Certified Flooring Installers Association partners with Informa/The International Surface Event (TISE) to host the 1st Annual Build My Future: Flooring Edition event in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The event was held on April 23, 2019 at the Plano Event Center and welcomed all high school students from multiple school districts giving them the opportunity to participate in this one-of-a-kind event.
In January 2018, the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) commissioned an independent research firm to conduct a multi-phase study to quantify the scope and severity of the lack of installation professionals on the flooring industry’s sustainability and growth. A Chicago-based research firm, The Blackstone Group Inc., was contracted to conduct the research, whose quantitative component focused on businesses that purchased workers’ services by engaging floor covering installers as direct employees and/or subcontractors in 2017.
The study’s findings suggest, not only that the installation labor shortage is real, but that its financial impacts on the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers up the flooring supply chain impacts that include lost margins on products and labor, production inefficiencies, higher labor costs, and increased claims – are significantly greater than previously understood. According to the results of this research, over the next 10 years, to keep up with moderate growth within the flooring industry, approximately 180,000 installers must be recruited, trained and working in the industry. “CFI has been focused on the initiative of reaching the youth for the past three years. Not only to let them know that floor covering installation is a viable opportunity for them, but in most cases, it is also a very profitable one without the college debt,” explains Robert Varden, Vice President of CFI.
The purpose of the Build My Future: Flooring Edition event was to introduce and educate students to the flooring industry and bring awareness to the different roles, which can be career opportunities as a flooring installation professional. A position in the flooring industry would provide a future for them and their families.
Connecting with local high school students and inviting them to come and “test drive” a day on the job, as a flooring professional, is something which doesn’t exist in the flooring industry, nor in the construction industry. CFI was lucky enough to be involved with the original Build My Future program, which takes place in Springfield, MO each year. This event consists of the entire construction industry coming together to showcase a career day for local high school students. After participating in this event CFI was encouraged to have their own Build My Future: Flooring Edition event in their hometown of Dallas, TX. CFI has an extremely knowledgeable team of dedicated instructors who showcased the ins and outs of what they do on a day-to-day basis, which made this event a lot more informative and fun. The Build My Future: Flooring Edition is nothing like the average job fair: CFI offered hands-on demos, competitions and prizes donated by our sponsors and supporters.
With an amazing turn out from local school districts, young male and female students participated, and were blown away by the interactive showcase. “This is the best field trip I have ever been on and lunch hasn’t even been served yet”, exclaimed one of the students. The students came in open-minded and left with a totally new perspective of the flooring positions within their areas, some even left with job applications from local retailers who were in attendance. CFI and Informa will be giving one lucky student, who attended the event, a fully paid 5-week introduction to our residential carpet course which can be taken during summer break.
With the support of sponsors and contributors the event was a success. Thank you to Mohawk Industries, Floors to Go Texas, Schluter Systems, Mapei, Dal-Tile, Congoleum, One Source Commercial Floors, Rasa Floors, DDF Commercial, Tools 4 Flooring, Traxx, Fuse Commercial Alliance, iQ Power Tools, Magnetic Building Solutions, World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) and the CFI trainers. Also, a special thank you to the original Build My Future event staff in Springfield, MO for offering their guidance and the drive to adopt our very own Build My Future: Flooring Edition.
Build My Future: Flooring Edition 2020 will be announced before the next school year. Interested in participating or volunteering? Contact CFI today at 816.231.4646.
Don’t forget to register for CFI’s 26th Annual Convention and Expo beginning on April 21st in San Antonio, TX. During the convention you’ll hear from top keynote speakers on current industry issues, get your hands on the latest flooring tools and products, connect with industry professionals, and participate in hands-on workshops. For details on the convention, please visit www.cficonvention.com.