Welcome to February! If this issue looks a little different than the typical TileLetter monthly issue – that’s because it is!
We dedicated this issue to the many training and education opportunities taking place in this industry over the course of this year. You won’t see Ask the Experts or Membership Spotlight or some of our other regular features in this issue – but don’t worry – they’ll be back in March. Instead, you’ll see lots of useful information on NTCA and industry training that you can take advantage of in 2023 – as well as a handy at-a-glance schedule for NTCA and CTEF trainings.
Imagine if everyone reading this issue of TileLetter availed themselves of just ONE new training or education opportunity this year – whether in person at an NTCA Workshop or an NTCA Regional Training or even online through NTCA University or a virtual NTCA Roundtable Live! or NTCA Webinar. Or maybe there’s a manufacturer class or workshop that floats your boat. NTCA and industry partners have developed SO MANY ways to become engaged with education and hone your skills. You owe it to yourself to up your game with one of these opportunities. And most of them are FREE!
One of the features in this issue introduces you to the entire NTCA Training Team, which has expanded to be eight strong in 2023, bringing you over 230 educational and training events in the form of NTCA Workshops and NTCA Regional Events – plus classes and sessions at trade shows and conferences this year. And it’s appropriate to meet our training team in the month dedicated to love, because at the heart of it, each trainer has a real love of sharing their knowledge with those in our industry. They have learned over the course of their careers and they are passionate about sharing their knowledge to make your business better.
Do you know that as an NTCA member, you can reach out to the NTCA Technical Team with your questions and challenges – ideally BEFORE you dig in to your project – to ensure its success? Read “Why the NTCA Technical Team Loves to Answer Your Questions” in this issue.
We also have a list of industry training programs from supporters and education providers for you to peruse, as well as a convenient calendar of NTCA and CTEF training dates, listed by state. Not only that, NTCA’s Becky Serbin gives you an update on NTCA University and how that can benefit you and your company, while NTCA’s Jim Olson weighs in on the many opportunities to learn through online NTCA Webinars twice a month.
We’ve reported on some updates to our famous “Trowel and Error” video, now available on NTCA’s YouTube channel in English, Spanish, Russian and French Canadian, and our NTCA Reference Manual, an essential industry publication. Read more about them in this issue.
We also included an overview of a unique opportunity for those who want to pursue high-level tile artisan craftsmanship that is taking place this June. Although the current class sold out in a DAY, it speaks to the enthusiasm for the artisan tile setting movement that is growing in our industry and surely lays the groundwork for additional classes in the future.
Bart Bettiga talks with Consultant Joe Lundgren and his view of the changing picture of distribution and the importance of standards-based training for tile installers and contractors in his One-To-One story. And Bettiga also contributed a report from the inaugural “Mind Your Business” Schluter class, offered to new NTCA members as a way to become more savvy in their business operations, heartily supported by Dal-Tile, LLC.
Last but not least, our cover story is an amazing renovation of buildings on a 300-year old seminary campus in San Antonio, and how Bostik products helped breathe new life into the venue.
There is a lot to absorb in this issue, and we hope it serves as a guide for your inspiration and education for the year to come.
Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN
Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor. Other interests include the soft, purring marvels known as cats, labyrinth walking, drumming and percussion, and a range of spiritual, musical and artistic pursuits.