Way back in 1978 as a 19-year-old kid in Lincoln, Neb., I put on a pair of knee pads and strapped on a tool pouch for the first time. I wasn’t seeking a career as a floorcovering installer; it was just a summer job. A lot has changed in 40 years. However, one thing has remained a constant: there was a shortage of qualified installers then, and an even more critical shortage today. The labor shortage has recently become a popular topic of discussion. Everyone seems to have an opinion on to how to solve what is widely recognized as the floorcovering industry’s largest challenge.
However, our biggest challenge is not figuring out how to solve the labor shortage. Some very bright people throughout this industry have been telling us for years what it will take to attract, train and retain the next generation of installers. So, what is our biggest challenge?