Primer: format change at NTCA University

Three ways to find the courses you want

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 completes year two of the DOL-approved five-year apprenticeship program

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.

 

 

 

 

NTCAUniversity 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].

Building a better tile setter training process with Dan Welch

 

By Dan Welch, president, Welch Tile & Marble

Improving tile setter training

In June 2017, Welch Tile & Marble hosted the NTCA Five Star Contractor summit, updated the group on its training journey, and revealed future for hands-on tile training. Welch Training & Development manager Dave Rogers and I – through trial and error – jointly brainstormed about building a better tile setter training process using a shipping container. The plan escalated when we started developing the Five Star Contractor meeting agenda, which forced us to think through our process successes and failures over the past 12 years. We started with our related instruction outline for Apprenticeship and the milestones to build the NTCA online Apprenticeship modules.

Our first challenge with training was engaging the apprentices after working a full day in the field. Much of the classroom training required extensive pre-planning and preparation in the warehouse with tools and products in unused spaces. This situation led us to make small mockups that only one or two individuals could work hands-on at a time, leading to disengagement with class members who weren’t participating in hands-on module work – you knew you lost them when they pulled out their cell phones and their eyes glazed over.

Dan Welch and Dave Rogers worked together to develop a training container concept for house hands-on training modules for apprentices that would not tie up warehouse space.

Training factors to consider

We identified these different factors and aspects of training that needed to be addressed in order to craft an engaging, effective training process.

  • Safety tool box talks at the beginning of each class
  • Short classroom pre-hands-on explanation and theory
  • Encompassing real job challenges into our process by building scale mockups of upcoming projects’ conditions
  • Eliminating time-consuming setup and clean up
  • Addressing lack of usable space in a warehouse
  • Cost of training
  • Damage to training modules from week to week
  • Waste

    The excitement and buy-in was inspirational when all the apprentices had a mock up to work with.

  • Apprentice schedule flexibility and accommodating out of town commitments with make-up classes

Building a better training process

With these challenges in mind, we looked back at the 2016 Coverings Installation Design Showcase (IDS) container that we built our IDS vignette in, and contemplated how we could pair our hands-on training concept with a self-contained, movable area that would not plug up our warehouse every week. The concept was further validated by a Certified Tile Installer (CTI) pre-test activity, where our apprentice setters came in for many weeks and took the test two hours at a time and at their own pace. The excitement and buy-in was inspirational when they all had a mock up to work with.

Dave Rogers went a step further by adding proper lighting, and mock construction defects in the build out such as missing studs, multiple curb details, or out-of-level conditions

Our answer was right under our noses! We removed one wall of the 20-ft. shipping container and built various site conditions inside the container, starting with underlayment installation. We continued hands-on training each week, building on the previous week’s activity until it was complete.

Dave Rogers went a step further by adding proper lighting, and mock construction defects in the build out such as missing studs, multiple curb details, or out-of-level conditions.

We are currently working on an awning system that will enable us to leave the containers outside, which would let us move the classroom location and venue. These containers cost very little to purchase and fit out, allowing us to replicate anything we can dream up.

Welch Tile is currently working on an awning system that will enable it to leave the containers outside, which would make the classroom location and venue mobile.

 

 

Welch Tile has invested in people, training and education and safe work practices for a long time and this concept will allow us to be more efficient, better prepared, highly productive, and create a strong culture for the future of our business. I can only pray that many of you can invest in your team.

Dan Welch,
president Welch Tile & Marble,
“People Creating Change”

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]

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