Anaheim, Calif. — The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) recently conducted its first meeting of 2015. The Council was formed in 2014 by 12 flooring-focused associations to identify the most important issues affecting the industry and develop solutions for the benefit of floor covering businesses and professionals. Leaders from 10 associations participated in the St. Louis meeting.
The three initiatives set forth by members of FCLC at inception are the creation of an industry-training portal, improvement of communications between members and the industry, and dealing with needs and issues related to installation.
On the issue of training, the group identified a pressing need for access to efficient, effective and affordable professional training and instruction for industry members in all capacities.
To address this concern the group agreed that an industry “portal” was needed to consolidate all available training programs by all organizations within the flooring industry in one location. This portal would provide access across the board to all available training programs at all levels and designations. In addition to the convenience factor, this consolidated platform would help to alleviate training program duplication and ultimately reduce training costs for companies by connecting them with programs that already exist. At it’s meeting in St. Louis the Council reviewed plans and options for the shared platform collected from outside vendors.
The FCLC delegates also discussed ways to streamline communications and cooperation between association members as well as the industry overall. The Council’s objective is to promote concerted efforts by flooring businesses and professionals in the furtherance of their shared interests and to economize on those efforts through unification.
As a part of this initiative the FCLC recently publicized the launch of its website at fclcouncil.org. Among other features, the site offers an industry-wide calendar of events. The calendar is event based only and does not include training programs of any kind. The site also includes a section on industry news, including press releases dispatched by member organizations. To submit an event to the FCLC calendar, please send the event name, date, time, location and informational web site address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission forms are also available on the website.
The last topic of discussion for the group was installation and its future. The group unanimously decided to address the need for adequate installation training programs as one of their key drivers due to the tremendous shortage of trained professionals across the country. Robert Varden from Certified Flooring Installers (CFI) and Brett Miller from National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) presented a program that they had recently launched and that includes working with groups such as Goodwill to put an installation program together. The program consisted of a five-week training session that included Business 101, OSHA Safety Training, wood flooring training and carpet installation. At the end of the training one manufacturer was targeted to work with the graduates on successful job placement. It turned out that the majority of the attendees for this most recent training program were U.S. military veterans.
The group will meet again in the fourth quarter to determine next steps.