While Southern expansion has been a key initiative for INSTALL since 2016, the organization has set a 2018 goal of establishing at least six new Southern INSTALL contractors. By growing its membership base in Texas and other South-Central states throughout the past year, INSTALL is well-positioned to bring even more contractors into the fold.

As INSTALL continues to increase its presence in key markets across the country, it aims to maintain its focus on council-to-council and contractor support. This relationship provides contractors with the opportunity to enter viable construction markets and establish new offices, allowing for additional revenue streams. It is also an opportunity to bring additional training and certification to the Southern labor pool.

“As the most endorsed and specified training program in the industry, INSTALL is able to leverage long-standing manufacturer partnerships to bring together field know-how and in-depth product expertise,” said John McGrath, executive director at INSTALL. “For newer markets like Texas, this means contractors will now have access to trained and certified journeymen and will be able to train the next generation of expert installers.”

Expanding into Southern states required significant support from a variety of industry players, including local United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) councils, contractors, manufacturers and individual installers. INSTALL’s expansion into the Texas market was spearheaded by a joint partnership that included: St. Louis – Kansas City Regional Council of Carpenters; Central South Carpenters Regional Council; and Image Flooring, INSTALL Warranty Contractor.

“Image Flooring and INSTALL approached us to hold training sessions and open houses at several training centers,” said Jason Engels, executive secretary treasurer of the Central South Carpenters Regional Council. “Thanks to their unique relationship with the St. Louis – Kansas City Regional Council of Carpenters, they were able to bring INSTALL certified instructors to Texas. This was an extremely important step as we did not have any instructors at the time.”

Apprentice to full journeyperson INSTALL training started in July 2016. Image Flooring is also sending certified installers to supplement specific jobs depending on need, which cements the company’s willingness to support INSTALL’s expansion efforts.

For more information, visit installfloors.org.