Construction firms added 45,000 workers in December as the industrys unemployment rate declined to 7.5 percent from 8.3 a year ago, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the robust job gains come as a new industry outlook shows most firms expect to expand their headcount in 2016 amid growing private and public sector demand.

Based on what most contractors have reported, the robust hiring the industry has experienced during the past few months should continue through 2016,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. While contractors continue to be worried about labor shortages, regulatory burdens and health care costs, most expect growing demand for many types of construction will allow them to expand this year.”

Construction employment totaled 6,538,000 in December, the most since January 2009, and is up by 263,000 jobs compared to a year ago, a 4.2 percent increase. Residential construction increased by 23,100 in December and by 137,200, or 5.7 percent, compared to a year ago.  Nonresidential construction employers added 21,200 jobs for the month and 125,400 jobs compared to last December, a 3.2 percent increase.

Within the nonresidential construction sector, nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 11,300 employees in December and 95,300 for the year.  Nonresidential building contractors added 5,100 jobs for the month and 9,900 jobs since December 2014.  And heavy and civil engineering construction firms added 4,800 jobs in December and 20,200 jobs during the past year.

December marks the third month of large increases in construction employment, the economist noted. The growth in construction employment comes as 71 percent of firms report they plan to expand their total headcount in 2016, according to the association’s 2016 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook. Simonson noted that more contractors report they expect spending on most market public and private segments to expand this year than contract.

Association officials noted that most contractors remain concerned about shortages of available construction workers, noting that 70 percent of contractors report having a hard time finding workers.  They urged federal, state and local officials to act on measures outlined in the association’s Workforce Development Plan to support new career and technical education programs. In particular, they called on Congress to enact needed reforms and increase funding for the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

“With the construction industry expanding at rates not seen since the downturn, public officials need to make sure we are encouraging and preparing students to consider high-paying careers in construction,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the associations chief executive officer. As our outlook makes clear, the industry is likely to continue expanding this year, as long as there are enough workers available for firms to hire.”

Student Portfolio Competition and Keynote Speakers Announced for ASID Student Summit

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 12, 2016) – The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) will welcome interior design students to LAUNCH: The ASID National Student Summit, hosted at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Feb. 26 – 28, 2016. Students will learn about the various career paths available with an interior design degree, as well as gain valuable insights on resumes, portfolios, networking and transitioning from student design to practice. In addition, the introduction of the ASID Student Portfolio Competition to the event is meant to generate and showcase the best collection of design projects from interior design students.

“LAUNCH has been designed to advance interior design students’ knowledge, increase their networking skills and offer professional resources meant to help them succeed in the profession,” said ASID CEO Randy Fiser. “We’re looking forward to an energizing and rewarding experience with our industry’s future leaders.”

As part of the ASID Student Portfolio Competition, students with top portfolios, judged in their entirety, will be invited to attend an exclusive student portfolio track at LAUNCH where they will work one-on-one with professionals to polish their resume, portfolio, and presentation skills. At the end of their exclusive track, students will be asked to present their portfolio to a distinguished panel of judges to receive in person feedback and be considered for a summer 2016 internship. Winners will be selected at LAUNCH and have the opportunity to present their portfolio to all LAUNCH attendees at the closing session.

To be eligible, entrants must be enrolled as a student as of Sept. 1, 2015. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 19, 2016. More details on evaluation criteria and cost to enter may be found here.

In addition, the full schedule will feature two keynotes delivered by accomplished designers and industry experts:

Brooke Traeger-Tumsaroch, ASID, Design Director at AvroKO (Bangkok, Thailand)
An NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer, and Past-President of the ASID Washington Metro chapter, Brooke Traeger-Tumsaroch serves as a Design Director for AvroKO’s Bangkok office, where she oversees more than 30 designers focused on Bespoke Hospitality projects.

Primo Orpilla, Co-Founder and Principal at Studio O+A
Primo Orpilla is the award-winning co-founder of Studio O+A, the San Francisco design firm responsible for groundbreaking workplace designs at Facebook, Levi-Strauss, Microsoft, Uber, and Yelp. O+A’s design of Giant Pixel and Yelp were included on Fast Company Design’s list of “10 Coolest Office Spaces of 2014,” and Uber was named as part of Interior Design’s “10 Most Popular Design Projects of 2014.”

Students planning to attend can take advantage of early bird pricing through Jan. 28, 2016; tickets are $195 for ASID members and $245 for nonmembers. The price of a nonmember ticket includes a one-year ASID student membership. Find more details on registration here.

LAUNCH: The ASID National Student Summit is sponsored by Kabuni, Sherwin-Williams, Steelcase, Benjamin Moore, Smith & Noble Pro, Hansgrohe, Wilsonart, Caesarstone, California Closets, The Tile Shop, Bellacor, SCAD, and Metropolis.

The Student Portfolio Competition is sponsored by Kabuni and Steelcase.


About ASID
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID was founded over 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates back to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at

Florida Tile opens Atlanta showroom

“We are here to bring to market our expertise and tile know-how but mostly our passion for beauty,” said Luca Setti, Florida Tile’s chief sales and marketing officer during the October 28, 2015 opening of the company’s newest showroom near Atlanta. Serving the region’s design-architect-and-contractor market, the new facility with six full-time employees features a 3,711-sq. ft. showroom with contractor area and 10,042 sq. ft. warehouse. The new Atlanta branch is located at 1455 Oakbrook Drive Suite 100, Norcross, Ga. 30093.

florida tile atlanta store ribbon cutting nov15

Celebrating the ribbon-cutting ceremony are (l. to r.): Debra Karschnik, design consultant; Brian White, branch operations manager; Michael Franceschelli, Florida Tile CEO; Kelly Petty, branch commercial sales manager; Dallyce Erickson, branch supply chain manager; Kevin Broderick, branch manager; Mike Vail, regional manager; Melinda Bredwood, branch administrator; Nick Johns, outside sales rep; Krisite Rymiszewski, national operations manager; Kristen Howard, branch commercial sales specialist; and Luca Setti, chief sales and marketing officer.


Ceramics of Italy Competition announces call for entries

The 2016 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now calling for entries. North America-based architects and interior designers are invited to submit innovative, sustainable, functional and beautiful recent projects featuring the use of Italian ceramic and porcelain tile. Projects can be new, renovated, domestic and international in the residential, commercial, and institutional categories — anything is game as long as they feature Italian tile and amazing design.

Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2016
There will be a winner and honorable mentions in each of the three categories, judged by an international jury of design professionals. Winners will receive a cash prize as well as trips to both North America’s premier tile and stone trade show, Coverings in Chicago, and the world’s biggest exhibition of tile and bathroom furnishings, Cersaie in Bologna, Italy.
The Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now in its 23rd year. The deadline for entries at is January 15, 2016.

Warmup Inc. exhibits at KBIS 2016, with suite of controls for Smart Home Heating

Warmup Inc. will be exhibiting at the Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) 2016 that will be held January 18-21, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC). Visit the company at stand N1750 (North Hall).

Warmup is excited to release its brand new suite of WIFI controls for Smart Home Heating. The 4iE will be on display with live access to the iOS/Android APP and MyWarmup portal. You will now be able to turn on your floor heating, towel warmers and mirror defoggers from your smartphone. The 4iE is compatible with Hydronic, Electric and Baseboard heating.

Following is a list of events at the Warmup  booth during KBIS 2016:

Warmup – Wedi joint cocktail & presentation

01/20/15 at 4.00pm, booth N1750– Regis Verliefde and Nick Felsing will present: “Smart Heating for Smart Homes”: an overview of the heating possibilities for today’s smart home.

“DesignBites” hosted by Scott McGillivray

01/20/15 at 12:30pm, KBIS NeXT Stage in the South Hall – Jon Burke, Head of Marketing of Warmup will introduce Warmup 4iE Smart-Wi-Fi Thermostat.

 Warmup “Voice of The Industry” presentation

01/20/15 at 4:30 p.m. -5:30 p.m. Block 8 – Mike Quintela, from Warmup Inc. presents:

“Heated Floors in the Bathroom and Beyond”. Heated floors are becoming an increasingly common option in bathrooms. This class will review various methods of installation and scope the products available on the market today.

Contact us for your free Expo Pass at: [email protected].

About Warmup Inc.: Warmup is the world’s best-selling floor heating brand, creating and delivering energy efficient heating solutions for the 21st century home. Active in over 60 countries, Warmup has pioneered extensive testing on radiant heating technologies and is the company behind the 3iE and 4iE suite of smart controls.

About WEDI:

wedi is essentially the founder of the market sector for tile substrate elements made from extruded rigid polystyrene foam. The key behind the success is the unique HCFC free rigid blue core of the wedi building board, which is totally waterproof and requires no additional moisture barrier.

wedi is a world recognized brand with offices in 32 countries and a 50,000 sq.m state of the art manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Emsdetten, Germany, and with dedicated UK offices and warehouse facilities in Rochdale near Manchester.

After 30 years of continual product development, “wedi building boards” in addition to their conventional use in wall and floor construction are being used to create the latest designs in high quality floor-level showers and wet rooms, bathrooms, leisure and wellness environments.


For more information, please visit

NTCA Partners with CCA Global Partners

Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) officially announced that his Association has joined forces with CCA Global Partners to bring education and technical expertise to its members.

This new ground-breaking partnership brings experience, expertise and a wealth of resources to CCA Global Partners’ Members. “It is an integral component of NTCA’s continuous mission to develop and maintain installation standards and to promote qualified labor.” stated Jim Olson, Assistant Executive Director at the NTCA. “Membership in the NTCA can provide the vehicle for CCA Global Partners members to receive ideal technical training and education needed to create highest quality results for satisfied customers… and, will result in increased use and consumption of tile and stone within our market.”

The NTCA will be on hand at the CCA Global Partners Semi-Annual Convention, January 6-10, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Partners are encouraged to stop by their exhibit and apply for membership at a discounted rate.

“The association with CCA Global will pave the way for NTCA to supply CCA’s members full membership benefits; from hands-on installation workshops and industry leadership conferences to marketing programs and free technical advice,” concluded, Bart Bettiga. “CCA Global Partners are an elite group of entrepreneurs that are always looking for innovative ways to serve their customers at a higher level… and, the NTCA is proud to be a part of that initiative.” 

About NTCA

NTCA is a non-profit trade association serving every segment of the industry, spearheading education for the professional installation of ceramic tile, natural stone and allied products. For more information, please contact NTCA executive director Bart Bettiga at [email protected], via telephone at (601) 939-2071, or visit Or, contact Terri Sparks at Communicators International, Inc.: 708-921-3517; [email protected]

About CCA Global Partners

CCA Global Partners, Inc. is a privately held cooperative based in the United States with member businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. For more than a quarter of a century, CCA Global has partnered with entrepreneurial business people to create a cooperative powerhouse unmatched in the marketplace. With 13 independent business brands and more than 2,700 locations, CCA Global Partners is well positioned to positively impact the success of independent businesses. For more information on CCA Global Partners, go to

Untitled CCA_global_and_others

Bostik, Inc. plans extensive rollout of surface prep materials at TISE: 12 new products hit the market

Bostik, Inc. (, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of adhesives and sealants, will be unveiling an extensive line of surface preparation materials at The International Surface Event (TISE) January 19-22 at The Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. These new products will debut at Bostik’s TISE exhibit #4534.

“This is a monumental product launch program for Bostik in the Americas region,” exclaimed Eric Kurtz, market manager – Hardwood, Resilient & Surface Preparation Systems. “Never before have we introduced 12 products at the beginning of the year! This is just another example of Bostik’s total commitment to the industry, and our increased focused on the commercial building sector.”

“After a far-reaching R&D program, we are ready to bring the industry four new self-leveling underlayments, two new repair patches, a new deep penetrating substrate primer and a new reinforcing fiber matrix,” stated Scott Banda, director of marketing for Bostik’s Consumer and Construction Business Unit. “Our new cement-based self-levelers will offer flooring contractors many benefits and advantages including: a range of price points; robust formulations that are easy to mix and apply; and our self-curing technology that enables the material to be walked on soon after it is poured — and finally, the ability to install tile, stone, resilient, wood and other floor coverings directly over them.”

All of the new Bostik Self Leveling materials have been formulated to cure rapidly, resulting in less down-time for installers, expediting schedules and job completion. This translates into more profits for them.

Banda added that a “hybrid, gypsum/cement-based underlayment” will also be introduced. “Other new Bostik Surface Preparation Products to be presented for the first time will include a Self-Leveling Tool kit and a Collomix Self-Leveler Mixer, engineered with the input of Bostik’s German affiliate. We have made a major investment in adding these new, premium products that ensure flooring contractors’ projects are easier to install and fast-curing so that surface finishes can be installed in a matter of hours… and, that they perform at levels surpassing competitors’ products. We invite all attendees of TISE to visit our exhibit # 4534 and see for themselves the many benefits to be gleaned from our new range of Surface Prep materials!”


Denver-based Design Materials Inc. Joins Crossville Tile & Stone distribution network

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. –Officials with Crossville, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Curran Group, have announced the company’s acquisition of all assets belonging to Design Materials Inc., a distribution business headquartered in Denver, Colo. Design Materials joins recently acquired CAPCO to strengthen Crossville’s position in the market. Operations will be folded into the existing company-owned distribution arm, Crossville Tile & Stone (CT&S). This will provide CT&S locations in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Greg Mather, president of Crossville Inc., states, “The acquisition of Design Materials, and previously announced CAPCO acquisition, provides us the scale to grow the Crossville brand in Colorado and New Mexico. Sue Ann and Calvin Guth have made Design Materials a leader in the market, establishing traditions of outstanding service to the marketplace. As a partner of DMI’s for many years, we well know the strengths of the team at Design Materials and look forward to continued success with the operation.”

The acquisition of Design Materials is effectively immediately.

Gov Beshear: Florida Tile Inc. Set to Expand in Lawrenceburg

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2015) – Florida Tile Inc., a manufacturer of porcelain tile, will expand its Lawrenceburg operation, adding 61 jobs through a $25.2 million investment, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.

“This expansion further cements Florida Tile’s presence in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “The company located its headquarters in Lexington five years ago because its leaders recognized the opportunities available to businesses in the Commonwealth. This expansion of its manufacturing and distribution operation in Lawrenceburg confirms the company made the right decision moving to Kentucky.”

The project will allow Florida Tile to add manufacturing lines and equipment at its existing manufacturing plant and a 215,200-square-foot expansion of its distribution center.

Florida Tile, founded in 1954 in Florida, is a subsidiary of Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.P.A., an Italy-based manufacturer and marketer of flooring tiles. Florida Tile is a major producer of glazed and unglazed porcelain wall and floor tile. The company also imports and distributes these products, as well as ceramic, natural stone, glass and metal tiles. Florida Tile has been headquartered in Lexington since 2010.

In the past five years, more than 80 percent of Kentucky’s announced new investment and 70 percent of new jobs have come from expansion of existing businesses. Over that time, 80 percent of those announcements and 55 percent of new jobs are in the manufacturing sector.

“Florida Tile’s proposed expansion is welcome news that speaks highly of our area’s dedicated, skilled workforce,” said Sen. Julian Carroll, of Frankfort. “We will benefit from the good jobs and even greater investment in our industrial base. This company has proven to be a good corporate neighbor in Anderson County and in Kentucky. I wish them continued success.”

“While the name of the company may be Florida Tile, they are firmly entrenched in the Bluegrass State with their manufacturing facility based in Lawrenceburg and their corporate headquarters in Lexington,” said Rep. James A. Tipton, of Taylorsville. “It’s because of that relationship and confidence in our workforce to produce quality products as the reasons why I believe Florida Tile is expanding in our region, and I applaud them for their decision.”

“The expansion of Florida Tile is a very positive testimony to the strong working relationship between the company and the community for many years,” said Sandy Goodlett, mayor of Lawrenceburg. “Florida Tile will benefit by continuing and expanding their production in a stable environment, and the community will benefit from the 60-plus well-paying jobs and the financial investment of Florida Tile. As mayor I look forward to working with Florida Tile in completing this expansion.”

“When a valued business partner like Florida Tile chooses to expand their operations right here in Anderson County, it is a testament of their commitment to the hard working families of our community,” said Anderson County Judge-Executive Orbrey Gritton.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $450,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, Florida Tile is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.

For more information on Florida Tile, visit

MAPEI supplies Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program with flooring-installation products for wounded hero’s smart home

Deerfield Beach, Florida – In support of a continuing series of specially-adapted custom smart homes that are being constructed for wounded heroes by the Gary Sinise Foundation ( through its R.I.S.E. program, MAPEI has supplied mortars, grouts and adhesives for installing tile and stone, wood, carpet and vinyl flooring in the home of U.S. Marines Staff Sergeant Jason Ross of Fallbrook, California.

Through the Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E. program, MAPEI has supplied mortars, grouts and adhesives for installing tile and stone, wood, carpet and vinyl flooring in the home of U.S. Marines Staff Sergeant Jason Ross of Fallbrook, Calif.

Through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program, MAPEI has supplied mortars, grouts and adhesives for installing tile and stone, wood, carpet and vinyl flooring in the home of U.S. Marines Staff Sergeant Jason Ross of Fallbrook, Calif.

“It is a privilege for us to work with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help soldiers like Jason return to a secure and rewarding life after their service in protection of our country,” said Jeff Johnson, Business manager for MAPEI’s Floor Covering Installation Systems.

MAPEI first became aware of R.I.S.E. (which stands for “Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment”) through the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) efforts to “play it forward” at the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo earlier this year. MAPEI has worked with NWFA for many years to promote the installation of wood flooring in homes and commercial projects, and welcomed the opportunity to support the association and local communities through R.I.S.E.

“We couldn’t be more proud to stand with NWFA members like MAPEI in honoring Staff Sergeant Jason Ross,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO. “Our partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program is about honoring veterans like Jason, who have sacrificed so much. NWFA members like MAPEI are in a unique position to provide products that can help make life for our wounded heroes more comfortable and functional.”

MAPEI will continue to support R.I.S.E. through the donation of installation materials for additional smart homes planned for construction in 2015 and 2016. The homes will be spread across the United States, including locations in Tennessee, Iowa, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and California.

Because MAPEI is a single-source supplier for the installation of all types of flooring, the company has volunteered to donate the installation materials for all of the floors in the smart homes. In addition to adhesives, finishes and care/maintenance products for wood, MAPEI produces surface-preparation products, mortars and grouts for tile and stone, as well as adhesives and installation accessories for carpet and vinyl flooring. MAPEI also has products that can be used to provide the basis for decorative concrete floors.

“We believe we have chosen a sound and effective way to support a very worthwhile cause,” Johnson said. “Due to our worldwide reputation for durable, sustainable products, we can provide a lasting contribution to homes for our returned heroes. The opportunity to work with the NWFA and the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. program has made it possible for us to ‘pay it back’ and ‘play it forward’.”

NTCA recently pledged to support R.I.S.E program of the Gary Sinise Foundation to give back to the community. Donor companies will supply tile and installation materials for wounded heroes’ smart homes and member contractors will step up to supply the labor for these specially-designed abodes.





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