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Tile industry gathers in Washington D.C. to develop priorities and establish relationships

Led by an initiative developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), representatives of labor and manufacturing met June 26-28, 2023 in Washington D.C. to accomplish several short- and long-term objectives. 

David Allen Company Executive Vice President Martin Howard (l.) and NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga inside the office of Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi.  

Approving the 2024 TCNA Handbook

On June 27, voting representatives of the Tile Council of North America Handbook Committee and guests met to approve revisions to the 2024 TCNA Handbook.  This version will be available early in 2024, thanks to the hard work by volunteers and staff. 

NTCA Education and Curriculum Director Becky Serbin is also the co-chair of the NTCA Methods and Standards Committee, which submits proposals and suggested revisions to the Handbook.  Serbin reports that highlights to the 2024 version will include additions and changes to several methods already in the Handbook.  Efforts are also being made to consolidate some stone and tile methods into single documents rather than separate them.  This is part of a strategy to reduce the size of the book when it makes sense. 

Serbin went on to say that the group is taking language modified in the ANSI A108 Committee to incorporate those changes into the TCNA Handbook to remain consistent with these documents.  This will be an ongoing project moving forward.  A complete TCNA Handbook update will be presented by industry leaders at Total Solutions Plus this October in New Orleans. 

Tile industry leaders were assigned to small groups to meet with as many Senate and Congressional staffs as possible.  The groups were selected based on geographic representation and meetings were set up with staffs of elected officials to reflect their residencies

The meeting on the Hill

On June 28, NTCA representatives joined other industry leaders for a special day on Capitol Hill.  Small group meetings were scheduled by TCNA and its legal representatives with Congressional and Senatorial staffs.  Although elected officials were on recess, the staffs were welcoming and cordial and open to discuss tile industry priorities in 2023 and beyond. 

This is part of an ongoing strategy by TCNA to become more active in efforts to affect positive change for the tile industry.  NTCA leaders have supported these efforts, which included maintaining tariffs on unfairly traded Chinese tile as an example.  Now, TCNA leaders are lending support to labor issues which will only become more prevalent unless action is taken.  This includes shortages in qualified labor and a lack of enough new people entering the trade to meet industry demand. 

Although this was an exploratory meeting, labor, distribution, and manufacturing representatives are solidifying our commitment to work together to establish policy objectives moving forward.  Based on the interaction and support we received from Capitol Hill representatives, we are on the right track and we look forward to sharing more information as it develops. 

James Woelfel, President of Artcraft Granite Marble and Tile Company (c.r.), is joined by Bill Griese of TCNA (l.) and Barry Kemna of Kemna Tile and Marble (c.l.) as they discuss the need for apprenticeship programs with the office of Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri. 
Executive Director at National Tile Contractors Association | [email protected] | Website | + posts

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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