Tailoring apprenticeship programs to suit your company

If you attended Coverings this year, you may have noticed a common theme was the desire/need for education. So it should come as no surprise that I get a chance to talk with a lot of new members about education and training opportunities available through NTCA.

Obviously, my first discussion item is NTCA University. The follow up question I often get is: “How can I use it in my company?” So, I wanted to take some time to review what other members are already doing so that you can use this information to help develop a program that is best for your company.


DOL-approved programs

The first thing that most contractors need to decide is if they want a Department of Labor (DOL) approved apprenticeship program. Even though NTCA University can be used as related content for an apprenticeship program, currently, the NTCA is not an actual DOL program provider. This means that if your company benefits from an approved apprenticeship program such as prevailing-wage projects, utilizing your state’s workforce commission to assist in finding workers or potentially utilizing a pre-apprenticeship program, or applying for and utilizing grant money to offset training costs, then you will need to work with your state DOL to apply for and register your training program.

Pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs

Currently, we have members who are utilizing pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. Members who have a pre-apprenticeship program work with local technical schools or workforce commissions to educate potential new hires. At the end of the program, contractor members offer apprenticeship programs within their companies to students they want to hire. Other members hire new employees directly into their apprenticeship program. We even have members in one region coming together to build a regional apprenticeship program and sharing the cost and training of the apprentices (See this month’s Training & Education story for details).

If you don’t think your company would benefit from a DOL-approved program, then you can always use NTCA University to supplement on-the-job learning. Let’s face it, once you are on the job for awhile, it’s easy to develop bad habits that shouldn’t be passed on to a new hire. These courses were developed referencing industry standards and best practices and may be taken by individual employees during or outside of the work day. This means that you can view courses in a group setting and discuss what was learned, or you can allow the individual to take courses and then follow up later to discuss what was learned.

Remember there isn’t just one way to train your staff or one program to employ. NTCA University was designed so that you can create a program that best fits your company’s needs.

Do you already have a training program in place? Please email me at [email protected] or call me at 770-366-2566 and let me know what you are doing. Members are always looking for new and/or different ideas they may be able to incorporate into their company. Remember this is an association for the contractor, and developing the next generation of tile setters is important to all of us.

Inventive Oregon contractors form co-op apprenticeship program

Program kicks off September 2018

Creativity is afoot when it comes to training the next generation to enter the tile trade. Oregon tile contractors and NTCA members (and some soon-to-be-members) are partnering in a unique co-op concept that provides monthly training for apprentices and different levels of involvement for co-op members. Participants in the co-op – named the Oregon-Columbia Tile Trades Training Trust – are
Hawthorne Tile, Davis Solutions, Stoneman Construction LLC, Campbell’s Custom Tile, Prestige Tile & Stone, Inc., Level Plane Tile & Stone, Columbia River Tile, Classique Floors & Tile, Sustainable Interiors, Designer Floors & Interiors, LLC and AHMS, Inc.

The concept developed when project manager Shon Parker and owner/project manager Dirk Sullivan from NTCA Five Star Contractor Hawthorne Tile in Portland, Ore., started brainstorming about how to get more qualified help in the field. Parker took the lead in conceptualizing an affordable apprenticeship program with industry buy-in and called fellow Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) members to participate. An education co-op model was formed, with those members who are able to help or participate with training paying a lower fee to belong to the co-op and those who cannot paying a higher fee. 

Participation might mean helping to build training modules or doing set up with classes. “There are those who could pitch in – in some way – and those who are more commercially oriented, and whose office staff can’t do that, but who are willing to pay at a higher rate to have their people trained,” Parker said.

Classroom and hands-on components

The co-op has a NTCA tie-in: each co-op member must be a NTCA member in order to gain access to the online apprenticeship courses through NTCA University, which will form the backbone of the classroom part of the program. And one Friday a month, student apprentices will receive live training from different manufacturer reps about TCNA methods, and specific product knowledge. “[Manufacturer reps] will teach a method and the products that fit inside those methods will get the manufacturer involved,” Parker said. “It will also serve to introduce students to reps, build relationships, and help reinforce good methods and best practices.” He explained that every manufacturer who wants to be involved will have a balanced presence within the program, without any one manufacturer dominating. So far, ARDEX, Daltile, LATICRETE, MAPEI, and Schluter are on board. 

The hands-on portion of the training will take place at The Cronin Company, headquartered in Portland. “Heidi Cronin is allowing us to use a classroom and space in the warehouse for hands-on mockups,” Parker said. Plus, an arrangement between The Cronin Company and Daltile will allow students to buy hand tools at cost while in the program. Students will also be responsible for building the modules – “thin bed, mortar bed, epoxy installations, depending on what we are teaching,” Parker explained.

The schedule

The program will start in 2018. “We currently have state approval for the program, and we will be updating the new classes to reflect current methods and products from some of the methods we’d used from the 2003 NTCA curriculum,” Parker said. Examples of changes include dropping the hands-on demo for mastic over wood assembly to including updated methods, such as an uncoupling assembly, he added. “This will need to be addressed and approved at the state Apprenticeship Board,” he said, suggesting folks call him with questions at 503-708-1737.

Students are recruited via outreach ongoing at job fairs, high schools and Women in Construction. To date 17 students – including a couple of women – have signed up for the program. 

Once a candidate has been found, co-op members aka “Training Agents” are asked if they are interested in bringing them into the program, with the intent of creating a labor pool. Each student apprentice must be employed by a Training Agent. The program is administered by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). 

Parker explained how apprentice candidates are culled at Hawthorne Tile: “We may have a worker employed at entry level as a driver,” he said. “If they show aptitude, we give them opportunity to join the apprenticeship program. It’s a stepping stool on our team to get there.”

The program is completely free to the student apprentice, funded by a monthly fee per student paid by the Training Agent co-op members. 

As previously noted, the program is based on the NTCA year one apprentice classes, and will utilize years 2 and 3 as they are completed. “By the end of year three , we should have all the bugs worked out.”

Though Parker calls this venture “uncharted waters,” he added that, “It makes sense up here – being part of a community. Dirk has done a great job as State Ambassador and Regional Director getting people excited about this, and Jason [McDaniel of Stoneman Construction LLC] and I are regional evaluators, so we can get people excited.” Hawthorne Tile’s office manager Lara Walker and project manager Ryan Willoughby have been “incredibly helpful” as well, Dirk Sullivan added. 

And Parker praised the industry for its support, saying, “Our industry is so willing to invest money in education.” 

Becky Serbin, NTCA Training and Education Coordinator, added, “It’s great to see tile contractors in a region coming together to develop a co-op training program to help grow the tile industry. I look forward to working with them through NTCA University. I hope that NTCA members are able to take this concept and repeat it in other areas of the country to help start training the next generation of tile setters.”

Last chance to register for the Bostik Qualified Thin Porcelain Panel Installer Training Program on July 10-11 in Temecula, CA

  • LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER! July 10-11 @ the Bostik Tech Training Center in TEMECULA, CA. Attendees must register by 5 PM TODAY (MONDAY, 7/2).
  • OPEN July 18-19 @ the Bostik Tech Training Center in DALLAS, TX. Attendees must register by Friday, 7/6.
Register Today!
You’ve probably heard about 5 foot by 10 foot thin porcelain panels, the latest BIG trend in the tile industry, or maybe you’ve been invited to and even attended Bostik’s Bosti-Set Thin Porcelain Panel Adhesive training in your area. Either way, you are invited to take the next step. Join Bostik for its Qualified Thin Porcelain Panel Installer Training Program and learn about the installation of thin porcelain panels and the new ANSI A108.19 standard. Be featured as an Industry-Qualified Thin Porcelain Panel Installer as required by ANSI A108.19 section 10.
Lodging (one night) and meals will be covered by Bostik once you’ve arrived at the training location. Attendees are to book and pay for their own transportation to and from the training location. A $300 Bostik Product Voucher or credit will be awarded to each attendee to help cover your transportation costs.
To register or for more information, contact:

THE BELKNAP WHITE GROUP’S THIN TILE TRAINING A HUGE SUCCESS

MANSFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS – The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors and a NTCA associate member, recently hosted a full day of hands-on, classroom style training at its Woburn, Massachusetts Solution Center. More than 20 installers came out to learn more about thin gauged porcelain tile panels and the new ANSI 108.19 standards of installation in this classroom environment.

Representatives from Crossville Tile, LATICRETE International and Montolit Tools were on hand to conduct the training which leads to attendees being named and listed as qualified panel/slab installers on Crossville’s Laminam Website and certified under the new ANSI standards.  The training event not only taught the origin of LAMINAM, but attendees were meticulously trained on tools required, how to handle it, how to cut it, appropriate setting materials, work time, and proper installation procedure.

“There is a lot of interest in large format tiles these days and especially Laminam, stated Bill Prescott, EVP of Sales for BWG. “It is a superb product that offers exceptional design and a variety of applications.”

“Hosting this training event was not only beneficial to local installers but also to the industry as a whole.” stated Paul Castagliuolo, President of BWG. “We strive to provide our customers what they need to be successful, including the latest trainings. The new standards require specialized training for thin gauged porcelain installation and we are committed to providing it. The Belknap White Group has always taken education seriously and will continue to do so as we look forward to future training events.”

The event was well received by attendees who also enjoyed breakfast, lunch and the opportunity to win fun door prizes, like an iPad, GoPro and Yeti Cooler.

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Headquartered in Mansfield, MA, The Belknap White Group is one of the leading full-service, hard-surface flooring distributors in the United States. Family-owned-and-operated for over 35 years, The Belknap White Group strives to deliver excellent service, while partnering with industry-leading suppliers to deliver an extensive portfolio of premium flooring products. We have nine showrooms and distribution locations across New York, New Jersey and

 

NTCAU – Regional Training Event mid-year wrap up

Members are always asking me about training opportunities. Well, this month I wanted to promote regional training. 

At the start of the year, NTCA announced that it would offer regional day-long events in each of its 12 regions throughout 2018. As we close in on the midway point of the year, NTCA Training Director Mark Heinlein has been traveling the country training NTCA members on one of two topics. Depending on location, he could be leading a day-long training in Industry Standards/Substrate Prep/Large-Format Tile or Gauged Porcelain Tile/Panels. 

Industry Standards/Surface Prep Large-Format Tile

The Industry Standards/Surface Prep/Large-Format Tile session starts with classroom lessons on tile industry methods and standards using ANSI resources. From there, class members learn how to use and navigate the TCNA Handbook. The attendees spend the rest of the day in a physical, hands-on working setting. Heinlein works with the class to check substrate flatness on floors and walls, general examination of framing systems, and proper installation of cementitious backer units. He then reviews various surface prep methods before releasing the attendees to work with the prep materials. 

Attendees are teamed into small groups to explore proper materials and tools for patching and rendering a vertical substrate to meet industry tolerance for large-format tile. The small groups then experiment with and pour self-leveling underlayment (SLU). 

When all substrates have been properly prepared and flattened, the class advances to proper mortar selection, mixing, trowel selection, mortar coverage, and installation techniques for large-format tile. When this event was held in Portland, Ore., Dirk Sullivan, owner of Hawthorne Tile, sent 10 installers with various levels of knowledge. Sullivan stated, “Training and education are key to the success of my company, and more importantly, the industry as a whole. The regional training event that was held here in Portland this past March was a fantastic opportunity for our installers as well as community here in Portland to see firsthand the hands-on [demonstrations], standards, techniques and materials used for successful, by-the-book installations. More please!” 

Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels

The Gauged Porcelain Tile/Panels (GPTP) course begins with streamlined overview of industry standards, then delves into ANSI A137.3 and ANSI A108.19, which have recently been approved and are specific to this new product.

After the classroom work, attendees relocate to the work area to learn about the tools that they will use during the day. Every attendee will join a small team to set a full-sized panel on either on a floor or wall substrate. As the teams work through the process, Heinlein offers tips and tricks to lead to a successful installation.

Visalia Ceramic Tile, Inc., was one of the first locations to hold the GPTP course. Sam Bruce, president, stated, “As a company, a handful of our crews have installed GPTP, but this training gave us the opportunity to have every tile setter get a high level of education and instruction of what GPTP is and how different the installation can be. The training put Visalia Ceramic Tile in a position to confidently send any tile setter to a project where GPTPs would be installed.”

Testimonials

Still not convinced that you should consider attending or sending your team? Well, here is some feedback from others who have attended:

Woody Sanders, Owner, D.W. Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting: “The regional event was a tremendous opportunity that we took full advantage of. The efforts and preparation of the NTCA, along with the workshop sponsors could not go without being noticed and applauded. With the popularity of GPTP growing and the recent completed standards being published, this training focused on GPTP from start to finish. Furthermore, the event focused on proper techniques with hands-on training. This is why a few of my apprentice setters and I attended. Looking back, I should have brought my entire staff, but coming out of Coverings’ Tiny House [Installation Design Showcase] last week, we needed to get back to work.”

Rod Owen, Owner, C.C. Owen Tile, stated: “We had the opportunity to send a diverse group of our men for the Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels training. They ranged from master journeymen to first-year students in our Apprentice Training Program here at C.C. Owen Tile Co.

“The training gave the opportunity to discover new, exciting materials and methods of installation while emphasizing the absolute necessity for a strong core foundation of time proven methods,” Owen continued. “While our veterans were realizing the importance of staying in the know of their ever-changing industry, the apprentices were digesting the many aspects of an industry they have just begun a career in. 

“It’s great to see these guys the several days after the training session because there is a synergy that comes from these sessions: the guys learning something new, and the guys realizing the company cares about their professional growth and development as well,” Owen said. “It’s also intriguing when we tell the general contractor we are pulling guys off their jobsite for the day. As a specialty contractor, logic would tell you that the GC will have a fit but to our disbelief most are in support when you tell them it’s a training session.

“More importantly, the NTCA regional event was an opportunity for our tile setters to experience the tile industry in a different way than they are used to,” Owen concluded. “Meeting Mark, Robb and David Gillespie of Crossville and other superstars in the industry who have a passion for tile was a little astonishing. Receiving the high level of training and event type atmosphere was in a way a version of Total Solutions Plus or Coverings. Our tile setters left this event motivated, refreshed and eager to enhance their skills in the trade, the same way that the national events do for me.”

Due to the magnitude of hands-on work and training by Heinlein, class sizes are limited to the first 20 registrants. In many cases, we are also unable to accept attendees without a registration and don’t have room in the training area to allow people to just stay and watch. If you decide to register, no matter which training event you attend, you are going to learn something even if you think you are an expert already. The next regional training event is in Elk Grove, Ill., on July 13th. To learn more about regional events available in your area, visit  https://bit.ly/2Lccbq6.

Learning to use industry publications: ANSI manual and TCNA Handbook

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

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.

Learn more about NTCA University

Visit Becky Serbin at booth #8209 at Coverings

Spring is in the air so that can only mean one thing…it’s time for Coverings. For those of you attending the show, why do you attend? What are you planning to take away from the show? If you are like several people that I have talked with, you are attending to network, learn about new products, and attend several of the educational events to help your business grow. So obviously it is important to you to keep up with current trends and education opportunities. 

Do you also have your employees with you or are they all at home working? Unless you are local to Atlanta, I’m guessing that all of your employees are at home because of the travel expenses to attend. When you go home, what do you do with everything that you learned at Coverings? Do you discuss what you learned with your employees or do you just go on with business as usual? 

Even if you don’t discuss what you learned at Coverings, have you thought about purchasing access to NTCA University to offer training to your employees? Several people have mentioned they just don’t know if it’s worth it to them to offer training to their employees. If you have taken the time to seek out additional training for yourself, you owe it to your employees to enrich their learning too. 

Maybe you’re unsure if what we offer on NTCA University is right for your company. Given that so many of our members have questions about courses offered and how to use the site, I will be available at scheduled times at the NTCA booth #8209 at Coverings. Check the booth daily for times when I will be there to discuss anything associated with NTCA University. 

If you have an opportunity to spend time in the Installation Experience, you will be able to see varying skill levels of installers that you are competing with today. Would you rather be the installer of a really bad installation with lots of call backs or would you rather be an installer like the qualified labor installation? All of the NTCA University courses are based on industry standards and help you grow your knowledge.

If you are unable to attend Coverings but you want additional information on NTCA University, please give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to discuss the training opportunities available with you. Reach me at 770-366-2566 or [email protected] 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. 

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

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