Gray Court, S.C. —Industry experts Sonny Callaham and Paul Pleshek have announced the formation of the National Association of Floor Covering Technicians (NAFCT), a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association created to improve the flooring industry by partnering with industry experts, manufacturers and other flooring associations to provide locally accessible, affordable and advanced hands-on training and certification programs.
NAFCT is keenly focused on continuously working to provide a solution to the installation shortage the industry has been experiencing. “New, enhanced and ongoing training services are needed to elevate the skilled trade status of flooring installers,” said Pleshek, executive director and co-founder of NAFCT.
He noted that flooring installation is typically one of the most expensive components of the construction project but is not always respected as such. “Experience, knowledge, certification, craftsmanship should mean more in our industry than it currently does, and we want to work to change this.”
Callaham, co-founder and chairman of NAFCT, stressed the importance of training. “It only takes one failure for an installer to go out of business,” he said. “Training participation and learning one thing could be the difference in one’s success.”
To that end, NAFCT wants to be the go-to association for training, whether it is installation, inspection, maintenance or sales. “Not only will NAFCT provide affordable, accessible and frequent training, we will also be supplying the installer with the possibility of an endless career path,” Callaham added.
History of experience
Callaham and Pleshek have extensive knowledge and experience within the flooring industry. Both have served on many committees and board of directors for organizations such as NWFA, FCICA, NICFI, CFI and IICRC.
“These flooring organizations and others are working tirelessly to improve the industry and combat installation shortages,” Callaham said. “All have run into the same hurdle—costs. The costs of attendance, travel, continuing education, membership, etc., have come to a point where too many small businesses or single operators cannot afford to attend. Manufacturers within the flooring industry have been ardent supporters of such organizations, as well as implementing their own training programs to further educate their end-users. However, due to logistics, liability and lack of multiple category trainings, manufacturers commonly do not offer certification. NAFCT was developed to assist in bridging this gap and bringing low, no-cost structured certified trainings directly to the installer.”
NAFCT has begun to establish partnerships with key flooring manufacturers. Some of the founding members include Ardex Americas, Divergent Adhesives, H.B. Fuller, Laticrete International, Loba-Wakol, LLC, Mapei Corp., Novalis Innovative Flooring, Roppe Holding Company, Schönox HPS North America, Uzin Utz North America and Wagner Meters.
NAFCT is looking for a diverse, robust program and welcoming companies to be a significant part of this initiative.
Beginning in January 2021, NAFCT will be launching specific training segments in conjunction with key industry partners and manufacturers.