Crossville-Sponsored Project by Healing Environments Wins a Top Category Honor in ASID Illinois’ 2016 Design Excellence Awards

healing-environments-team-asid-winSpa Lobby from Coverings Installation Design Showcase Earns 1st Place for “Contract Project by Small Firm”

Chicago, Ill./Crossville, Tenn. – The chic “Spa Lobby” vignette designed by Healing Environments and sponsored by Crossville for the 2016 Coverings Expo Installation Design Showcase won first place in the “Contract Project by a Small Firm” category at the 2016 ASID Illinois Design Excellence Awards. Healing Environments founders Susan and Tarik El-Naggar, pictured at right, accepted the award at a gala event held at Chez in Chicago.

The unique project featured a range of Crossville tile collections incorporated into Healing Environment’s biophilic design. Every element was specified to create a soothing, modern space that would promote “healing to the mind, body, and spirit,” according to Susan El-Naggar, ASID, NCIDQ, LEED Green Associate, and principal interior designer for Healing Environments.

“We were very excited to work with Crossville, since it’s the first manufacturer to earn Green Squared certification for all its U.S.-made collections—the recognized sustainability standard in the industry,” states El-Naggar.

coverings_78374-20-16The annual Coverings Expo Installation Design Showcase is a real-time installation event in which crews of experienced installers converge to bring artfully designed vignettes into reality, all while show attendees stroll by to watch the work unfold. For the Crossville-sponsored spa lobby, Trostrud Mosaic & Tile served as the installation company. The Trostrud team worked with a range of products including Laminam by Crossville porcelain tile panels to bring the winning vignette to life on site at the trade show held at McCormick Place in Chicago.

New Products – September 2016

prod-01USG Durock™ Brand Tile Membrane is ideal for use under tile in residential and light-commercial applications. This product is water-resistant, thin and vapor-permeable for use on nearly every floor or counter top designed to accept tile including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and entryways.

Features and benefits include: crack-isolation solution when installed with Durock™ brand tile membrane adhesive; proprietary cementitious coating provides outstanding tile bond; rolls out flat, with no rollback memory; lightweight, thin and flexible – easy to handle and install; cuts with scissors or knife – no dust, no mess; installs quickly – no mechanical fasteners required; waterproof and vapor-permeable membrane; and mold and mildew resistant.

prod-02LATICRETE has introduced lightweight STRATA_MAT™ XT, a next-generation, high-performance uncoupling membrane designed specifically for ceramic tile and dimension stone installations. STRATA_MAT XT provides vapor management, eliminates transmission of in-plane substrate cracks of up to 1/8” (3 mm), assists with easier floor layout as chalk lines are easily visible on the surface prior to tile installation and performs all these functions while still providing the requisite support and load distribution for tile and stone covering. At 5/16” (7.9 mm) thick STRATA_MAT XT helps to creates an even transition between typical 1/4” to 3/8” (3 to 9 mm) thick tile and 3/4” (19 mm) thick hardwood flooring.  The design also allows installers to see mortar coverage underneath the mat during installation without having to lift and verify. STRATA_MAT XT comes in 150 ft. rolls measuring 45” x 40’ feet (13.9m2 – 1. m x 12.2m) and measures 5/16” (7.9 mm) thick.

prod-03Fatheadz eyewear are job essentials that ensure eye safety for those who work outside most of the day and need sunglasses for protection from the elements on the job and the sun. The Fatheadz v2.0 line is made in the U.S. and features polarized lenses and an anti-reflective coating. Sunglasses are available for men and women, with prescription lines available as well.

prod-04Landmark presents Magnifica, a selection of travertine crosscut tiles in high-quality porcelain that accentuates contemporary architecture with the benefits of porcelain. Each slab is highlighted by a subtle three-dimensional surface and authentic graphic details. Magnifica is fade resistant, eco-friendly, pet-friendly, frost-resistant, compatible with floor-warming systems, acid-resistant and easy to maintain and keep clean.

prod-05Ergodyne has announced today the addition of a new XL-sized bump cap to its Skullerz® Head Protection offering. Now, workers of all head sizes can be protected from cranial bumps and bruises offered by the patented, state-of-the-art shell. The Skullerz® 8950XL Bump Cap offers the same comfort and style of its innovative predecessor, the 8950 Bump Cap, including the removable, impact-resistant shell with foam lining. The shell’s flanged design allows for airflow and breathability while maintaining protection, and compliance. Both sizes meet the requirements of EN 812, the world’s only bump cap standard. The XL size is recommended for those with hat size 7½ or above. Nylon construction features reflective accents, and the cap is available with a short (50mm) or long (80mm) brim. Ideal for applications where worker-generated impact is a hazard or workplaces that don’t require a hard hat but still have head injury risks, the Skullerz 8950XL Bump Cap is available in black or navy at all authorized Ergodyne distributors worldwide.

TEC® announces a sweeping new roster of surface preparation products that deliver installation advantages and improved product performance. The expanded TEC® surface-prep line includes 10 new products in five general categories: self-leveling underlayments; skimcoats; patches; crack isolation systems; and specialty products including wear layer overlayments. The expanded breadth of the new TEC® surface preparation line extends the company’s commitment to provide product excellence while helping contractors save time and money. The new line also builds upon the company’s leadership position in the grout and mortar product categories.

prod-06The new TEC® Level Set® 300 Self-Leveling Underlayment is a premium underlayment that’s formulated for fast-track flooring installations. Ideal for quick turnarounds, it is walkable in just two to three hours – and provides a flat, extremely smooth, durable surface. It’s suited for a feather edge to 2” single application and boasts a compressive strength of 5,500 psi.

The new TEC® Feather Edge Skim Coat is a proven solution that’s designed to skim coat, smooth and level irregularities from feather edge up to 1⁄2”. With exceptional performance and bond strength, it sets in as few as 15-20 minutes for most flooring.

The new TEC® Level Set® Deep Pour 3 surface prep solution helps installers power through projects to quickly fill deep trenches up to 3” in one lift, without aggregate. Ideal for thick-build applications without comprising return-to-traffic timing, it accepts non-moisture sensitive tile and stone within only four hours.

The extensive new lineup also includes specialty surface preparation products. The new TEC Level Set LW-60 is a high-quality, ultra-lightweight self-leveling underlayment that’s ideal for multi-level structures where load-bearing restrictions apply. Fifty percent lighter than traditional self-levelers, it doesn’t compromise coverage, traffic or installation time. The new TEC Level Set Wear Topping is a decorative concrete finish available in three base colors that accepts stains, sealers and coatings within 24 hours after application. Colorant can be added at time of mixing to bring flair to any concrete floor or other concrete surface.

All TEC® surface preparation products are backed by a limited lifetime system warranty when used with TEC® adhesives, mortars and grouts.

Industry News – September 2016

ind-01Bostik, Inc. announced that Michael Zaccardelli has joined the firm’s Consumer & Construction Business Unit as sales director, North America. He will lead the Pro Distribution business in the U.S. and Canada with regional sales managers Rick Tredwell and Brian Kelly reporting to him. He and his team will also build out Bostik’s long-term sales strategy to align with the company’s business mission to drive double-digit growth. Zaccardelli comes to Bostik after 17 years with Knauf Insulation, holding positions of salesperson, marketing manager and ultimately national sales manager. Prior to Knauf, he brought his engineering degree to U.S. Gypsum, where he worked for 11 years.

ind-02Lackmond Products, Inc. has named Russell Ayers as director of Customer Service, overseeing the company’s inside sales strategies and operations for both the Lackmond Products and Lackmond Stone divisions. Ayers brings 38 years of experience working with UPS in sales, operations, marketing and strategy. He also worked directly with many large accounts on growth and efficiency strategies.

Russell and his wife, Siler, enjoy spending time with their two sons. When not working, Russell enjoys college football, camping at NASCAR races, hunting, fishing and house projects.

New Coverings management: Taffy Event Strategies

Coverings, the largest international tile and stone show in North America, has appointed Taffy Event Strategies, LLC ( as its show management company. Taffy will be responsible for producing Coverings’ exhibition and conference program. Coverings 2017 will be held April 4-7 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

coveringsCoverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring 1,100 exhibitors from more than 40 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architects, designers, builders, and developers.

The show is co-sponsored by Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA), Tile of Spain/the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), and the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).

Taffy, based in Arlington, Va., is a full-service trade show and management company focused on producing events that inspire audiences, create connections, and deliver results.

“We are delighted to team up with Coverings to help drive its goals and add value for the thousands of the show’s exhibitors and attendees,” said Jennifer Hoff, president at Taffy Event Strategies. “We are looking forward to supporting the industry as it showcases its truly remarkable tile and stone products, while also fostering business-building networking and education opportunities for today’s professionals.”

For more information, visit

ind-03The Tile Shop launches online Design Studio

The Tile Shop, a specialty retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles, setting and maintenance materials, and related accessories, recently introduced an integrated digital Design Studio capability in all stores and online, allowing customers to personalize and visualize how an entire room or a distinct space will look upon completion of their project. The Design Studio gives customers and sales associates a collaborative platform to create customized 3D design renderings to scale, using specific shopper room dimensions. Shoppers can choose from an extensive selection of The Tile Shop’s tile and stone products, trim and grout, visualize various tile layout possibilities and select accompanying furniture and accessories, including lighting. Tile layouts of floors or walls can be changed at the click of a button. The Design Studio is available without an appointment at any of The Tile Shop’s 118 store locations, or shoppers can register online at to use the service on a computer or mobile device. The tool’s collaborative design capability means that anyone who receives a shared plan can edit it directly. Once a final design is chosen, the Design Studio also has the capability to tabulate exact product quantities needed to complete the project. Shoppers can also request a cost estimate for an individual Design Studio rendering by sending it directly to The Tile Shop showroom in their area or by submitting it online at, and an associate will follow up to provide a project estimate. Alternatively, they can send renderings directly to their preferred Trade Pro for an estimate.

Daltile remodels Vegas, Denver showrooms

Daltile ( has officially opened the doors on remodeled showrooms in the Denver and Las Vegas markets. Both locations celebrated with grand opening events in early August. A slab yard attached to a traditional gallery setting at both locations provides a single-source resource for local architecture and design communities.

A floor-to-ceiling desert cactus mosaic mural welcomes visitors to Daltile’s Las Vegas tile and stone gallery.

A floor-to-ceiling desert cactus mosaic mural welcomes visitors to Daltile’s Las Vegas tile and stone gallery.

Multifunctional workspaces, tile libraries, hospitality areas and conference rooms were remodeled with design professionals and clientele in mind.

“We wanted to create inviting spaces that inspire our customers,” said Corinthia Runge, manager of gallery and showroom operations for Daltile. “Our new locations were designed by designers, for designers, making it easy to imagine what is possible in any space.”

A floor-to-ceiling desert cactus mosaic mural welcomes visitors to the 5,800-sq.-ft. Las Vegas tile and stone gallery, located at 3345 W. Sunset Road, Suite G. Products are artfully displayed on floors, walls and partitions. The space includes a loose tile library and an LCD touch screen that allows customers to virtually flip through the digital catalog, view inspiration gallery images and build out designs with the tile and stone visualizer tool. A custom chandelier made with tile pieces, offers inspiration for guests. The hospitality area features a stunning diamond-matched Aqua Marine Granite backsplash and bright white Morning Frost ONE Quartz countertops. The intimate conference room showcases a striking slab tabletop.

The Daltile Denver showroom features a fireplace vignette with four book-matched slabs.

The Daltile Denver showroom features a fireplace vignette with four book-matched slabs.

In Denver, the 4,700-sq.-ft tile and stone showroom at 852 S. Jason St., Unit 8, features an entry area with a large stone slab desk with waterfall accent that provides a focal point for visitors to begin their journey through the space. An accompanying fireplace vignette featuring four book-matched slabs warmly welcomes visitors and showcases the striking stone slab offerings.

Dodge receives Architosh
Best of Show award

Dodge Data & Analytics’ Sweets apps for Revit and AutoCAD were awarded Architosh’s “BEST of SHOW” honor in the Building Information Modeling (BIM) software category at the AIA Convention earlier this year.

Dodge was recognized by the trade publication (which serves CAD and 3-D design professionals) for the elegant integration between Sweets data and the Autodesk applications Revit and AutoCAD, which enables users to bring Sweets’ richly annotated products directly into their design tools at an early stage. Launched in January 2016, the Sweets app for Revit provides product integration for the 3-D design software’s 400,000-strong user base, while Sweets for AutoCAD, previewed at AIA and launching later this year, offers support for 2-D design projects and will be available to millions of AutoCAD users worldwide.

ind-05The Sweets apps are a key component of Dodge’s commitment to simplify design professionals’ workflow by delivering Sweets’ richly annotated products right into their design tools. A number of key partner companies have already adopted the Sweets app for Revit, including Allegion, C/S Group, Sloan, Armstrong Ceilings, Excel Dryer, and Maxxon Corporation. Since AIA, other firms such as AMX by Harman, American Specialties, Inc., and Terrazzo & Marble Supply have also begun implementing the new software.

Del Conca Group looks to the future with high technology and an historic investment plan of 120 million euro in 5 years

San Clemente, Italy – September 19, 2016  — The Del Conca Group continues to grow, always tackling fresh new challenges. The path the Group took on several years ago now features an historic investment plan, unique in the sector considering their size.

“What can most contribute to success and growth within the framework of global competition, is the culture of innovation,” Enzo Donald Mularoni, the founder of the Del Conca Group, has always underscored. “Within this framework, technology plays a key role.”

The doubling of the production capacity at the U.S. facility of Del Conca USA has been nearing completion just these past few months, with an investment of $30 million, in addition to the $50 million investment for construction, which was completed in 2014.


Pastorelli project

In addition, in the first quarter of 2016, the related Pastorelli SpA completed studies on a layout for its own facility in Savignano sul Panaro.

The first stage of the Pastorelli project is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2017, with an investment of 20 million Euro, and it consists of building a traditional production line, but with two presses of extremely high tonnage, a kiln such that it can increase output by about 2 million sqm per year, grinding and handling systems for the production on a large scale of the large formats currently manufactured at the Ceramica del Conca facility in San Clemente, Italy.

“The second stage”, explained Paolo Mularoni, the new president of Ceramica Faetano, the parent company of the Del Conca Group, “was originally scheduled for 2017/2019 with an investment of additional 15 million Euro and an additional production increase of 3 million sqm per year, and has gained considerable momentum. Indeed, today we’re announcing that the second stage has been brought forward and will be put in place at the same time as the first stage, thus bringing the investment into Pastorelli to 35 million Euro.”

The second stage of this project consists of building a continuous press system, Continua Plus, designed to produce large slabs and large planks (reference measurement: 240 cm in length), highly requested by the market and professionals in the sector. Continua Plus transforms a continuous bed of atomized powder into ceramic material ready for drying and firing, using a super‐compactor that can apply a pressure equivalent to 450 kg/cm2. The result is a slab of porcelain stoneware of considerable size available in a variety of thicknesses. The advantages are enormous.

This pioneering technology used by very few companies around the world will enable the Del Conca Group to massively expand their range, and to offer their customers cutting‐edge products at a global level.

“It’s not just our call to look at the future,” said Paolo Mularoni. “Today it is a must because we’re working in an increasingly complex market, and we have to tackle issues related to ever-increasing globalization, strong local and international competition, increasingly complex forms of distribution, new types of customers who are more and more informed and demanding. Current investments enable us to aspire to an increase in turnover of about 30‐40% within a period of 3 to 5 years.”


New collections at Cersaie;

racing icons at booth

At Cersaie 2016 all the new collections will be presented, including those created with the new systems. Also in attendance will be Fausto Gresini and the Gresini Racing Team for the Moto 3 category (riders Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio), for which Ceramica del Conca is the main sponsor, and for the Moto 2 category (rider Sam Lowes), for which they are the official sponsor. Paolo Beltramo, a true icon for Italian motorcycle fans, will be there entertaining guests. This reporter has been treating us for years with behind-the‐scenes tales of life in the paddocks, and has always brought  thrills along with his friend and colleague Guido Meda.



Polycor Acquires and Merges with Swenson Granite and Rock of Ages

polycorCITY OF QUÉBEC, Sept. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Polycor inc., a Quebec-based natural stone producer, is announcing the acquisition of Swenson Granite and Rock of Ages, two of the top players in the granite and memorial monument industry. The merging of these three large companies makes them the biggest marble and granite production group in North America and one of the biggest worldwide. The headquarters of the business will remain in Canada, specifically in the City of Québec.

These acquisitions will spotlight Polycor’s expertise in new North American and international markets. “Swenson Granite and Rock of Ages are brands known for the superior quality of their products in the markets where they have a presence. We wish to maintain their brand identity and image. They enjoy an enviable reputation, which will secure immediate growth for us,” explains Patrick Perus, CEO of Polycor. Polycor’s management is also aiming to acquire better knowledge of the customer base in these markets and strengthen their expertise in working natural stone quarries.

More than 800 employees will now work in Polycor’s numerous divisions. “Our intent is to create more jobs in the communities involved. We’re thrilled to welcome 400 new members into Polycor’s big family and we’re confident they will integrate seamlessly, as the three groups are complementary to each other and share similar fundamental values,” adds Mr. Perus.

TorQuest Partners and its co-investors, in conjunction with PNC Mezzanine Capital, are partnering with key members of Polycor, Swenson Granite and Rock of Ages management teams to capitalize the combined company. Though the transaction amount remains confidential, Polycor’s management estimates that by the end of this acquisition, revenues will exceed $150 million (USD) per year.

Polycor numbers in Canada and in the United States

  • 800 employees
  • 30 quarries
  • 12 factories
  • 7 stores
  • 6 offices

About Polycor
Founded in 1987 in the City of Québec, Polycor distributes natural stone products across North America. The company transforms granite, marble and limestone into slabs, tiles, mosaics and landscaping items. Now employing over 800 people, it has 30 quarries and 12 factories in Canada and the United States. For more information, go to:

About TorQuest
Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners, is a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds. With more than $2 billion (CAD) of equity capital under management, TorQuest invests in middle market companies, and works in close partnership with management to build value. To learn more about TorQuest Partners, visit

About PNC Mezzanine Capital
PNC Mezzanine Capital, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been providing financial support to companies since 1989, helping them achieve their strategic objectives. They provide subordinated debt as well as junior capital. They are renowned for their flexibility and their confidence in growing businesses.

LATICRETE-Sponsored Joey Ternullo Wins Race

laticreteSeptember 19th, 2016 (BETHANY, CT) – LATICRETE, a global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry, is proud to announce that Joey Ternullo won the Legend Car race at Waterford Speedbowl August 18th.

“The crowd went crazy when Joey won,” said Jennifer Ternullo, his mom. “It was a well-deserved win as Joey has been trying so hard all year,” Jennifer continued.

Joey also held a 3rd place podium finish this past July and was ranked in the top five more than once during this past summer.

screenshot-2016-09-20-15-31-56The next race up ahead for the Central Connecticut University student will be Nationals.
Nationals will be held at the Waterford Speedbowl, October 6th-8th, with an expectation of over 100 legend car drivers. “The big race is coming up in October (Nationals) and Joey is gearing up strong for that,” said Jennifer.

Joey is the son of Middletown Ceramic Tile Company’s Joe Ternullo. Middletown Ceramic Tile Company has been using LATICRETE materials and methods for over 50 years.

LATICRETE has been sponsoring Joey in his Legend Car since 2010. A Legend Car is a five-eighths scale replica of pre- World War II coupe car and can reach 80 miles per hour.

Fans can follow Joey and Ternullo Racing on Facebook and Twitter.

Schluter Plans Innovation Workshop in Mesa, October 12-13

schluter_logoSchluter®-Systems has scheduled an Innovation Workshop for October 12-13at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Mesa, Ariz. The workshop is designed to introduce attendees to the world of Schluter Systems and to provide a solid overview of the applications where Schluter products are most often used.

The event contains both classroom and hands-on instruction on a range of subjects including how to prevent tiles from cracking with Schluter DITRA; protecting tile edges with Schluter profiles, and providing effective moisture management with Schluter KERDI.

The program runs 8 am – 5 pm both days, with breakfast and lunch on location. Dinner on day one,  October 12 is also provided by Schluter. The company will provide accommodations for the night preceding and following the first night of the workshop for those living an hour or more away from the workshop location.

To register, visit; email questions to [email protected]. Contact Lisa Chartier or Marci LaPier at 800-472-4588 ext. 4116 with questions. While in Mesa, contact Tim Whittington at 602-768-8649.

The Mesa Holiday Inn & Suites is located at 1600 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa, Ariz.

Total Solutions Plus 2016: Industry Unity Evident at Annual Management Conference


The golf tournament and opening reception officially kick off the event, starting Sunday night, October 22.

by Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director

Total Solutions Plus takes place this year from October 22nd-25th, at the Hyatt Indian Wells Resort in Palm Springs, Calif. This is the second time we have brought Total Solutions Plus (TSP) to Palm Springs. The desert weather is absolutely fabulous in the fall, and the golf, shopping and outdoor excursions are an added plus. But make no mistake about it, Total Solutions Plus has become a place where business gets done.

This is our seventh year of creating this conference, managed by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, Tile Council of North America, Tile Contractors Association of America and the National Tile Contractors Association. It has taken us a few years to get the format just right, but the event seems to really be working, and attendance and conference support continues to grow. We expect to have over 600 industry leaders in attendance at Total Solutions Plus 2016.

Approximately 100 companies will take advantage of the tabletop networking event on opening night of the conference, bringing everyone together into one room for a special evening of networking.

Approximately 100 companies will take advantage of the tabletop networking event on opening night of the conference, bringing everyone together into one room for a special evening of networking.

Years ago, our industry at times felt very fragmented. I am happy to say it no longer feels this way to me. When you step back and observe what is happening all around you at TSP, you see an industry working together on many levels. Before the conference takes place, on Monday and Tuesday, October 24th and 25th, significant work is being done in standards development. Over the weekend, dedicated volunteers and association staff will continue to make progress in finalizing product and installation standards for large-format tile and reduced-thickness tiles (a.k.a gauged porcelain tile panels). A presentation on these products will also be offered during the conference, with representatives from manufacturing, distribution and contracting all taking part.

Over 600 industry leaders are expected to attend Total Solutions Plus 2016.

Over 600 industry leaders are expected to attend Total Solutions Plus 2016.

During the conference, it is not unusual to see contractors, manufacturers and distributors having private meetings, sharing lunch or dinner, and making valuable business contacts. Independent representatives and agents often use this event to meet with distributor customers, and to secure new product lines to add to their offerings. Approximately 100 companies will take advantage of the tabletop networking event on opening night of the conference, bringing everyone together into one room for a special evening of networking.

The conference program is carefully developed by a committee of representatives from each of the associations. Keynote speakers are selected to ensure their program content is applicable to all attendees. In addition to selecting professional speakers on business and leadership, this year the committee has secured Ken Simonson, lead economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), to offer an outlook on the construction industry. Another example of a business-focused session includes a breakout discussing the importance of electronic document and data management, with cloud-based solutions.

The conference program is carefully developed by a committee of representatives from each of the associations.

The conference program is carefully developed by a committee of representatives from each of the associations.

In addition to the panel presentation addressing large-format and thin-porcelain tile installations, the committee has asked Noah Chitty of Crossville Inc., and Mark Heinlein of the NTCA to offer a presentation explaining the relationship between manufacturing guidelines in ANSI A137.1 and acceptable installation standards related to lippage tolerances. This is a very important session for manufacturers, distributors and contractors, as all parties are often thrown into disputes where lippage of tile edges is a concern.

Have fun networking with friends; learn a new skill

Have fun networking with friends; learn a new skill

The golf tournament and the opening night reception officially kick off the conference on Sunday evening, October 23rd. Several spouse and guest tours are offered during the conference dates as well. Sponsors of the program and events can be found on the Total Solutions website at, as well as a complete conference program, tabletop exhibitor list, and conference and hotel registration.

Speaking of the hotel, the Hyatt Indian Wells resort is a spectacular venue. The Indian Wells golf course is one of the best in the desert, having been part of the Bob Hope Desert Classic rotation for many years. If you are planning on attending TSP and have not reserved your hotel, you need to do so as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about the value of Total Solutions Plus, feel free to drop me an email at [email protected] We hope to see you in Palm Springs this fall.


Construction Employment Declines In August; Contractors Cite Lack of Qualified Workers

Industry Officials Caution that Worker Shortages Could Undermine Sector’s Recovery and Stall Broader Economic Growth without Measures to Recruit and Train New Generation of Craft Workers for the Industry

agc-logoConstruction employment slipped from July to August for the fourth time in five months, but year-over-year job gains and recently released spending data suggest the recent weakness is due to firms having a hard time finding workers rather than lack of demand, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said its recent survey that found two-thirds of contractors are having a hard time finding qualified craft workers underscores the need for measures to boost recruitment and training on new workers.

“A variety of indicators suggest contractors would be adding to headcount if they could find qualified workers,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. He noted that compared to a year ago, employment has risen nearly twice as fast in construction as in the overall economy. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings are rising faster than in the private sector as a whole, suggesting contractors are paying more to attract workers.

Simonson noted that there were also fewer unemployed workers with construction experience than in any August since 2000. “No wonder more than two-thirds of the respondents to a survey our association released this week reported difficulty filling craft worker positions,” the economist added.

Construction employment totaled 6,640,000 in August, a dip of 6,000 from July but an increase of 199,000 or 3.1 percent from a year ago. That rate of increase in construction employment was nearly twice as fast as the 1.7 percent increase for total nonfarm payroll employment. There were 454,000 unemployed jobseekers in August who last worked in the construction industry, the lowest total for August in 16 years, Simonson added.

Average hourly earnings, a measure of wages and salaries for all workers, increased 2.8 percent in construction over the past year to $28.22 in August, nearly 10 percent more than for all nonfarm jobs, the economist noted. For the private nonfarm sector, earnings rose 2.4 percent over the past 12 months to $25.73.

Residential construction—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—added 11,000 jobs in August and 132,000, or 5.4 percent, compared to a year ago. Nonresidential construction—building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms—lost 17,000 jobs for the month but gained 67,000 employees compared to August 2015, a 1.7 percent rise. There were year-over-year gains for nonresidential building and specialty trades contractors but job losses among heavy and civil engineering construction firms.

Association officials cautioned that workforce shortages run the risk of undermining the industry’s continued recovery and could stall broader economic growth. They noted that firms can only do so much to improve their efficiency before workforce shortages force them to reconsider bidding on projects or delaying schedules. If that happens, overall demand for new development projects could dampen. They urged officials to act on the measures in the association’s Workforce Development Plan to boost recruitment and training opportunities.

“While contractors in many parts of the country are eager to hire new workers, they are having a hard time finding qualified candidates,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The best way to ensure continued economic growth is to enact measures to attract more young people into high-paying construction jobs.”

Deadline for Submissions to Coverings 2017 is September 6th!

CoveringsInterested in presenting at Coverings 2017? Coverings is the leading provider of education to the tile and stone industry in North America. We welcome your ideas for providing in-depth, cutting-edge information in highly interactive environments focusing on problem solving and tools to increase attendee ROI.

We invite you to submit one or more educational, non-proprietary proposals for consideration by our conference committee. All submitters are asked to include planned audience-engagement strategies as part of their session description and learning objectives.

Proposals will be reviewed based on:

  • Overall quality of the session topic including title, description and learning objectives
  • Proposed audience engagement strategies and interactivity of the proposed session format
  • Diversity and uniqueness of the presentation and how it enhances the overall quality of the program
  • Practical application of the topic

Submit your proposal by September 6 at 5:00pm PDT to be considered as a presenter for Coverings 2017. Click here to get started!

Coverings strives to provide high-quality networking and educational opportunities all for free to registered Coverings attendees and exhibitors. Coverings is a registered provider of AIA and NKBA continuing education and applies for CEUs through IDCEC.

Have a great idea for a conference session at Coverings 2017 but don’t want to speak? The Coverings Conference Committee wants to know what topics are of most importance to our attendees and exhibitors. So, if you have a hot topic or idea, let us know! Email your session idea to [email protected] by September 6 at 5:00pm PDT.

1 2 3 21