Recently, I was invited to attend an America vs. Japan installation contest hosted by the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) at its headquarters in Anaheim, California. During the all-day event, the best carpet and resilient installers from both countries went head to head in a fierce matchup; the results were so close that the judges couldn't declare a clear winner. In the end, trophies were given to all participants for their hard work and determination. The event was an unqualified success, and serves as a powerful reminder of the spirit of cooperation fostered by organizations such as the WFCA and the International Certified Floor Covering Installers Association (CFI). By networking and attending the many training sessions these organizations offer, installers can share their knowledge and skill, which advances the installation trade.

During the event and the reception that followed, I had a chance to talk with the installers, and I was impressed with their desire to learn and to share their knowledge with other installers. I saw first hand the way that organizations such as CFI and WFCA have positively influenced the installers, both in the quality of their work and their attitude toward their profession. One installer really summed it up well when he said, "Before I found CFI, I was making all kinds of mistakes, because I just didn't know any better. Now, I know better, and I want to share that with other installers, so they won't make the same mistakes I did." It is that kind of attitude that will truly make a difference in the installation trade. By sharing their knowledge, installers are helping to secure a better future for the industry and improve the public's perception of installers in general.

Throughout the evening, the camaraderie shared by the Japanese and American installers was obvious, as they swapped stories, advice and plenty of jokes. I left with an optimistic view about the future of the installation trade, which is finally starting to get the attention it rightfully deserves. Ultimately, it is up to you, the installers, to create a better future by getting involved in organizations such as CFI and WFCA, to increase your own knowledge and skills, and to share them with others. If you haven't done so already, you owe it to yourself to find out what they have to offer. For more information on CFI, visit their Web For more information on the WFCA, visit their Web

Another way to share your knowledge with other installers is through this magazine. If you have an installation or technique you'd like to share, or a topic you feel we should address, feel free to e-mail them to me: I look forward to hearing from you.