Members only: NTCA Regional Training Program schedule set for 2018

In our last issue, we reported on the pilot member-only NTCA Regional Training Program held in October in New Berlin, Wis., developed by NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein and NTCA Training and Education Coordinator Becky Serbin. The program was a huge success and provided 100% free, hands-on experience and training for a group of 20 attendees, supported by NTCA trainers and staff from manufacturer partners.

As a result of this acclaimed event, many NTCA affiliate members are offering massive support to a full program of events in 2018, with Daltile and Crossville leading the bunch. In addition, ARDEX, Bostik, CUSTOM, LATICRETE, MAPEI, Merkrete and TEC/HB Fuller are supporting the program with financial donations. These donations are making possible a schedule of 20 dates for regional training at all regions across the nation. Thirteen will be open to local NTCA members, with eight events slated for Five Star Members only.

This program differs from the NTCA Workshop program in that they are all-day events, exclusive to NTCA members only. In contrast, NTCA Workshops are evening programs, open for anyone to attend.

The curriculum will address either of the following topics:

Standards-based installation of Gauged Porcelain Tile and Gauged Porcelain Panels/Slabs

Really big, thin tiles are here to stay. In fact if you don’t get on board with learning how to install them based on the brand new tile industry standards, you may soon find yourself on the outside looking in on some wonderful new contracting and installation opportunities. This program is your chance to learn about the basics of the tile industry standards and get an in-depth look at the new standards and methods for installing Gauged Porcelain Tile and Panels (GPTP). You will learn why this tile format is the wave of the future, how it is made, designs it is used for and the special tools, setting materials and techniques required to install it.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions you will have answered during the GPTP program:

  • What is a Gauged Porcelain Tile or a Gauged Porcelain Panel (GPTP)?
  • What is ANSI, TCNA, ASTM?
  • What are ANSI A108.19 and ANSI A137.3?
  • Why do I want to know how to install GPTP?
  • What are all of these specialty tools and why do I need them to install GPTP?
  • Why do I need special training and a trained team to install GPTP?
  • How is this going to help me make money?
  • What is Qualified Labor and why does it matter to me?
Standard Practices: Substrate Preparation and Large Format Tile

This program will take attendees on an introductory journey into the tile industry standards found in ANSI A108 and the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation. Attendees will learn how to navigate and use the ANSI A108 standards and TCNA Handbook, then will use their new knowledge to address some of real-world challenges in practical hands-on installations focusing on the all-important process of substrate examination and preparation for installing large-format tile.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions you will have answered during the Standard Practices for Substrates and LFT program:

  • What is ANSI, TCNA, ASTM?
  • What are ANSI A108, ANSI A118, A136, A137.1 and A137.2?
  • Why do I need to know about ANSI standards?
  • What is the TCNA Handbook?
  • Why do I need the TCNA Handbook?
  • How do I use the TCNA Handbook?
  • What are the different kinds of substrate and why are there standards for them?
  • Why do I need to know how to examine and prepare a substrate?
  • How do I properly prepare a substrate?
  • Why aren’t some techniques good enough for fixing a substrate and setting tile?
  • How is this going to help me make money?
  • What is Qualified Labor and why does it matter to me?

NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein will present each program, with occasional assistance from NTCA Trainer/Presenters Robb Roderick or Luis Bautista, and CTEF Director of Training Scott Carothers. Local contractor members may also assist.

To register for the free Regional Training Program in your area, visit www.tile-assn.com. For information about joining NTCA, contact Jim Olson at [email protected].

Monthly Webinars, TileTV benefit everyone in the industry

Some of the benefits of NTCA extend beyond the NTCA membership. Such are NTCA free webinars and the Tile-TV digital news magazine.

Twice monthly, you can tune in to free hour-long webinars on pertinent topics to the industry, presented by experts.  Sessions in the series are individually sponsored by ARDEX, Coverings ’18, Custom Building Products, Emser, LATICRETE,  MAPEI, Schluter, and TEC. If you can’t tune in during the day, no problem! NTCA archives all the webinars so all you have to do is go to www.tile-assn.com/?page=webinars, register, and you can watch any of 50 (at this writing) webinars. Some of the webinars include: Sealers for Tile, Grout & Natural Stone; Superior Tile Format, The New Generation of Tile; Barrier Free Showers; Strategies for Social Media; Benefits of Precast Cementitious Terrazzo Tile; Membranes and much, much more.

Take a look! Mike Shoffner, marketing services coordinator for Ironrock, Inc., called these webinars “very educational and informative.” We think you’ll agree.

NTCA also produces a monthly news magazine called TileTV. View it at www.iwantmytiletv.com and learn about industry events in a lively news magazine style. The most recent show at this writing – August 30, 2017, has the 2017 Italian Tile Expo at the center of its program, explaining that “NTCA Representatives will be delivering presentations at the upcoming Cersaie Ceramic Tile Trade Fair in Bologna, Italy. Meetings regarding large format and gauged porcelain tile will also be held with Assoposa and leaders of the EUF. Tune in for more details.”

Coverings, Daltile, LATICRETE, ARDEX, Custom Building Products, Bellota, MAPEI, Tile Shop, Lackmond all sponsor TileTV and make it possible for NTCA to bring you this news magazine.

In addition, a brand new segment for Tile-TV started with this episode. NTCA Training director, Mark Heinlein, answers questions from viewers in “Question Mark”. Tune in to this punchy monthly news show and view archived shows from 2017 and 2016 or follow at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tiletv.

Interested in learning more about NTCA? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or visit NTCA’s Membership page  at  www.tilessn.com/?page=Membership.

OCTOBER 2017: NTCA BENEFITS BOX

Partnering for Success:
Choose up to $2,000 in vouchers from four new categories

Partnering for Success (PFS) is NTCA’s highly successful voucher program, which gives back to members more than threefold the amount of their membership in setting materials and sundries used by installers every day. Manufacturer partners agree to reimburse vouchers of designated amounts of materials for new and returning members. This allows members to get a discount or free items for some of the materials they use the most, or some of the materials they’ve wanted to try, basically risk free.

This year, the PFS is making a change to four categories: Tile,
Tools/Heating Systems, Sundries and Setting Materials. With the growth of the NTCA – nearly 1,400 members strong now – it became imperative to change the selection process to give exposure to some of some of the smaller participating manufacturers in addition to the well-known and established manufacturers who have been supporting this program for many years. This led to the creation of the four-category system that will be instituted in 2018.

NTCA is aware that people aren’t really fond of change. To soften the impact of changing to a four category system, NTCA increased the dollar value from $1,800 in vouchers per member to $2,000 in vouchers per member – more than three times the value of the $600 NTCA annual membership. Every member of the NTCA can find at least $600 worth of free materials that will offset the membership cost. In addition to the vouchers program, membership dues give the NTCA the ability to continue the quest to promote qualified labor and certification, elevating the industry and the trade.

NTCA Launches New Career Center for Job Seekers and Employers

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), has added an updated, high-powered Career Center available now on its website. The Career Center is designed to provide both employers and job seekers with a better overall job board experience through a modern design and an intuitive interface.

Job seekers can manage their job search, access job postings, post a resume, or join the job alert system. The job search feature is made easy and can be filtered by position and location, returning up to 100 results at a time. Employers are able to quickly post job openings, manage online recruiting efforts, advance resume searching, or reach targeted qualified applicants. The tool allows employers to search for resumes, keep track of candidates, post company information, and much more. The Career Center can be accessed through a desktop, smartphone, tablet, or any mobile device.

“NTCA is excited to offer an easy-to-use program that will allow for people to post their resume to explore their options at furthering their career.  As more and more people do this, we will be able to help connect companies looking for qualified people in the tile and stone industry to these candidates,” said Bart Bettiga, executive director.

The Career Center can be accessed on the home page of the NTCA website at www.tile-assn.com, or by visiting the following link: Click Here!

NTCA University

Knowledge is power, the saying goes. And NTCA is doing its best to be sure you are knowledgeable about your industry and your trade, and a powerful force among customers, clients and competitors.

One of the ways NTCA is doing this is through NTCA University. If you haven’t heard about this veritable online college, visit www.tile-assn.com for details.

To recap, the first six months of the Finisher Apprentice Program in NTCA University are complete, packed with course content from contractors and manufacturers. There are over 40 courses in the 0 – 6 month Finisher Apprentice Orientation section of the program. Each course ranges from 10-20 minutes in length and has a quiz following to test the learner’s knowledge. These courses are, obviously, useful for apprentices, but also for those in the industry for many years since they contain safety and product information that benefits anyone in the trade. For example, if you haven’t worked with epoxy grout for a while, you can take a course on it as a refresher.

One of the benefits of NTCA membership is that NTCA contractor members receive special pricing.

  • NTCA Contractor Members: $99 per company
  • Associate/Affiliate Members: $199 per company
  • Non-NTCA Members: $499 per company

If you purchase this subscription, you will have access to all of the online learning content, including anything new that is created, through December 31, 2017. As long as you have internet access, you can view courses from a computer, tablet, or phone.

Visit the NTCA Store at www.tile-assn.com to purchase your NTCA University subscription. And get started pumping up your knowledge or welcoming new apprentices, armed with know-how and information to make your company a leader in the field.

Want to know more? Visit NTCA University Update on page 98 of this issue.

NTCA Members receive a 20% discount on all ConsensusDocs subscriptions.

NTCA membership provides another great recently-established benefit for your convenience and accuracy. The ConsensusDocs platform provides instant access to your contract documents from any computer through a secure web-based portal. Simply log in and your personalized dashboard makes it easy to locate recent projects, edit contracts, review changes made by your collaborators, or start a new contract using any of 100+ contracts. ConsensusDocs contracts are endorsed by a diverse coalition of 40+ design and construction industry associations representing designers, owners, contractors, subcontractors and surities including the NTCA.

Because the contracts are developed by this diverse coalition, they ensure that all parties in a construction project are operating under a fair contract – one in which their interests are represented during the drafting process. ConsensusDocs contracts protect the best interests of the project rather than a singular party, yielding better project results and fewer disputes.

ConsensusDocs incorporate best practices to provide a better contractual foundation and reduce costly risk contingencies. ConsensusDocs covers all your construction contracting needs with its over 100 industry-tested contracts and forms.

ConsensusDocs contract documents:

  • Help you save time and money by providing a better contractual foundation to build, written in plain English, instead of legalese;
  • Encourage direct and positive communications, instead of creating contractual silos;
  • Give owners an active role in the design and construction process;
  • Address essential legal and insurance issues, including a “hold harmless” provision.

The advantages of using industry-accepted standard form contracts are significant.  They are cost-effective, easily edited via MS Word®, and accessible 24/7 via secure online technology. ConsensusDocs contracts are regularly updated to keep pace with changes in the law and in the industry, and all subscribers receive new and updated contracts within their packages at no charge.  The comprehensive catalog addresses all major project delivery methods and provides coordinated administrative forms.

Contractors can choose from a free package, the Prequalification & Bond Forms package, or start with the Express Package Per Document, which is just $319 for Coalition Members, with member pricing.

ConsensusDocs offer you:

  • 24/7 access – Access your documents anytime from anywhere via a secure, cloud-based system.
  • Easy to edit – Microsoft Word®-based technology for easy editing and collaboration.
  • Easy to collaborate – Invite anyone to collaborate on your contract for free – you control editing rights.
  • Create favorites – Create “Favorites” at the click of a button from ConsensusDocs contracts that have been modified to meet your unique needs.
  • Convert and compare – Comparison tools allow you to easily see changes from one document version to another.

Find out more and save on your contract documents:

  1. Use your NTCA-ConsensusDocs Member Discount Code
  2. Visit www.consensusdocs.org (link is external)
  3. Or contact ConsensusDocs at (866) 925-DOCS(3627) or [email protected]

 

NTCA Benefit Box

My Plan It Traveler:

Vacations at a deep discount

Getting valuable time away with family and friends — or even traveling to industry events to enrich your knowledge of the industry and network with likeminded people — can be costly, when you add up airfare, hotel, car rentals and more. But My Plan It Traveler is a new travel benefits partnership, offered free for all NTCA members (a $49/year value), that helps you trim your travel costs and keep more money in your pocket to enjoy on your time away.

MyPlanITraveler.com is a next-generation, travel membership site that provides wholesale pricing on hotel stays, vacation resorts, car rentals, cruises and travel activities.

As a member you will find insider deals not available to the public, on world-class brands like Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Wyndham, Disney, Hertz, Avis, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and much more. And, there are no blackout dates and no restrictions.

With advanced search technology, MyPlanItTraveler.com finds you the lowest public price on the web and displays it so you can see the amazing savings and value your exclusive membership has to offer. With your signature membership, you will find rates up to 35% lower than what’s available on popular travel sites.

Your free My Plan It Traveler membership entitles you to exclusive access to deep discounts on hotels, car rentals, cruises and tons of fun family activities!You can also earn rewards for shopping online.

My Plan It Traveler offers deals on over 400,000 hotels and resorts, 8,000 car rental locations, theme park and excursion activities, guaranteed lowest rates and a 100% money back guarantee policy!

You can also upgrade your free annual membership anytime after you register for only $69 (That’s $30 off the regular price). With your upgrade, you will be able to basically double your savings.

So, no more searching countless websites for the lowest price on travel. No more second-guessing your deal.  Join the club. The My Plan It Traveler benefit through NTCA will take good care of you.

For more information, visit www.myplanittraveler.com/ntca.

NTCA Benefits Box – April 2017

NTCA’s State Ambassador program – 132 strong at last count – has evolved over the last few years from its State Director program.

These “ambassadors” represent the NTCA and assist trainers at local NTCA Tile & Stone Workshops, recruit and recommend contractors for membership, work with local distributors in circulating NTCA brochures, applications and posters in their locations, and welcome and support new members. They also provide current industry news from their local area, which is often covered in TileLetter magazine or at tileletter.com online.

The intent of this group is to form a strong, supportive web of NTCA members that support the tile trade and all NTCA members in the local area. They also positively promote qualified labor, certification, the NTCA, and the tile industry as a whole.

Many of the State Ambassadors are installers themselves, but some are manufacturer reps who cover more than one state. Active in this program are: Ardex Americas, Bostik, Daltile, HB Fuller, MAPEI and wedi.

State Ambassadors are also NTCA’s eyes and ears in the local market, and gather information and ideas that can help NTCA better serve local contractors.

Visit NTCA at www.tile-assn.com and search for “2017 State Ambassadors” or use this shortened link to take you directly to the list of State Ambassadors: http://bit.ly/2o8gmLe.

NTCA Benefits Box – March 2017

Benefits Box: Marketing and Contractor Safety Programs

Among the plethora of programs offered by membership in the NTCA, are two options that have an immediate benefit for your business: The NTCA Marketing Program and the NTCA Contractors Safety Program.

Marketing Program

Want to promote your business but not sure where to start and what to say? NTCA has developed a package of professional marketing tools specifically designed to promote the contractor’s services. This affordable program can be tailored for your residential or commercial clients.

 

 

NTCA Contractors Safety Program

Wondering why you need a safety program? An active safety program is necessary to bid or secure work, and avoid costly interruptions to company operations. It can allow you to reduce insurance and worker compensation costs, while helping to improve employee attitude, morale and reinforce a feeling of teamwork. An active safety program can also help cultivate quality employee applicants.

Of course, one of the key reasons to invest in a safety program is to reduce on-the-job accidents, improve overall quality and reduce the need for training replacement personnel.

The NTCA Contractor Safety Program is different from other safety programs because it was created to meet the specific needs of tile contractors.  It was developed by NTCA in cooperation with Jim Isaminger of D.M.I. Tile and Marble in Birmingham, Ala.  Programs are tailored for business sizes between 1-10 employees, 11-20 employees, 21-30 employees, and those companies with 31 and more employees. Receive a $100 discount for just being an NTCA member.

For more information on these and other benefits, contact assistant executive director Jim Olson at [email protected] or call 612-788-4726. Or view all NTCA membership benefits at http://www.tile-assn.com/?page=Membership.

NTCA Benefits Box – January 2017

benefitsboxNTCA offers two “partner” programs in its package for members: PartnerShip® and Partnering for Success

PartnerShip

partnershipPartnerShip, the endorsed shipping management provider of NTCA, offers shipping discounts to all NTCA members on select FedEx® services, as well as savings on less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipments arranged through PartnerShip. This program is FREE to all NTCA members, with no minimums required.

Members can request a no-obligation free quote for standard or guaranteed LTL (less-than-truckload) services from PartnerShip freight broker. The service works with the reputable LTL carriers, including: AAA Cooper, Estes Express, FedEx Freight, Dayton Freight, Old Dominion, New Penn, Pitt Ohio, R+L Carriers, Reddaway, Southeastern, UPS Freight, YRC Freight and many more!

Services also include full or partial truckload (dry van, flat bed, step deck, refrigerated, etc.). PartnerShip employs a stringent carrier review process and has access to thousands of the top truckload freight carriers across North America.

If you need to ship to a trade show, PartnerShip can help with this as well, as it can arrange great shipping rates with leading exhibit freight carriers. The company has a relationship with UPS Freight and YRC Freight and, if needed, can secure other carrier options as well.

Interested in learning more about PartnerShip or becoming a NTCA member? Contact assistant executive director Jim Olson at 612-788-4726 or email [email protected]

Partnering for Success

NTCA’s Partnering for Success benefit virtually pays you to be a member! Leading installation material manufacturers have invested in NTCA members by offering same-as-cash vouchers for valuable products you use every day – $1,800 worth of vouchers to be exact. This enables contractor members to experience all NTCA has to offer and actually MAKE money as an NTCA member when using Partnering for Success vouchers.

Participating manufacturers authorize NTCA to provide vouchers for their products that can be redeemed by NTCA contractor members, directly from the manufacturer or through any participating distributors. A total of $1,800 in vouchers is provided in contractor membership packets in these product categories: backer board, setting and grouting materials, membranes, cleaning and sealing materials, tools, floor heating systems, and ceramic tile.

In 2017, Home Depot will accept vouchers from QEP, Custom, and James Hardie.

Participating manufacturers for 2017 include: Alpha Professional Tools, American Olean, Aqua Mix, ARDEX, ATR Leveling, Bellota, Blanke, Ceramic Tool, Composeal, Contractors Direct, Custom Building Products, Daltile, Dependable Bagging, Emser, Flextherm, Florida Tile, LATICRETE, MAPEI, MAPEI Ultracare, Marazzi Tile, Mark E. Industries, Metropolitan Ceramics, MLT, NAC Products, National Gypsum/Permabase, Noble Company, NTCA Store, NTCA University, Nuheat, Oceancare, Porcelain Plus Speed Bit, Proflex, QEP, Rubi Tools, Schluter, Sun Touch, TEC Specialty, Texrite, The Home Depot, Trending Accessiblity, Trimaco, USG, VanHearron, Warmly Yours and wedi. Select the vouchers you want for the products you use or have been meaning to try. Vouchers are either used as cash, good for discounts or provide rebates on purchased products, depending on the manufacturer. For information, contact Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, at 612-788-4726 or [email protected]

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