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].

NTCA COMPLETES FIRST YEAR OF APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has completed the first year of related content for its Apprenticeship Program. Year one of the two-year online training program is composed of 64 courses that serve as an introduction to the tile industry, beginning with the basics of cutting, mixing and grouting, and moving to surface preparation, underlayment application and other installation processes.

With 500 enrollments for the first year of curriculum, these courses are intended to support contractors in training by serving as a training resource for employees who are new to the industry, or as the related learning for the contractor’s Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program.

In addition to proper training for new hires, these courses may also serve as continued education for tile professionals who would like to refresh their memory on basic knowledge of the industry. “When we started developing these courses, I knew very little of the actual tile installation process including materials, tools, and all of the steps required before installing tile,” said NTCA Training & Education Coordinator Becky Serbin. “We worked with experienced contractors and manufacturers to simplify the courses so that someone such as myself, who is new to the installation process, would be able to understand industry terminology, and apply course information on the job.” The second year of the Apprenticeship Program is under development, and will continue to be announced in six month increments and be available for viewing and purchase online as each course is completed.

For more information regarding the apprenticeship program, please contact NTCA Training & Education Coordinator Becky Serbin at [email protected], or visit www.tile-assn.com.

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 University Update

By Becky Serbin, NTCA training and education coordinator

We have had several members asking why they should purchase NTCA University.  Here are a couple of testimonials on how others are finding it valuable.  Both Mike, a business owner who has registered some of his employees on his site, and Dan – who is relatively new to the industry – are looking for education. Here’s what they have to say about NTCA University:

Mike Degiusti, Terra-Mar, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla., a NTCA Five Star Contractor

“For those of you who are looking for more knowledge of the tile trade and business, I encourage you to look at the NTCA University. After months of procrastinating I finally started the program…and was surprised at how much info there was. The program covers a lot of topics. I will say maybe every module is not for everyone but there are definitely some topics for everyone.

“The beauty is one cost for as many employees you have and you can do it as you have time. In fact while I was watching one of the modules yesterday two of my people came in saw what I was viewing and said they wanted to do it.

“Just a side note for those that don’t know me, I am not saying you have to do it to be a good tile setter. I just think you should check it out. I have been in the tile business in every aspect for over 50 years and I learn all the time. It takes a lot to impress me and this program does. Thank you for reading this and I hope everyone has a great year.”

Mike Diguisti

Dan Heinlein, apprentice for Kerber Tile, Marble and Stone, a NTCA Five Star Contractor in Shakopee, Minn.

Heinlein, who happens to be the son of Mark Heinlein, NTCA technical trainer and presenter, recently entered the tile industry after working in the culinary field. He’s been working as an apprentice since December 2016.

Heinlein explained, “I decided to go into tile setting because it’s a field of construction/measuring with decorative/artistic application. To me it seems like a reasonable balance of the two aspects. I decided to take the NTCA courses simply to have a credible background with working experience, and to keep the wheels churning off the clock.

“I’ve been studying NTCA University online, and these certificates are available at the end of each section for the apprentice stages (0-6 months),” he added. “I’ve taken the 0-6months courses, and the other part I’m getting ready to engage in. The first section of courses was really helpful when confronted with the application of grouting knowledge.”

    

 

Dan Heinlein proudly displays all the certificates he’s earned in NTCA University for the 0-6 month courses. 

Dan Heinlein (far right) with father Mark Heinlein (center right) during a recent visit. Also pictured at left are Dan’s sister Megan and her fiancee Colin Pugh.

No matter your skill level or number of years in the business, there is always something new to learn, something you may have for gotten, or you could just be looking for a refresher on a topic.

Interested in NTCA University? Click on NTCA University at the NTCA webpage, www.tile-assn.com, or contact me at [email protected]

NTCA University Update

Finisher courses benefit anyone new to the industry

By Becky Serbin, Training and Education coordinator

While we work to finalize the 6 – 12 month Finisher courses, let’s take a look at two introductory modules: Bonding Materials, and Grout.  Since both of these products will be used on most, if not all, tile projects, each course will have more in-depth information available in future NTCA University modules. You may want to either just stick with the basics, or group some of the more advanced courses together with the introductory information.

Bonding Materials

The Bonding Materials module introduces the learner to terminology and all types of bonding materials that they may see on the job.  And since the terminology can be confusing due to the fact that contractors can use multiple names to describe a product, we made sure that the ANSI standard and product name are both introduced so that there is no confusion for the learner.   We even explained where to find the ANSI standard on the product so they can make sure they are mixing the correct product for the job.  We provided a description of each bonding material, the types of conditions it is typically used in, if there are any safety concerns that someone should know when working with the product, and basic mixing information.  Although your company may not use all types of bonding materials, we still included everything to make sure that the new learner has a comprehensive overview of what is currently available.

Grout

The Grout course introduces the learner to different types of grout. By the end of the module, he or she will have a basic understanding of when each is used.  Since we all know that grout can make or break the tile installation, we took the time to discuss factors such as joint size between tile, stain resistance, chemical resistance, intended use of space that is tiled, UV exposure, and color that could affect your grout choice.  

The learner is also taught the basics of prepping the surface before grouting, such as removing excess thinset and how to hold a float.  Then in future modules, learners are shown how to mix, apply, clean, and resolve issues for each type of grout.

And here is something else to keep in mind — just because these are called introductory Finisher courses – don’t doubt that these courses will benefit anyone that is new to the industry.  If you have someone working at a counter, physically calling on contractors, or new to the industry in some other position, these courses provide basic terminology and installation techniques that anyone should know if they interact with a tile contractor.

Remember, you can purchase your all subscription access by visiting the NTCA store.  Make sure that you are logged in to get your introductory pricing.  If you purchase this subscription, you will have access to all of the learning content, including anything new that is created through December 31, 2017.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 770-366-2566.

NTCA University Update

By Becky Serbin, NTCA training and education coordinator

This month we will be reviewing two Apprenticeship courses: the History of Tile, and an Introduction to Trims and Profiles.

History of Tile

The History of Tile course was very interesting to create, and it may not have been finished if we didn’t have the help of the Tile Heritage Foundation in putting the timeline and content together.  The course starts with an overview of world history and the creation of the tile industry as we know today by Herbert Minton in 1843.  The course then moves into reviewing tile styles and trends through different periods of time in U.S. history.  These include the Victorian Era, the Arts and Crafts Movement including American Bungalows, the Hispano Moresque Style – Byproduct of Spanish Colonial or Mediterranean-style Architecture, the Lean Era (a.k.a. Depression Years), the Utilitarian Era (a.k.a. Postwar Period) and finally, the Modern Era.  Within each time period, we take a look at how tiles were being made and have plenty of pictures to highlight the style.  The course then moves into predictions about  where the tile industry could go next.  Even though this course is part of the Finisher Apprentice program, it is beneficial for anyone who wants learn about the history of tile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The History of Tile course is a travelogue through world history and the creation of tile. Photos courtesy of The Tile Heritage Foundation.

Trims and Profiles

The trims and profiles course is also good for anyone who is new to the industry.  The learner is taught about the different types of trims and profiles, where each is used, and why.  It also reviews the different types of official names and job site names for these products.  For example, I learned that a “cove base” is well known as a “sanitary base” and there’s a need for this product to meet health department or building code regulations.  Once all of the ceramic trims and metal or plastic profiles are introduced, the course moves into how to make your own bullnose or trim pieces.

Trims and Profiles reviews the various ways to finish a tile installation, and how to make your own bullnose or trim pieces. Photos courtesy of Schluter and Crossville.  

Coverings courses

If you are planning a trip to Coverings this year, Mark Heinlein and I will be presenting a course on using online education and apprenticeship to improve company performance on Wednesday April 5th at 3:00 pm.  If you haven’t seen NTCA University, this is your chance to see how to use it and the courses that are currently available.

Remember, you can purchase your all subscription access by visiting the NTCA store.  Make sure that you are logged in to get your introductory pricing.  If you purchase this subscription, you will have access to all of the learning content, including anything new that is created through December 31, 2017.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 770-366-2566.

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 looking

forward 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.

NTCA University Update

Skill level courses for every type of employee

By Becky Serbin,  Training and Education Coordinator

By Becky Serbin,
Training and Education Coordinator

Last month I was happy to announce that the first six months of the Finisher Apprentice program had been completed. The functional wheel diagram shows that people can enter and leave training at various points in their career. If someone does want career development, there will be courses available based on their certain skill level. The wheel shows the job function for each type of employee.

  • Task – Finisher Apprentice
  • Skill – Setter Apprentice
  • Knowledge – Journey Setter
  • Value Asset – Master Setter
  • Lead – Foreman
  • Manage – Field Superintendent
  • Leading – Estimator or Project Manager
  • Succession – Upper Management

ntca-uAs we get ready for the holidays and the start of a new year, I wanted to take some time to tell you about the changes in the Training and Education Committee. Our goal has always been to have courses available for all skill sets but all of my time has been devoted to apprenticeship. In order to get the advanced courses created, two new subcommittees have been created to help determine courses that are needed and to write the scripts for the courses. These two subcommittees were developed to ensure that we have continuing education available for everyone that would like to advance beyond a journey setter. The two subcommittees are CEU Technical and CEU Management.

CEU Technical subcommittee

The CEU Technical subcommittee is chaired by Rod Owen, of C.C. Owen Co. This group will be focused on creating courses for the journey setter, master setter, and foreman. Some of the categories will include new product training, documentation, soft skills, and field risk management.

CEU Management subcommittee

The CEU Management subcommittee is chaired by Dirk Sullivan of Hawthorne Tile. This group will be focused on creating courses for field supervisors, estimators, project managers, and upper management. Some of the categories will include estimating, project management, and running a tile business. Depending on the size of your tile contractor business you could be wearing one hat or several. These courses will take into consideration all company sizes.

It does not matter if you leave your current company and go elsewhere or start your own business, because all of these courses will be designed so that you can continue your education when you are ready to learn. Or if you are content with your current position and do not want to pursue advancement, you are not required to keep moving along the wheel until you are a business owner.

The changes that were made to the Training and Education committee will add value in the long run to all of our contractors’ businesses. As with the apprenticeship courses, these will take a little while to develop but I am looking forward to working with both of the subcommittees in 2017 to create courses that can be used by everyone.

Remember, you can purchase your all-subscription access by visiting the NTCA store. Make sure that you are logged in to get your introductory pricing. If you purchase this subscription, you will have access to all of the learning content, including anything new that is created, through December 31, 2017.

Happy Holidays!
Becky  –  [email protected]

NTCA University Update – October 2016

bb-university-logoAre you considering the apprenticeship program?

As we continue to develop courses for the finisher apprenticeship program, I wanted to address some questions that contractors have had. If you are considering a program of your own, hopefully the following information will be useful for you.

By Becky Serbin,  Training and Education Coordinator

By Becky Serbin,
Training and Education Coordinator

Q: Do I have to have a Department of Labor (DOL) approved apprenticeship program?

A: No, this is your program to use as you wish. You can register it with the DOL if you wish or you can use the online courses to supplement training for your new hires and their on-the-job learning.

Q: If I have a DOL approved program, does the online learning take the place of the classroom learning?

A: With a DOL-approved apprenticeship program, you are required to have 144 hours of classroom training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job practical work each year. The first six months of online learning will make up approximately 10 hours of the classroom training, so you will still need to have classes with your apprentices. Some members are requiring their apprentices to take courses before the classroom training, while others are using it as a follow-up to make sure they retained what was learned in the classroom. Either way is acceptable since it is YOUR program. While we would be willing to offer suggestions, the NTCA has only developed the supplemental learning materials for you to implement as you see best for your company.

Q: Do I need to sign up each of my apprentices or can I just buy one program for everyone to view?

A: This again is your decision. If you have a DOL program then you may want to consider each individual being registered since there are tests at the end of each module. You can then use this information to track how well each individual is doing, and you can document that they have completed the course and the time it took them to complete each module. Or you can gather everyone in a group setting and view the course, then take the quiz together. Some contractors are even using these courses as part of the evaluation of each apprentice when they do performance reviews.

Q: Do I need computers in the office for the apprentices to take the courses?

A: No. As long as they can log into their NTCA account, they will be able to access NTCA University from any computer, tablet, or phone so they don’t need to be in the office to learn. As long as they have internet access, they can take modules.

Visit the NTCA store at www.tile-assn.com to see the current listing of courses. If there is a course that you would like to see or if you are unsure of the types of courses available, please send me an e-mail at [email protected] or call me at 770-366-2566.

university

NTCA University Update – September 2016

By Becky Serbin,  Training and Education Coordinator

By Becky Serbin,
Training and Education Coordinator

NTCA_UniversityNew pricing structure for NTCA members and non-members

Thank you to everyone who has been providing feedback on NTCA University. Based on that feedback, we decided to make some changes to the pricing structure of the University. We are offering introductory pricing that will include everything in the University, including the Apprenticeship Program. As we continue to develop content and build NTCA University into a premier site, we wanted to offer this pricing so that you can begin to explore and learn.

  • Contractor Members: $99 per company
  • Associate/Affiliated Members: $199 per company
  • Non-NTCA Members: $499 per company
  • All subscriptions expire on December 31, 2017*

Please make sure that your NTCA company profile information is correct, up to date, and includes names and e-mail address of all of your employees that you would like to include on your NTCA University subscription. We will then use this list from your profile to provide your employees access to the University courses.

With your subscription, you are able to watch and learn from any courses within the University, as many times as you want during your subscription. And as more courses are added in the University, you will have access to them, too.

uni-01As long as you are able to log into your NTCA account, you will be able to access NTCA University from any computer, tablet, or phone so you don’t need to be in the office to learn. If you want to take a course at home on your couch or while on vacation sitting at the beach, as long as you have Internet access, you can learn.

Visit the NTCA store at https://tile-assn.site-ym.com/store/default.aspx? to purchase your NTCA University subscription. Please note that if you are purchasing the subscription for your company, the primary NTCA contact for the company must be the account from which the purchase is made. We will then work with the primary contact to establish all the correct contact information for employees who will be enrolled in the University.

*If you purchase the all access subscription on the member pricing, in order to maintain your access to the site until December 31, 2017, you must also keep your membership active through 2017.

If there is a course that you would like to see available or if you are unsure of the types of courses available, please send me an e-mail at [email protected] or call me at 770-366-2566.

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