What made it so special, you ask?
This is the fourth year NTCA has been responsible for the tile contactor education track and with the help of the NTCA State Ambassadors, we created quite a buzz around the conference hall. The NTCA booth was much larger, and featured lounge areas for networking and impromptu contractor roundtable discussions. The State Ambassadors worked the booth for the most part and signed up several new members. The Ambassador Reception and Dinner was very well attended by contractors who were excited to be there and exchange ideas and information.
The Board of Directors meeting started out with an update of the NTCA Strategic Plan by executive director Bart Bettiga. The great news here is that the two-year Finisher program will be completed and available on-line at the NTCA University website by Coverings this year. The two-year Installer program is on track to be complete by the end of 2018. If you haven’t seen this tremendous learning tool, I encourage you to contact Becky Serbin, Training and Education Coordinator for a preview (see NTCA University Update on page XX of this issue).
Another major initiative that started at the end of 2016 is the hiring of Kevin Insalato, of California Flooring in Manteno, Ill., to work with Scott Carothers and CTEF. His major responsibility is to train and certify Regional Evaluators who will administer the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) examination. Kevin has nearly tripled the number of evaluators across the country and is seeking more qualified individuals. Our goal is to see the current number of 1,300 CTIs grow well into the thousands by the end of 2018.
Next up, the Subcommittee reports
The Training and Education committee, chaired by Dave Rogers, of Welch Tile & Marble, Kent City Michigan, now has five subcommittees as follows:
- Safety – Chaired by Robert Showers. This committee is working on documents to be made available to all NTCA members as a resource for safety training, OSHA-approved safety programs and up-to-date changes in regulations and how they might impact our trade.
- Promotion – Chaired by Paige Smith. This committee is working on initiatives to promote CTI and specific hot topics in distributor showrooms, along with talking points for workshops.
- Certification – Chaired by Sam Bruce. This group is working hard to write scripts and study aids for those preparing to take the CTI exam. Its goal is to see those who possess the skills and knowledge increase their success rate by being properly prepared for the exam.
- CEU Programs for Management – Chaired by Dirk Sullivan. This group is working to provide programs and educational study guides for advancement in all areas of management.
- CEU Technical – Chaired by Rod Owen. This group is developing scripts for educational videos to be used in training field foremen and superintendents.
These committees have now held two in-person meetings — at Total Solutions Plus (TSP) and TISE West — along with many conference calls and video conferences showing their commitment to grow the value of membership in the NTCA. There were nearly 100 industry professionals in attendance at the Board of Directors meeting, and it is very exciting to see so many new faces taking leadership roles within the association.
The Technical Committee, Membership Committee, Methods and Standards Committee and Convention and Planning Committee also gave reports along with an update on the NTCA Five Star program from new Five Star Program director, Amber Fox.
As always, I invite your involvement and feedback and I look forward to seeing you at Coverings in April.
Keep on tiling!
Martin Howard, NTCA President
Committee member, ANSI A108