Members of the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) will hear the final results of research aimed at understanding the scope of the installation skilled labor deficit, only a few hours before the opening night of the International Certified Flooring Installers Association’s (CFI) 25th anniversary convention, Aug. 15-17 in Orlando, Fla.

The research, conducted by Chicago-based research firm the Blackstone Group, aims to answer three questions: the size of the gap between supply and demand for flooring installers now, in five and 10 years; what the financial impact of a shortage of skilled installers means for companies across the supply chain; and what the key drivers of the skilled labor shortage have been—along with potential corrective measures.

According to an FCLC press release announcing the progress of the research initiative, “In-depth telephone interviews [have] targeted qualified stakeholders from key segments of the industry, including floor covering installers, builders, unions, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. These interviews gathered insights on the drivers of shortages, the importance of training and certification, barriers to recruiting installers, the upstream financial impacts of installer shortages and potential solutions to the shortages.

“Participants were [also] asked to comment on the impacts that immigration, globalization, automation, regulatory changes, labor unions, product mix changes and competition have had on flooring installation in the past five to 10 years.”

Additionally, an online assessment was sent to a pool of industry stakeholders compiled by the members of the FCLC. The council comprises 12 organizations including the American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA), International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA), Multilayer Flooring Association (MFA), Natural Stone Institute (NSI), North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA), National Institute of Certified Floorcoverings Inspectors (NICFI), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) and World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).

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