Cathy Buchanon, co-owner and showroom manager, Independent Carpet One Floor & Home in Westland, Michigan, was one of the first Carpet One retailers to take advantage of a new training program created exclusively for CCA Global Retail Group members. 

Last November, CCA announced it will offer installation training opportunities exclusively for retail members through industry veteran Robert Varden. As CCA's installation consultant, Varden will provide insight and guidance to CCA retail members on issues involving installation training and support.

"Finding, training and keeping good installers is critical to retailer success," said Keith Spano, president of Flooring America, Flooring Canada, International Design Guild and The Floor Trader, said during the group's winter convention in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 10. "CCA has created our own installation strategy through our revamped installation excellence program to support our members' needs." 

Varden recently hosted a training for Buchanon and several other Carpet One retailers in Michigan. Twenty-six attendees—including installers, estimators and managers—participated in the event from Migala Carpet One, O’Connor Carpet One, Skaff Carpet One and Independent Carpet One. The class, which ran from 8 am to 4 pm, covered how to differentiate types of carpet, carpet seaming, and various techniques for installation. 

"Every person there, no matter how many years in the industry, left with a handful of new skills," Buchanon said. "I definitely recommend this training session—it is worth every penny you invest." 

As past president of CFI, Varden's role within CCA University will be to help train members, help recruit installers and help with troubleshooting in both residential and commercial applications. He will be hosting future classes on compensating installers, roundtables on installation, and on-on-one consulting with regional groups and individual storeowners. 

Spano said while CCA has taken an active move to support its retailers with installation training, the cooperative supports all the training and advocacy organizations, including CFI, Floor Covering Education Foundation and World Floor Covering Association. 

"That is the long game, and we support it a hundred percent, Spano said. "However, the short game is more immediate and it's a local approach geared specifically to you, our CCA retail members."