Chicago -- In January 2018, the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) commissioned an independent research firm to conduct a multi-phase study to quantify the scope and severity of the lack of installation professionals on the flooring industry's sustainability and growth. A total of 334 executives, representing floor covering contractors, retailers, workrooms, and installation businesses across 45 of the 50 states, participated.

Part 3 of this 5 part series describes motivations and hurdles when considering flooring installation as a career path. A key consideration motivating the executives who would recommend a career in installation was its perceived financial advantages, but the primary barrier was the tough working conditions that installers experience. To boost the odds of finding the "right people" for installation work, many of the executives who expected to hire installers in 2018 planned to rely on current employees' recommendations.

Executives' main source for recruiting employees varied by region. Those in the south and west more often expected to depend on personal ties than did executives in the northeast and midwest. Executives observed that, as a specialty trade, floor covering installation is a good career choice for those that have particular combination of traits: aptitude for and interest in manual work; capacity and commitment to handle the rigors of the trade; and ambition to be an entrepreneur.

Associations included in the FCLC coalition and others donated the funds needed to accomplish the 2018 research. Ongoing industry fundraising will be coordinated to generate the funding needed for the initiative's future work.

Part 4 of this series will focus on the assessment of perceptions of installation labor shortages. Presentations detailing the FCLC research findings will take place on Jan. 24 at The International Surface Event (TISE) in Las Vegas and on Feb. 28 at Domotex USA in Atlanta.

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