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NTCA brings training to you with virtual workshops and roundtables

New NTCA VIP Text Messaging Program keeps you in the loop for upcoming training events

Here we are, in September, and no doubt you are missing some of the great training opportunities NTCA is known for. But did you know that although NTCA trainers are not physically roaming the country to present workshops and conduct roundtables, you don’t have to miss out on these educational events? In fact, you don’t have to leave the convenience of your phone or computer to take part in NTCA Workshops and NTCA Roundtables Live, all presented virtually.

NTCA Workshops

The NTCA Workshops were some of the most-anticipated training opportunities each year. Now you can enjoy the 90-minute virtual program anywhere you have a connected device, through the magic of virtual conferencing! 

The focus of the programs for this year is The Ins and Outs of Layout, which was developed to help contractors and installers master layout principles that can expedite your projects and create balanced layouts. The program reviews the basics of squaring a room, determining the focal point of the room to properly balance the tile installations, using grid pattern in tile installation and more. These principles are utilized by installation companies of all sizes in any type of job, so take the opportunity to tune into this virtual presentation and up your layout game. You’ll also have a chance to ask questions of the NTCA Trainer, and videos of the tips and techniques discussed will be shared with attendees. 

Visit https://www.tile-assn.com/page/VWSHOP for more information and to view a teaser video of the program. 

NTCA Roundtables Live

In June and July, NTCA Roundtables Live were held virtually in each region, with the Regional Directors moderating. This is a change to discuss pressing topics with peers, NTCA trainers, manufacturers and other industry experts and get answers to technical questions. They started up again in August, backed by the sponsorship of Custom Building Products through the end of the year.  

“Losing that human interaction has been crazy and difficult for all of us,” said Will White CTC/CMT, Director of Technical Communications & Training, Custom Building Products. “This roundtable series provides a way we can all connect. CUSTOM has always held high the standard of supporting the contractor on the job, in the trenches, getting it done day in and day out. More now than ever, creating a forum where we can meet, asking the difficult questions about installation issues, challenges and even experiences on this new way of life together is immeasurable. Custom Building Products and I are very pleased, excited for the growing participation and thankful to the NTCA for the honor to engage and support this new effort.”

Each NTCA Roundtables Live is conducted via virtual conferencing and runs for about an hour, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (12 noon Central/11 a.m. Mountain/10 a.m. Pacific). There is a general topic set for each meeting; some topics that have been explored in past roundtables include: 

  • Exterior Installations
  • Installer Habits (good and not-so-good)
  • Use of Mastic (when and where – or – when not and where not)
  • Substrate Preparation
  • Jobsite Security
  • Qualified Labor in the tile industry
  • Bring your questions and conversation! We want to hear from you!

There’s also plenty of opportunities to discuss other topics that come up in the group. 

NTCA Technical Director Mark Heinlein co-moderates with the Regional Director, and NTCA Trainers Robb Roderick and Randy Fleming are on hand for technical discussion and questions. While all members from the states in the scheduled region will be invited to attend, non-members can take part as well. And going forward, each roundtable will be open to the entire industry, not restricted by state. 

One big advantage of the NTCA Roundtables Live is the format gives seasoned contractors and those new to the industry positive support through a respectful forum, said Heinlein. 

“The roundtables are really starting to take off, with more and more people attending and engaging in fantastic discussions,” he explained. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to talk about tile in a safe place with industry professionals, without fear of ‘keyboard bravado’ that is sometimes seen on social media sites.” In fact, Heinlein said – although participation powers the discussion – contractors and installers can join the call to just listen if they wish. 

One of the new features of the NTCA Roundtables Live in the second half of the year is the “Ask the REF” feature. This feature poses questions that are derived from the NTCA Reference Manual; participants who answer correctly have a chance to pick swag of their choice from CUSTOM. 

Visit https://www.tile-assn.com/page/RT to register for the NTCA Roundtables Live. 

NTCA VIP Text Messaging Program

Got too much going on to check your calendar to see when Virtual Workshops and NTCA Roundtables Live are available? NTCA has you covered. You can now opt-in to NTCA’s VIP Text Messaging program that will alert you no more than 4-6 times a month when and where our next educational event is – or when our trainers get back on the road – in your area. Just text NTCA to 31996 from your mobile phone and you’ll get a confirmation. You’ll receive notification for the next event and information on how to participate. 

Trainers are looking forward to seeing you, talking with you and answering your questions in these new, age-of-COVID, virtual formats. Take advantage of this new format to pump up your tile installation know-how, coming soon to a phone, tablet, or computer screen near you. 

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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.

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