NTCA Benefits Box – March 2018


NTCA offers numerous benefits for non-members

There are a tremendous number of benefits of being a NTCA member, not the least of which is the ability to participate in the new Members-Only Regional Training Programs touring the country right now.

However, NTCA offers a number of features that even benefit non-members. Any contractor or installer can attend one of the many free NTCA Workshops or CTEF Workshops that crisscross the country, bringing information and education to local markets. TileLetter magazine is free with a membership, but it can also be accessed online for free at tileletter.com or obtained for the price of mailing for non-members.

The NTCA Reference Manual, part of the triumvirate of industry documents that include the TCNA Handbook of Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and the ANSI manual, can be obtained by clicking on the link to the NTCA Online Store, located on the tile-assn.com home page. It brings you information about many tile issues in a problem-cause-cure format, and many other important resources that add to the success of your jobs.

Under the Education & Certification tab on tile-assn.com, you can access other free resources – Webinars (and archived webinars about an array of pertinent topics), free educational videos through NTCA’s YouTube channel, the NTCA Position Statement library, and Question Mark videos in which NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein answers common questions about tile installation and more. Non-members can also view our monthly TileTV video magazines at tile-assn.com website under News & Awards.

For more information about all the benefits of being a member, visit www.tile-assn.com/?page=Membership. Networking, camaraderie, support, technical advice, the ability to truly shape the industry and help learn and teach industry-approved installation practices are all some of the things membership in NTCA brings. Check it out today.

For more information on membership, contact Jim Olson at [email protected]

Newest NTCA member benefit: Zlien

One of NTCA’s newest member benefits is Zlien, a company that assists over 24,000 contractors nationwide in protecting lien rights and reducing financial risk.

Zlien’s mission is to empower successful construction projects by getting the lien rights “mess” out of the way. Zlien’s website (zlien.com) explains that “Mechanics lien and bond claim rights are connected to every payment in construction – a $960 billion a year industry. By helping material suppliers, lenders, and everybody in between easily manage these rights, we strive to facilitate successful projects, smooth payments, and happy people.
“Our mission is to enable all project stakeholders to protect their finances and succeed in their jobs, all without a drop of stress.”

Building a fair payment process for the construction industry, Zlien’s cloud-based platform makes lien rights easy. Construction firms, contractors, suppliers, and other project stakeholders nationwide use Zlien to eliminate the administrative headaches and legal guesswork associated with lien waiver exchanges, preliminary notices, and mechanics lien compliance.

Zlien employs what it calls “The Lien Genome™” that the site explains like this:

“Four out of 5 construction businesses believe that managing lien security and lien waivers is hard. It’s no wonder, since lien laws around the United States demand more than 100,000 combinations of deadlines, documents, dates, and other requirements. We’ve mapped this landscape of lien laws, calling it the Lien Genome™. With a few basic pieces of project information, the Lien Genome™ will instantly explain how to protect lien rights and exchange proper lien waivers. Our goal isn’t to help you understand lien laws. With zlien, you’ll never think about lien laws again.”

Visit the Member Benefits section of the NTCA website at www.tile-assn.com to find out more about how Zlien can help you. Interested in becoming a member to make the most of this and other member benefits? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] tile-assn.com.

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 CONTINUES CAREER DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS WITH APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

In an effort to provide online training to support tile contracting companies, the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) is in the process of completing the first year of its Apprenticeship Program. The first year, introduced at Coverings 2016, is broken into six-month increments. The first section focuses on introducing the worker to the tile industry, promoting safety in the workplace, the types of tools that will be used on a regular basis, and basic knowledge of mixing materials and how products are used together. The final phase of the first year of the program will go into further detail of installation processes like surface preparation and profiling.

The Apprenticeship Program was developed to attract people into the trade by demonstrating a clear path for them to be properly trained while they are employed and being compensated. The online program is intended to support contractors own training efforts on the jobsite. It serves as related learning for a Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program that a contractor provides, or any additional training for introductory employees including sales people, counter help at a distributor, or helpers. The program can also serve as a refresher course for those who haven’t had training or education in these areas in a while. Contractors can sign up for the program through NTCA University for an all-access subscription and can register any current or future employee.

According to Education and Training Coordinator Becky Serbin, the association will soon begin developing the second year of the program, which will include more in-depth knowledge of grouting techniques, waterproofing, transitioning into a tile setter helper role, and introducing the worker to management courses to provide training for individuals to manage their own finishing crew.

“While the content development has been slower than I originally expected, I have been working with contractors and manufacturers to ensure that the information we are providing can be used to give the next generation of mechanics the tools they need for successful tile installations,” Serbin said. “I’m lookingforward to the next year as we continue to grow NTCA University into a site that all tile installers can come to learn something new, no matter their skill level.”

NTCA is in the final stages of working out agreements with technical colleges about using this program as curriculum for the education portion of their classes. The next steps in development of the apprenticeship program will be a tile setter related learning program which will also be a two-year related training program. The curriculum will continue to be announced in six month increments, and will be available for viewing and purchase online as each course is completed.

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