The board meeting brought together representatives from all aspects of the flooring industry – trade organizations, suppliers, training professionals and retailers.
“Each board member brings a different perspective to the table,” shared Jim Aaron, executive director of Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF). “We all agree that a solution to the shortage of installers is essential to the industry’s continued success.”
Prior to the board meeting, several board members as well as FCEF leadership met with representatives from the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and Georgia State Representatives. Aaron and the FCEF board strongly feel that the absence of flooring installation as a course of study in high schools and technical colleges has perpetuated the consistent decline in the number of available flooring installers. The discussion focused on how flooring could become part of the curriculum offered in TCSG schools across Georgia.
“We’re exploring all options in our quest to bring awareness to the opportunities in the flooring trade,” commented Aaron. “If we can make this work in Georgia, we can replicate the program across the nation.”
Topics of discussion included ways to recruit and how to identify potential recruits, fundraising goals and initiatives, and marketing.
The FCEF’s recently chosen marketing agencies shared the new logo and branding that will help set the organization apart as well as marketing initiatives aimed to reach industry supporters and ultimately scholarship recipients. They also shared a new website design that went live just in time for The International Surfaces Event.
“It’s exciting to see this all coming together,” said Bill Gaddis, FCEF board member and vice president of strategic sales at Mohawk Industries. “After years of discussing the problem and a delay due to COVID-19, we are excited to see action and all that Jim [Aaron] has already accomplished in his first few months.”
FCEF’s Board officially reconvenes in November but will continue to offer guidance and support to the FCEF team as they quickly ramp up their efforts.
“We are starting to make headway,” says Aaron. “But we can’t do it alone. This is an industry problem and it’s going to take the support of the industry to fix it.”
For more information on the FCEF’s initiatives and ways to support the organization, visit FCEF.org.