Learning to use industry publications: ANSI manual and TCNA Handbook

Becky Serbin,
Training and Education Coordinator

When we first started to develop NTCA University, I reached out to several contractors for feedback on courses that their company needed. Several contractors asked for courses on how to use the ANSI standards and TCNA Handbook. As we started to develop courses for new tile setters, these were near the top of the list as required courses. Courses on both topics were recently added to NTCA University.

Two ANSI standards courses

There are currently two courses covering the ANSI book: Introduction to ANSI A108.01 and Introduction to ANSI A108.02. Neither course reviews word for word all of the information found in each standard, but both courses highlight the type of information that can be found there. We are hoping that these courses will get learners to understand the type of information that these standards contain and get them to open the ANSI book to see all of the information that is useful to every tile installation.

Two TCNA Handbook courses

There are also two courses available on the TCNA Handbook. The first course is TCNA
Handbook
Specifications Section. This course focuses on the information found in the section titled Using
the TCNA Handbook for Specification Writing
, pages 48 – 50 of the 2017 edition. This course uses actual methods in the Handbook to show where the information from components of an installation method can be found and used by the tile setter. While the course is mainly focused on this area, it does review all items found in this section of the actual book. 

The second course is How to Find/Use TCNA Handbook Methods. Many people have told me that it is difficult to find the method they want to use. In this course, we review what information is available in a method number, why methods don’t always appear numerically, and different ways that you can search for methods within the Handbook.

Even though all of these courses are recommended for the start of a tile setter’s career, anyone that has been in the industry will benefit from taking these courses, especially if they feel intimidated by the books and never open them. Also, these courses could be taken by someone who is planning to take the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) test. These courses are a good way to get someone to open each publication and explore the type of information that is available.

To purchase your subscription to NTCA University, visit the NTCA store at https://tile-assn.site-ym.com/store/ListProducts.aspx?catid=490398 or http://bit.ly/2taYmOO to make your selection. If you have any questions or ideas for courses that we should have available, please give me a call at 770-366-2566 or send an email to [email protected].

Installation companies applaud benefits of NTCA University online courses

Becky Serbin,
Training and Education Coordinator

I am always asked how people are using the online NTCA University courses, how they like the courses, what type of feedback I am hearing, etc. So this month I reached out to 10 companies for feedback. With everyone’s busy schedules, I didn’t hear back from everyone but here is the feedback that I did receive.


“We are excited that the finisher courses on NTCA University are 100% complete. We have made the training a part of our orientation process as well as making it available to our existing employees. It is a great tool to introduce new hires to the trade, as well as a great supplement to the hands-on training existing employees are already receiving. We have also assigned some of the training to our showroom sales team to increase their knowledge of product and processes that are used in the field. We believe that continuing education is what sets us apart. The feedback from the team has been very positive.”

Sally Perez,
Human Resource Director,
Visalia Ceramic Tile, Inc.


“At Hawthorne Tile we’ve been really excited about the NTCA University. We feel that education is the most valuable asset we can pass on to our employees. I’m in charge of the education of our apprentices, and being able to customize the courses we have them take based on both skill set and the projects that they’ll be working on has been really helpful. I’ve been going through taking courses myself and have been very impressed with the thoroughness of each course. There is valuable information on there for everyone, from the day-one apprentice to management. This is something our trade has been lacking and I’m excited to see it come to fruition.”

Ryan Willoughby,
Project Foreman,
Hawthorne Tile


“I subscribe to NTCA University because we started this business just over a year ago and, well, – let’s face it – we had A LOT to learn. We joined the NTCA, as I am a big believer in following procedures and standards and want to leave my customers with the peace of my mind that I do indeed know what I’m doing and deserve to get the prices I quote.

“I’m currently taking Tile Standards, Just in Time and Cleaning Agents and Maintenance. I love the courses! Educational, cost effective, and convenient. Just one of the benefits this offers tile installers: an opportunity to actually learn how to do things the ‘right way.’ This only makes you better at your job.”

Tracey Guile,
Flawless Floorz


Since Flawless Floorz is new to NTCA, I reached out further to ask what types of courses she may need. And Tracey’s response was, “I have not looked through the course list in detail but one of the biggest problems I have is estimating, so I’d like a guideline to follow from measurement to preparing the estimate. Also, how to deal with all the online ‘find a (fill in the blank)’ services they have everywhere.” This is the type of feedback that I need from all members. In fact, the Training and Education Committee is working on courses for estimating that will be published soon.

To purchase your subscription, you can visit the NTCA store at https://tile-assn.site-ym.com/store/ListProducts.aspx?catid=490398 or  http://bit.ly/2taYmOO to make your purchase. If you have any questions or ideas of courses that we should have available, please give me a call or send me an email. 770-366-2566 or [email protected]

IMI/TCAA Tile Marble Terrazzo Seminar Series Kicks Off

The first event in the Tile Marble Terrazzo Seminar Series kicked off in St. Louis Mo last month. The Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA) and the International Masonry Institute (IMI) developed an educational seminar series is aimed toward providing architects, designers and tile contractors an opportunity to earn continuing education credits. The half-day program included seminars and exhibits, with attendees earning credits toward AIA, GBCI, IDCEC and Trowel of Excellence programs.
Scott Conwell from IMI welcomes everyone to the event.

Nearly 70 architects, designers and contractors attended the event which was held at Maggie O’Brien’s Restaurant and Irish Pub.  NAC had a table top exhibit and attendees heard presentations from industry experts about tile, stone, terrazzo and resinous flooring.  Steve Hanlon from Hanlon Tile, LLC in St. Louis walked away with a $250 gift certificate from NAC Products.

The next stop on the tour is April 12 at the AGC Building in Seattle, WA, click here to register.  The rest of the series will feature stops in Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. To see the list of cities and dates, for more information and to register, visit www.imiweb.com or www.tcaainc.org.

NTCA, industry sources support CEFGA Career Expo and SkillsUSA competition

On March 22 and 23, the local tile industry came together at the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia’s (CEFGA) Career Expo and SkillsUSA competition, held at the Georgia International Convention Center.

Organizers and supporters of the tile portion of CEFGA’s Career Expo/SkillsUSA

Local NTCA Five Star Contractors Rod Owen, C.C. Owen Tile, and Woody Sanders, DW  Sanders Tile & Stone, gathered area companies to support the effort by donating material and/or time. They included the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), Specialty Tile Products, Inc., John Roberts Design LLC, Custom Building Products, Inc., LATICRETE International, Schluter Systems, Barwalt Tools, Steve Young (Steve Young & Associates), Interceramic, A Tile Experience, and the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).

 

 

Focus on installation

6,500 students registered to participate in the CEFGA career expo.  In past years, students were able to make their own mosaic art pieces from tile.  This year, the focus was on showcasing the tile installation process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sanders Tile & Stone employees Jamie Desarno, Ben Garland, and Omar Trujillo worked with students to set tile on three benches that will be showcased at Coverings 2018.  On the first day, they worked with students to cut and set tile.  The second day, they explained and demonstrated the grouting process.

New this year at the Career Expo, students were able to register and interview with potential employers. Owen and Sanders met with many faculty members to discuss potential tile setter training in school construction programs; they met with many students who were interested in tile industry after graduation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 of 12 students registered for the SkillsUSA tile competition completed the challenge.  Due to the ease of finishing the test module last year, the test was changed this year to a larger size that incorporated more challenges such as applying sealant to all joints.  The skill level of the competitors ranged from no experience, to working as a helper on tile projects, to competing in tile at SkillsUSA last year.  While everyone didn’t finish, they were graded on what they had completed.  Winners were determined by the scores of hands-on work combined with answers to a quiz on tile installation.

Winners included: Martin Sanchez from Griffin High School, first place; Christian Mendoza from Kennesaw Mountain High School second place; and Nathaniel Selby from Shaw High School, third place.

The competition winners (l. to r.): Nathaniel Selby, Shaw High School, 3rd place; Martin Sanchez, Griffin High School, 1st place; Christian Mendoza, Kennesaw Mountain High School, 2nd place.

Since many people have inquired about starting a SkillsUSA competition in their states, winning test modules/benches are planned  to be displayed at Coverings 2018, depending on available show space and how well the completed modules travel.  —  Becky Serbin, NTCA Training and Education Coordinator

NTCA University Update – March 2018

Primer: format change at NTCA University

Three ways to find the courses you want

By Beck Serbin, Training and Education Coordinator

I was going to dedicate this month to providing feedback from users but I have had so many questions with the format change that I thought I would address those first.

As you may remember, courses were broken out into six-month segments for new hires, but I received so much feedback of “I can’t find the course I want” or “We only do residential” or “We just want our employees to take a few courses in each segment,” that I listened. As a result, we no longer have the six-month segments listed. Instead, every course is listed individually. Even though courses are listed individually, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t offering you some direction on which courses to take or tell your employees to take.

There are actually three ways to find courses. Let’s assume that you are a tile installer with a new hire; you can click on the introductory courses on the home-page of NTCA University. This opens into an Excel spreadsheet and lists all of the courses in six-month segments. You can then tell your new hire to follow the courses as listed or move courses around or delete courses that may not pertain to your company. And as new introductory tile setter courses are added, they will be added to this spreadsheet.

Keyword search

The other two ways to find courses can be found on the subscription tab. The first is a keyword search. So if a word is in the title of the courses, description, or keywords then it will appear. All courses have keywords associated with them that you can do a search on to see what is available. For example, if you search for grout, you will find several different grout courses, then you can scroll through and find the type of grout you wanted to learn about.

Category search

The third way to find courses is by clicking on a category. For example, if you are a beginner tile installer, you can click on “beginner” and all courses that have been tagged will be listed. Then you can decide what you would like to take. Or if there is a management course that you would like to take, click on the type of course and if one is available it will be listed.

To purchase your subscription, you can visit the NTCA store at https://tile-assn.site-ym.com/store/ListProducts.aspx?catid=490398 or http://bit.ly/2taYmOO to make your purchase.  If you have any questions or have ideas of courses that we should have available then please give me a call or send me an e-mail: 770-366-2566 or [email protected].

New Facebook group established for Spanish-speaking tile installers/Se ha establecido una nueva página en Facebook para instaladores de habla hispana.

Luis Bautista

In NTCA’s continuing effort to promote information, education, camaraderie and networking among tile installers, NTCA’s Technical Trainer Luis Bautista recently established a Facebook page dedicated specifically to Spanish-speaking tile installers.  The Latin Tile Masters page is a closed group that can be accessed here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1631338940290425/.

“Our purpose for creating this group is to help every installer be a master professional who installs with excellence, and to provide a place to share andlearn together to implement best practices and standards in the industry as set forth by TCNA, NTCA, CTEF and others,” Bautista said. “If you are an installer or involved in the tile industry we invite you to join us in developing mastery in our field and having a good time while we do it.”

Visit the page to join, or if you have questions, contact Luis at [email protected].

 


 

El esfuerzo continuo de NTCA es de promover información, educación y conexiones entre los instaladores, y Luis Bautista, entrenador técnico de NTCA,  recientemente estableció una página en FaceBook dedicada especialmente a instaladores de habla hispana.
Latín Tile Masters es un grupo privado al que se puede acceder por aquí: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1631338940290425/.

“El propósito de crear este grupo es para ayudar a cada instalador a ser un maestro profesional con excelencia y para proveer un lugar para compartir nuestras experiencias y aprender juntos a implementar los estándares de la industria establecidas por TCNA, NTCA, CTEF y otros,” Batuista dice. “Si usted es un instalador de baldosas/azulejos de habla hispana o está involucrado en la industria de cerámicas le invitamos a que se una con nosotros a adiestrarnos y al mismo tiempo divertirnos por este medio.”

Entre a la página para hacerse miembro, o si tiene preguntas , contacte a Luis en [email protected].

 

 

Chicago Floorcovering Association plans round table discussion on Floor Covering Installation Shortage

On February 22, 2018, the Chicago Floorcovering Association is planning a round table discussion as a first step in developing a task force to address the shortage of floor covering installers in the Chicagoland area.

The event will be held at Glendale Lakes Country Club, 1550 President Street, Glendale Heights, IL. Dinner will be provided. Retailers, distributors, contractors, manufacturers, installers, legislators and educators are all welcome.

There is no charge to attend, though RSVPs at [email protected] or 630-442-7094 are requested to help with planning. More information is available at chicagofloorcoveringassociation.com

Pat Zirkleback, incoming 2018 CFA president said, “As a former ceramic tile installer, I feel a personal commitment to lead the challenge to define, develop and implement a way to encourage and train flooring installers in Chicagoland. As as CFA President, I want to throw the entire weight of our organization into this and hep facilitate discussion and action!”

Plan to attend this important discussion, and add your wisdom and experience to the meeting.

 

NTCA University Update: NTCA completes year two of the DOL-approved five-year apprenticeship program

By Becky Serbin, Training and Education coordinator

In case you missed it, the big NTCA University news at The International Surfaces Event (TISE West) in Las Vegas was that we have completed two of the five years of courses for a new hire that are required for a Department of Labor (DOL) apprentice program.

And to catch you up on previous updates, we are developing five years of introductory courses for a new tile setter. If your company has a DOL-approved program, this means that the two-year finisher program is complete and we are starting to work on the three-year setter program.

The second year of courses build on knowledge that was gained in the first year. And we included several introductory management courses such as crew task management, introduction to communication, and controlling confrontations. These courses were included to support someone who has been on the job for two years to lead grout crews and assist new hires to learn the tasks at which they are proficient.

Even though these courses are being developed with the installer in mind, they aren’t meant SOLELY for a new finisher or setter. While there is a slant to the installer’s perspective, anyone working in the tile industry can benefit from taking these courses. For example, if you are a sales rep, do you understand the entire installation process? Do you know how your product fits in with all of the other steps? Or do you understand issues that may occur with an improper installation? All of these questions can be answered by taking these courses.

Remember that NTCA University now has key word search capabilities. Let’s say that you want to take a course related to epoxy grout. In the past you would have to scroll through all of the courses to look for that particular course; now you can search for epoxy and/or grout and find a list of courses that may meet your needs.

To purchase your subscription, you can visit the NTCA store at https://tile-assn.site-ym.com/store/ListProducts.aspx?catid=490398 or http://bit.ly/2taYmOO to make your purchase. If you have any questions or have ideas of courses that we should have available then please give me a call at 770-366-2566 or send me an e-mail at [email protected]

NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick heading to first 2018 NTCA Workshop in Anaheim

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick drove through Albuquerque, NM today on his way to the association’s first 2018 western swing workshop, located at Bedrosian’s in Anaheim, Calif., set for Wednesday night, January 17. He was able to connect with TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin, based here,  for a quick lunch at Albuquerque’s famed Owl Café, before continuing his journey across New Mexico, Arizona and into California for the workshop.

NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick with TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin in Albuquerque, NM. Roderick drove through Albuquerque from his Missouri home on his way to present the first NTCA Workshop of 2018 at Bedrosians in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday, January 17.

The NTCA Workshop program has a new theme for 2018: Tile Matters: Best Practices for Pros. The three-hour program – most often held from 5 pm – 8 pm – includes an hour of networking and catered meal followed by two hours of all new educational presentations and interactive opportunities.

Each workshop will address:

  • OSHA silica dust regulations
  • Standards review
  • Showers/waterproofing
  • Sealants
  • Mortar coverage

This year, not only will participants to the free workshops benefit from the presentations and product/method demos by NTCA Trainer/Presenters, but there will be more opportunities for attendees to have real hands-on experience with the products and methods being discussed.

The following workshops are being held this week:

January 17  

Bedrosians

1515 Winston Road

Ahaheim, Calif.

714-778-8453

[email protected]

 

January 18

Bedrosians

1725 Hacienda Drive

Vista, Calif.

760-724-6400

[email protected]

 

In addition to Robb Roderick, workshops are being presented by NTCA Training Director/Trainer/Presenter Mark Heinlein and NTCA Trainer/Director Luis Bautista. CTEF’s Scott Carothers is presenting CTEF Educational Workshops as well, and kicked the year off with one at Floor & Decor in Buford, Ga., on January 4th.

For more information about workshops and new members-only Regional Training Programs coming to a location near you, visit http://www.tile-assn.com/events/event_list.asp?show=&group=&start=11%2F4%2F2014&end=&view=&cid=12716

or http://bit.ly/2B4uG9J.

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 2017: NTCA UNIVERSITY UPDATE – 2018 NTCA University pricing includes free option for single contractor members

Thank you to everyone who took advantage of the introductory offer
for NTCA University. This offer gave your company access to NTCA
University through the end of 2017. We received a lot of feedback from members – some positive and some negative – but we listened to everyone and took all of this into consideration when we were developing pricing for 2018.
Below is pricing for all members – contractors or manufacturers – based upon the number of users they would like to have taking courses on the site.

• 1 – $50
• 2 – $99
• 3-15 – $149
• 16-50 – $199
• 51-100 – $299
• 101-150 – $399
• 151-200 – $499
• 201 or more – call for pricing
Free access for one-person shops Remember that NTCA now has a $50 voucher for the NTCA store that contractors can choose as one of their Parnering for Success vouchers. So let’s say that you are a one-person shop and choose to use the $50 voucher for access to NTCA University.

This means that you will have access for free to the site for the whole year. You’ll see this purchase option on the NTCA store as we get closer to the end of the year. And for those of you that want to pay your membership dues and NTCA University access together, we are currently looking into giving you this option when we mail out renewal notices at the end of the year.
As we get closer to completing two years of introductory courses and the development of our setter courses, we will continue to add courses to the site that you can use to train your employees. We have three sub-committees within the Training and Education Committee working on developing content for NTCA University. If you are interested in working with one of these committees please let me know. We can always use a new perspective on the types of courses that should be developed.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].

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