Al’s column

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HELP: The Dupage, Ill., Habitat For Humanity chapter has reached out to the Chicago Floorcovering Association’s (CFA) Caring For All Committee asking for some 11th hour assistance. The non-profit is in the middle of building a dozen townhomes in the Glen Ellyn community and the commitment it had for 12,000 square feet of carpet—1,000 square feet per house—fell through. The Dupage chapter is asking if anyone from CFA would be able to make a donation in part or in whole. It is requesting the carpet be neutral in color. If you or anyone you know is interested in making a donation, or if you have any questions, contact CFA’s Cecil Treadway at 800.627.1299 or CFA is one of the industry’s oldest and most active retail-led organizations with a long, storied history of helping the communities it serves.


RECOGNITION: The Installation Standards Training Alliance’s (INSTALL) pre-apprenticeship program in St. Louis is being recognized by the Federal Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship as a 21st Century Registered Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator. On Aug. 1, members of INSTALL St. Louis joined Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in Washington D.C, to help her commemorate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act. In a letter sent to INSTALL by the Office of Apprenticeship, it stated, “Your program…demonstrates one example of the kinds of innovation and/or trailblazing efforts that has had a significant impact on the history of registered apprenticeship and/or has implications for registered apprenticeship in the 21st century.”


APPRENTICESHIP: The Aug. 1 commemoration was part of a National Education and Action Summit, “Out Educate, Out Build, Out Innovate,” which celebrated the role registered apprenticeship has played in training the U.S. workforce for the last 75 years as well as highlighted the role it can play in training America’s workforce for the next 75 years by “featuring some of the innovative and trailblazing programs, such as INSTALL, that are the foundation of the National Apprenticeship System.” Part of what makes INSTALL members the professionals they are is its apprenticeship program and it is nice to see an industry-related initiative being recognized on a national level.


PR RECOGNITION: Congratulations to the members of Shaw’s public relations team for taking home the 2012 Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), for the mill’s media relations campaign relating to the launch of the HGTV Home Flooring by Shaw collection in 2011. PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals in the country with more than 31,000 members. Shaw was presented the award in the Media Relations—Non-Packaged Consumer Goods category. The honor was created in 1969 to recognize outstanding public relations tactics—the individual items or components—that contribute to the success of an overall program or campaign.


CONFIDENCE RISING: Builder confidence for newly built, single-family homes saw its largest one-month gain in nearly a decade, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for July. The six-point hike also brought the HMI  to its highest point since March of 2007. The index is derived from a monthly survey NAHB has been conducting for the past 25 years and gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as good, fair or poor. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as high to very high, average or low to very low. Not only did every HMI component record gains in July, every region posted an increase, with the West registering the highest gains at 12 points.

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