In his "Best Job Practices" column in your July/August issue, Ken Knudtzon is right to urge our industry's installation professionals to take training and re-training seriously. I especially commend Mr. Knudtzon for his final sentence, which I consider to be sage advice: "Be open to new tools and techniques; a combination of the old way with the new way could mean more profit for you."
The irony is that Mr. Knudtzon omitted the one training program whose existence embodies his column's lesson: The International Standards and Training Alliance, known at INSTALL, developed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and its partnering contractors. An important premise that INSTALL stands upon as it trains its floorcovering installers every day is equipping them with hands-on and theoretical knowledge of new tools, new techniques and new strategies that they can combine with on-the-job experience and proven work habits. This training method creates-highly trained, competent installers, and having these men and women on a jobsite makes a contractor more competitive and profitable because work is done right the first time, saving time and money on re-dos, customer callbacks and material waste.
And, while education opportunities listed in the article cite open houses, manufacturer nights, and conventions, your readers should know that INSTALL is the only program to offer four years of instruction - both in the classroom and on the jobsite - for most every flooring material available.
Finally, while I don't deny the usefulness of Mr. Knudtzon's tip to keep notebooks and files on products needing special techniques or having unique features, your readers should know that INSTALL's curriculum is based on counsel from installation experts at leading mills and manufacturers across the country. Therefore, the curriculum evolves as the industry's needs change, keeping content fresh and in touch with what's needed on the current jobsite.
Mr. Knudtzon was right on target to focus a spotlight on re-training. Creating better-qualified installers can only help our industry, and-we wanted your readers to know that INSTALL is presenting that training in a superlative manner.
Jim Schmid, International Director