings.