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NTCA Annual Report: 2023 Highlights

Investing today in the future of the association

NTCA staff leaders presented an annual report to our members at Total Solutions Plus (TSP) recently in New Orleans. This report is published and available to our members on the NTCA website (www.tile-assn.com) this month. For our members and subscribers, the following are some highlights of the direction the association is taking moving into 2024. 

Investing in training and education

Advancements in ceramic manufacturing technology have created an increased need for specialization in the way we train and educate installers. Having a mobile program allows our training staff the ability to reach more people than ever before. In 2024, we will significantly expand our outreach in our Workshop and Regional Training Programs. You can find our most updated schedule on our website at NTCATraining.com. 

Expanding the NTCA staff

The association has been blessed with membership growth and increased support of our programs from our manufacturer and distributor partners. To meet the needs of member and educational support, we are investing in additional staff for our marketing and communications department and in membership and sponsorship sales. We expect to fill these positions in the beginning of 2024. 

The Women In Tile group took a riverboat cruise while at TSP, providing the opportunity to network and build new connections in the industry.

Focusing on our DATA program

Last year, we identified four key components that were driving our strategic planning moving forward. This remains unchanged. DATA stands for: 

NTCA recently released Little Hands Little Tiles on its website. This trade education initiative is designed to excite young children about creating art with tile. It was conceived by NTCA Member Megan Renk of Mosaix Tile Installation and Services, and produced by Michelle Chapman, NTCA Art Director. All proceeds support Women in Tile. Visit the online store at tile-assn.com/store to find out more.

Diversity 
Age 
Training 
Artisanship 

Sixteen young industry leaders under 40 took part in the first Emerging Leaders Forum, which ran from this past January through April. A new cohort is starting January 25, with a live meeting at The International Surfaces Event (TISE).

We have invested our time and resources to these initiatives in 2023 and the results are starting to pay dividends. Our Women in Tile group is expanding, and they have big plans for 2024. 

We expect to announce our second annual Emerging Leaders program for young leaders in our membership soon, with a program launch to take place at TISE in January (see the Rising Stars story in this issue). We continue to grow our training programs and just announced support of the second annual Artisans Revolution in Tile (ART) training program to take place next summer in Milwaukee, Wis. These are just a few examples of how we as a staff are remaining committed to our strategic objectives. 

Jane Callewaert, Dragonfly Tile and Stone Works and Rod Owen, C.C. Owen Tile Co., representing NTCA in the Industry Panel at TSP in October. Callewaert is also an essential part of the Artisans Revolution in Tile training, and Owen is NTCA First Vice President.
NTCA’s slate of workshops and regional training is exploding, with approximately 200 training events planned for 2024.

Looking into the future

The Art Glass Panel training is a two-day intensive on learning how to work with unique art glass panels. Launched this year and enthusiastically received, there will be more opportunities to learn specialized skills that provide an entrance into this market segment for tile installers and contractors.

Beyond 2024, we are exploring more ways we can make an impact in our industry that will benefit our members. We are focusing our efforts at developing curriculum in concert with the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) that can be used in recruitment of new people into our trade through a variety of platforms, including apprenticeship programs, community and technical colleges, middle and high school education, and more. We are pursuing several opportunities in this arena and looking closely at utilizing our resources to expand our training programs, develop more video content, support other training groups like the CTEF, and explore opportunities in workforce development in key market segments. 

Conclusion

Being an industry leader requires great responsibility. NTCA is taking this very seriously and we pledge to be transparent in our mission and to share our results with you, our valued members and subscribers. As the market changes and develops, we are committed to being responsive to the needs of our industry. We feel strongly we are headed in the right direction. 

Bart Bettiga is the Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association. Bettiga is a member of the Board of Governors of Coverings, one the largest tradeshows in North America. He has over 30 years of experience in the tile and stone industry and has served as the NTCA Executive Director since 2002. He is a well known speaker and author on ceramic tile and natural stone distribution and installation. He oversees the financial operations of the NTCA, TileLetter and the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.

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