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 lookingforward 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 Benefits Box – April 2017

NTCA’s State Ambassador program – 132 strong at last count – has evolved over the last few years from its State Director program.

These “ambassadors” represent the NTCA and assist trainers at local NTCA Tile & Stone Workshops, recruit and recommend contractors for membership, work with local distributors in circulating NTCA brochures, applications and posters in their locations, and welcome and support new members. They also provide current industry news from their local area, which is often covered in TileLetter magazine or at tileletter.com online.

The intent of this group is to form a strong, supportive web of NTCA members that support the tile trade and all NTCA members in the local area. They also positively promote qualified labor, certification, the NTCA, and the tile industry as a whole.

Many of the State Ambassadors are installers themselves, but some are manufacturer reps who cover more than one state. Active in this program are: Ardex Americas, Bostik, Daltile, HB Fuller, MAPEI and wedi.

State Ambassadors are also NTCA’s eyes and ears in the local market, and gather information and ideas that can help NTCA better serve local contractors.

Visit NTCA at www.tile-assn.com and search for “2017 State Ambassadors” or use this shortened link to take you directly to the list of State Ambassadors: http://bit.ly/2o8gmLe.

NTCA Benefits Box – March 2017

Benefits Box: Marketing and Contractor Safety Programs

Among the plethora of programs offered by membership in the NTCA, are two options that have an immediate benefit for your business: The NTCA Marketing Program and the NTCA Contractors Safety Program.

Marketing Program

Want to promote your business but not sure where to start and what to say? NTCA has developed a package of professional marketing tools specifically designed to promote the contractor’s services. This affordable program can be tailored for your residential or commercial clients.

 

 

NTCA Contractors Safety Program

Wondering why you need a safety program? An active safety program is necessary to bid or secure work, and avoid costly interruptions to company operations. It can allow you to reduce insurance and worker compensation costs, while helping to improve employee attitude, morale and reinforce a feeling of teamwork. An active safety program can also help cultivate quality employee applicants.

Of course, one of the key reasons to invest in a safety program is to reduce on-the-job accidents, improve overall quality and reduce the need for training replacement personnel.

The NTCA Contractor Safety Program is different from other safety programs because it was created to meet the specific needs of tile contractors.  It was developed by NTCA in cooperation with Jim Isaminger of D.M.I. Tile and Marble in Birmingham, Ala.  Programs are tailored for business sizes between 1-10 employees, 11-20 employees, 21-30 employees, and those companies with 31 and more employees. Receive a $100 discount for just being an NTCA member.

For more information on these and other benefits, contact assistant executive director Jim Olson at [email protected] or call 612-788-4726. Or view all NTCA membership benefits at http://www.tile-assn.com/?page=Membership.

NTCA Benefits Box – January 2017

benefitsboxNTCA offers two “partner” programs in its package for members: PartnerShip® and Partnering for Success

PartnerShip

partnershipPartnerShip, the endorsed shipping management provider of NTCA, offers shipping discounts to all NTCA members on select FedEx® services, as well as savings on less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipments arranged through PartnerShip. This program is FREE to all NTCA members, with no minimums required.

Members can request a no-obligation free quote for standard or guaranteed LTL (less-than-truckload) services from PartnerShip freight broker. The service works with the reputable LTL carriers, including: AAA Cooper, Estes Express, FedEx Freight, Dayton Freight, Old Dominion, New Penn, Pitt Ohio, R+L Carriers, Reddaway, Southeastern, UPS Freight, YRC Freight and many more!

Services also include full or partial truckload (dry van, flat bed, step deck, refrigerated, etc.). PartnerShip employs a stringent carrier review process and has access to thousands of the top truckload freight carriers across North America.

If you need to ship to a trade show, PartnerShip can help with this as well, as it can arrange great shipping rates with leading exhibit freight carriers. The company has a relationship with UPS Freight and YRC Freight and, if needed, can secure other carrier options as well.

Interested in learning more about PartnerShip or becoming a NTCA member? Contact assistant executive director Jim Olson at 612-788-4726 or email [email protected]

Partnering for Success

NTCA’s Partnering for Success benefit virtually pays you to be a member! Leading installation material manufacturers have invested in NTCA members by offering same-as-cash vouchers for valuable products you use every day – $1,800 worth of vouchers to be exact. This enables contractor members to experience all NTCA has to offer and actually MAKE money as an NTCA member when using Partnering for Success vouchers.

Participating manufacturers authorize NTCA to provide vouchers for their products that can be redeemed by NTCA contractor members, directly from the manufacturer or through any participating distributors. A total of $1,800 in vouchers is provided in contractor membership packets in these product categories: backer board, setting and grouting materials, membranes, cleaning and sealing materials, tools, floor heating systems, and ceramic tile.

In 2017, Home Depot will accept vouchers from QEP, Custom, and James Hardie.

Participating manufacturers for 2017 include: Alpha Professional Tools, American Olean, Aqua Mix, ARDEX, ATR Leveling, Bellota, Blanke, Ceramic Tool, Composeal, Contractors Direct, Custom Building Products, Daltile, Dependable Bagging, Emser, Flextherm, Florida Tile, LATICRETE, MAPEI, MAPEI Ultracare, Marazzi Tile, Mark E. Industries, Metropolitan Ceramics, MLT, NAC Products, National Gypsum/Permabase, Noble Company, NTCA Store, NTCA University, Nuheat, Oceancare, Porcelain Plus Speed Bit, Proflex, QEP, Rubi Tools, Schluter, Sun Touch, TEC Specialty, Texrite, The Home Depot, Trending Accessiblity, Trimaco, USG, VanHearron, Warmly Yours and wedi. Select the vouchers you want for the products you use or have been meaning to try. Vouchers are either used as cash, good for discounts or provide rebates on purchased products, depending on the manufacturer. For information, contact Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, at 612-788-4726 or [email protected]

NTCA Webinar: Green Construction and the Tile Industry

What: Free Webinar – Green Construction and the Tile Industry
When: Thursday, January 26, 2017, 1:00pm to 2:00pm Central Standard Time

The Green Construction and the Tile Industry presentation will take a look at green construction and how tile fits into these buildings.  The presentation will touch on why the world is going “green”, the effects on the world around us, the future of green construction, and then dive into LEED v4 and Living Building Challenge which are the two Green Rating Systems for which we see the most requests for information.  We will also discuss the changes to LEED and what the TCNA, tile manufacturers and tile installation material manufacturers have done to respond to changes in green construction over the past 3 years.

About the presenter:

Mitch HawkinsMitch Hawkins is the Technical Services Manager for LATICRETE International at the corporate world headquarters in Bethany, CT.  His major responsibilities are to oversee the day to day operations of the LATICRETE Technical Services Dept. in providing information, assistance and knowledge to the tile and stone installation community.  As a 16 year member of LATICRETE, he has traveled the world learning about the wide variety of installation methods and materials, educating others about LATICRETE installation products, and assisting in improving the world tile and stone community.  Since 2005, he has been responsible for creating and providing green information for LATICRETE and helping to drive the participation of LATICRETE in the green construction community.

NTCA Benefits Box – December

Each month, we select a specific benefit of NTCA membership and present it in detail to give you an idea of how joining NTCA can enhance and support your business.

As a year-end recap, we present the whole range of benefits – and counting – that come with NTCA. We say “and counting” because NTCA staff are constantly working to add even MORE benefits and enhancements to NTCA membership.

If you’re more video oriented, visit http://www.tile-assn.com/?page =Membership to see our NTCA Membership Video, debuted in January 2016, that gives you a fast-paced view of all NTCA has to offer. That same page has board advisor Dan Welch’s testimonial on how NTCA has helped his business and that of other NTCA members.

There’s a whirlwind tour through the benefits membership in NTCA offers you. Want to learn more? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or visit the association website at www.tile-assn.com

Educationbb-rm


NTCA Reference Manual: A comprehensive culmination of knowledge and research and development of the Technical Committee members, ceramic tile contractors, distributors, manufacturers and others allied to the ceramic tile industry.

bb-pubsTileLetter Magazine: This publication is geared toward the contractor’s business, including installation advice, new technology and products, and best business practices. Published 15 times a year – 12 monthly issues, a Coverings issue and a TRENDS and TECH issue.

TCNA Handbook – The TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation is a guide to assist in clarifying and standardizing installation specifications for tile. Each installation recommendation, or method, requires a properly designed, constructed, and prepared substructure using materials and construction techniques that meet nationally recognized material and construction standards. All members receive a copy.

bb-mark

News & Views eNewsletter: Twice monthly, our News & Views eNewsletter is emailed to all members to keep you informed of all industry and association activities.

NTCA Workshops and Webinars and CTEF Educational Programs: We travel throughout the country providing free educational workshops to those in the tile industry, made possible by generous host sites. NTCA also offers free monthly online webinars presented by industry experts, easily accessible via computer at home or office. bb-robb

Installation Videos/Tile TV: Available on DVD, NTCA continues to pave the way in technical education with instructional videos for you and your employees. View additional “Tile Tips” and bi-monthly dedicated tile broadcasts at www.iwantmytiletv.com.

bb-university-logoNTCA University Discount – NTCA University offers classes in Management, Marketing and Finance to bridge the gap between a successful tile job and a successful tile business. The current introductory price for NTCA Contractor Members only is $99/year which gets you full, unlimited access to all NTCAU courses for all of your employees!

Tom Ade Scholarship – The NTCA “Tom Ade” Ceramic Tile Scholarship has been established by the National Tile Contractors Association to provide educational opportunities for children or grandchildren of NTCA Contractor Members.bb-ade-scholar

Live Technical Advice – We research your problem and answer your tough questions on a timely basis. If we don’t have the answer, we find someone who does. Just email [email protected]

Networking

bb-tspTotal Solutions Plus: This annual leadership conference focuses on technical and business education. TSP brings together the industry’s leading manufacturers, distributors, and contractors all under one roof for a unique experience.

NTCA Membership Directory: As a member, your listing in the directory is an indispensable tool for referrals to the very best manufacturers, distributors, contractors, architects, designers, and builders.

Working smarter

Partnering for Success Voucher Program: Our manufacturing sponsors feel so strongly about the value the NTCA provides its members that they will more than offset your investment with product vouchersto the tune of $1,800 a year.

Marketing Program: Professional marketing tools have been designed and written to make it easy, quick and affordable for you to promote your services, whether you are focused on commercial contracts or residential customers.

NTCA Contractors Safety Program: The NTCA Contractor Safety Program is different from other safety programs because it was created to meet the specific needs of tile contractors, and is available only to NTCA members. 

bb-5starFive Star Contractor Program: Add the NTCA Five Star logo to your already strong list of credentials, heralding your high level of professionalism. Take advantage too of sneak peeks of new technologies and special Five Star Contractor summit meetings to get a leg up on the competition.

Discount for CTI Program – The Certified Tile Installer (CTI ) Program is a National Standard for Tile Installation to ensure that ceramic tile gets installed correctly the first time. NTCA members receive $50 off CTI testing.

Bid RX Prescription Program: BidRx is a secure, internet website that links members with pharmacies, manufacturers, prescribers and payers so all can make better decisions when purchasing prescription medications. Choose among pharmacies that are competing for prescription medication business and get the best price.

PartnerShip® shipping discount program: PartnerShip®, the endorsed shipping management provider of NTCA, offers shipping discounts to all NTCA members on select FedEx® services, as well as savings on less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipments arranged through PartnerShip. Free, with no minimums required.

Property and Liability Insurance: For NTCA members only, this program covers all aspects of insurance needs for the tile contractor.

bb-legal-shieldLegalShield – IDT Plans/Legal Plans: Everyone deserves affordable legal and identity theft protection.  With LegalShield on your side, you have the power to access legal and identity theft advice and services when you need them, all for one low monthly fee.

NTCA Benefits Box – October 2016

NTCA_logo_100pixelsNTCA to exceed record membership in 2016

NTCA predicts that total membership in 2016 will exceed record numbers. As of the end of May, the association has already matched its previous record of 1,150 active members – and end of August numbers place total members at 1,234. That’s compared to 1,077 by the end of August 2015. By the end of 2016, NTCA executive director Bart Bettiga expects membership to reach 1,300 active members.

“We continue to have an active board of directors and a growing group of state ambassadors who have helped to raise awareness of the association in their respective markets,” said Bettiga. “This has helped us to grow membership on a local level.” Bettiga also cites the success of the association’s partnerships with flooring groups like Starnet and CCA Global Partners, which has allowed the association to provide education and training at their national events.

Another powerful driver of membership growth has been the Partnering for Success program, developed with NTCA’s affiliate members. The program provides for product vouchers from manufacturers, importers, and distributors, to help members offset the cost of membership.

Word of mouth has also played an important role, with communication on popular online networks such as the John Bridge Forum and Tile Geeks spreading the word of the benefits of NTCA membership.

“Awareness of the NTCA and our promotion of qualified labor has increased across the country through social media, our State Ambassadors program, the NTCA Workshop programs and at national conventions,” said Jim Olson, assistant executive director. “We are reaching tile and stone craftspeople who believe in what the NTCA is doing to promote them and qualified labor, and because of that, the NTCA is growing.”

Joining the NTCA is easy – there’s a simple form on the association website at www.tile-assn.com. Members have immediate access to all the knowledge, education, and industry connections of the largest tile contractors association in the world.

Got questions? Contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or phone 601-942-2996.

Benefits Box: NTCA Reference Manual Coming Soon

2016-ref-manual-coverAlthough we reported on the NTCA Reference Manual in our July TileLetter issue, the subject bears repeating.

Why?

Because this month, NTCA members will be receiving the 2016-2017 publication in the mail, and it will be available for others in the industry to purchase as well.

If you missed the July article, the NTCA Reference Manual is a compendium of knowledge, research and development, brought to you by the NTCA Technical Committee and its members. These members include leading experts from various industry sectors: tile and stone contractors, distributors, manufacturers and others allied to the tile industry.

This year’s edition has a different format that follows the flow of a job, and that makes it easier to find content pertinent to your job or challenge. Chapters will begin with General Requirements, Substrates, and flow all way through to Maintenance and Precautions.

The NTCA Reference Manual identifies recurring challenges to tile and stone installations and recognizes potential problems. Industry experts come together to achieve consensus on solutions, presented in a problem-prevention-cure format. Clarifying photographs are included, as well as letter templates that address common issues in documentation and negotiation on the jobsite, and can be customized to fit the needs of the contractor. A collection of general position statements about industry issues is also included.

Each year, NTCA Technical Committee subcommittee members review and revise the publication, since new technologies, methods and products all impact the experience, practice and outcome of tile and stone installations.

Because the information is so crucial to the industry, NTCA also makes the NTCA Reference Manual available on its website HERE to non-members or those who desire additional copies.

Familiarize yourself with this well-respected companion document to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and ANSI standards. Together these publications form a triumvirate of expertise and knowledge that creates a strong framework from which to conduct your business.

Benefits Box: NTCA Voice of the Contractor at TCNA Handbook Committee Meetings

by Lesley Goddin

Usually in this section, we explore the different business benefits membership in NTCA affords in terms of programs NTCA offers, educational opportunities, discounts and the like.

TCNA-logoBut this month, we want to bring to your attention the advocacy for tile contractors and installers of which NTCA is a part. Hopefully, by now, you are well acquainted with the industry “Bible” of approved methods and standards for installing ceramic tile, stone, and glass – the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation. Every two years, the Handbook Committee meets to adopt changes to the Handbook, refine discussions and explore methods and standards that would make the industry better and that would improve tile performance and reduce failures, which makes tile contractors’ lives a whole lot better.

At the time of writing (June), the Handbook Committee meetings have just wrapped up in Atlanta. More than 120 guests attended, with 38 voting members, including NTCA representatives Nyle Wadford, James Woelfel, Chris Walker and alternates Martin Howard, Bart Bettiga and Dan Welch, as well as Scott Carothers voting for CTEF. NTCA guests include Rod Owen, and NTCA training and education coordinator Becky Serbin. Other NTCA members in attendance included Methods & Standards chairman Kevin Fox, and his head estimator Kyle Maichel – and those who represented union tile associations: NTCA board member Rich Galliani of the Tile and Stone Council of Northern California; Lupe Ortiz of BAC in San Francisco; NTCA Five Star Contractor Rich Papapietro of De Anza Tile, San Francisco, representing TCAA; Earl Anderson of NTCA Five Star Contractor Grazzini Brothers of Eagan, Minn.; Mike Hawthorne of IUBAC; Kurt Von Voss and Jerry Chioni of Great Lakes Ceramic Tile Council and NTCA member Brad Trostrud of Trostrud Mosaic & Tile, Wood Dale, Ill.

ben-01

Eric Astrachan, TCNA executive director, presided over the Handbook Committee meetings.

This large number of NTCA members attending this event brought the Voice of the Contractor to bear upon decisions being made and standards being developed. Currently, the thin porcelain tile product and installation standards are still in discussion as we work towards developing these standards.

Voices from NTCA

NTCA president James Woelfel said of the meeting results, “We have new language on coverage and tile inspection standards. Tile installations are to be inspected on the wall at 36” and on the floor at 60” away. This prevents people from crawling on their hands and knees and using a magnifying glass to find imperfections in the tile installation. Thirty-six inches is in ANSI 137.1 Inspection for Manufacturing Standards for Imperfections. A lot of hard work from the NTCA!”

He added that “Kevin Fox, Martin Brookes, Chris Walker did a fantastic job with the NTCA submissions. The new language inserted into the Handbook will save tile contractors money. Uncoupling membranes were allowed to stay in the book but we were promised that standards for uncoupling will be ready for the next Handbook meeting. Make sure if you use an uncoupling underlayment you follow the manufacturer’s directions.”

Concerning the inspection language section, Kevin Fox, head of the Methods & Standards Committee, commented that “our original inspection section got divided up into mainly three areas:

  1. New section under Finished Tilework called ‘Visual Inspection of Tilework’
  2. Two new sections under Grout Joint Size and Patterns Considerations called ‘System Modularity’ and ‘Tile Layout’
  3. New section under Using the TCNA Handbook for Specification Writing called ‘Design Considerations when Specifying Tile’

“There was also language added to the Mortar and Mortar Coverage section noting 100% mortar coverage is not practical and should not be specified,” Fox added. He added that language was inserted under the Membrane Selection Guide that indicates that it’s normal for tile installed over membranes to sound hollow.

“These were all topics covered in our original inspection submittal that was moved to more appropriate sections in the Handbook,” he said. “This will be, in my opinion, the most impactful new language.”

More than 120 guests attended the TCNA Handbook Committee meeting in Atlanta, with 38 voting members, including NTCA representatives Nyle Wadford, James Woelfel, Chris Walker and alternates Martin Howard, Bart Bettiga and Dan Welch, as well as Scott Carothers voting for CTEF.

More than 120 guests attended the TCNA Handbook Committee meeting in Atlanta, with 38 voting members, including NTCA representatives Nyle Wadford, James Woelfel, Chris Walker and alternates Martin Howard, Bart Bettiga and Dan Welch, as well as Scott Carothers voting for CTEF.

NTCA past president Nyle Wadford of Neuse Tile Company, observed that “The NTCA, along with all elements of tile contracting labor, was tremendously influential in the 2016 TCNA Handbook Committee meeting and its outcomes. Our leadership for the tile industry was recognized and even sought on most all the issues presented. The professionalism and passion for the industry demonstrated by the NTCA members present was evident as numerous changes to Handbook language should add protections for tile contractors along with needed installation revisions to our craft. The entire membership should be proud of what was accomplished in Atlanta this year.”

Christopher Walker, chairman of the ANSI A108 Committee, said, “In the past decade, the NTCA in particular has achieved success in elevating the profile and recognition of the installation contractor’s voice in the various committees and agencies associated with the tile community. This was never more apparent…as multiple submissions proposed by NTCA members were easily incorporated into the TCNA document. Special recognition should be extended to Kevin Fox. His background as an engineer and his passion for the industry were on full display as evidenced by the high level of collaboration received from multiple manufacturers, testing agencies and industry experts. The submissions coordinated by Kevin as current chairman of the NTCA Methods & Standards committee received great support among the TCNA Handbook Committee.”

What’s essential – in addition to changes in the 2017 Handbook – is this role NTCA members play in shaping the industry and vying for the importance of the installer. Want to be a force and a voice in this industry? Consider joining NTCA – contact assistant executive director Jim Olson at [email protected] for details

Benefits Box: NTCA Reference Manual

A Tremendous Resource in the Field

The NTCA Reference Manual is a compendium of knowledge, research and development, brought to you by the NTCA Technical Committee and its members. These members include leading experts from various industry sectors: tile and stone contractors, distributors, manufacturers and others allied to the tile industry.

“This year’s edition will be an all new format with all chapters being edited for content,” said NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson. “The chapters will follow the flow of a job, making it easier to find the topic of choice. Chapters will begin with General Requirements, Substrates, and flow all way through to Maintenance and Precautions.”

The NTCA Reference Manual identifies recurring challenges to tile and stone installations and recognizes potential problems. Industry experts come together to achieve consensus on solutions, presented in a problem-prevention-cure format. Clarifying photographs are included, as well as letter templates that address common issues in documentation and negotiation on the jobsite, and can be customized to fit the needs of the contractor. A collection of general position statements about industry issues is also included.

Each year, NTCA Technical Committee subcommittee members review and revise the publication, since new technologies, methods and products all impact the experience, practice and outcome of tile and stone installations. This year, the new 2016-2017 NTCA Reference Manual will be published, printed and mailed free of charge to all NTCA members in July.

Because the information is so crucial to the industry, NTCA also makes the NTCA Reference Manual available on its website (enter NTCA Reference Manual in the search bar at the top of website www.tile-assn.com) to non-members or those who desire additional copies.

Familiarize yourself with this well-respected companion document to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and ANSI standards. Together these publications form a triumvirate of expertise and knowledge that creates a strong framework from which to conduct your business.

1 2 3 4