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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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MSI updates, expands Bay Area showroom, distribution capabilities

IMG_0049Hayward, Calif. —M S International (MSI) has updated and doubled the size its Bay Area showroom and distribution center. Today, the company boasts more than 500 surfacing products displayed and inventoried throughout 5,600 square feet of showroom space and approximately 160,000 square feet of total warehousing space.

Underscoring MSI’s commitment to customer service, the redesigned showroom includes new seating areas and work tables, as well as hosting space for seminars and various industry events. A spacious conference room provides a comfortable space for designers, fabricators and staff to meet with customers.

IMG_0038In addition to the showroom, the warehouse received substantial upgrades. “We doubled the warehouse size, thereby significantly increasing our overall stocking capacity for all of our product lines including flooring, countertops and hardscaping,” Raj Shah, president of MSI, explained. “In addition, we installed four more cranes—bringing the total number to eight—to improve operational functionality and fill orders more efficiently.”

An open house is scheduled for March 16. The public is encouraged to stop by and learn about all the new products MSI has to offer. For an immediate introduction to the updated facility, they’re invited to take a Google Tour. These advanced, 360-degree interactive virtual tours make it possible for consumers to browse the tile showroom, slab warehouse, Q Premium Natural Quartz Slab Gallery, and more—right from the comfort of their homes.