International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI) recently partnered with Informa/The International Surface Event (TISE) to bring the first annual “Build My Future: Flooring Edition” to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Held at the Plano Event Center, the event welcomed high school students from multiple school districts in an effort to introduce them to the flooring industry and what career paths are available within it.

According to research commissioned by the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) and conducted by Chicago-based research firm The Blackstone Group, over the next decade approximately 180,000 installers must be recruited, trained and working in the industry “to keep up with moderate growth.”

“CFI has been focused on the initiative of reaching [out to young people] for the past three years," Said Robert Varden, CFI vice president. "Not only to let them know that floor covering installation is a viable opportunity for them, but in most cases, it is also a very profitable one without the college debt.”

Varden said that CFI is lucky to have been involved with the original Build My Future program, held annually in Springfield, Mo., where the construction industry comes together to showcase a career day for local high school students. After participating in this event, CFI decided to host its own “Flooring Edition” in their hometown of Dallas, and were aided in this effort with guidance from the Build My Future event staff in Springfield.

In a release published at the close of this year’s event, CFI stated: “Build My Future: Flooring Edition was nothing like the average job fair. CFI offered hands-on demos, competitions and prizes donated by our sponsors and supporters. With an amazing turnout from local school districts, young male and female students participated and were blown away by the interactive showcase. The students came in open-minded and left with a totally new perspective of the flooring positions within their areas; some even left with job applications from local retailers who were in attendance.”

CFI and Informa will jointly be giving one student who attended the event a fully paid five-week Introduction to Residential Carpet course, which can be taken during summer break. At press time, the winner had not yet been announced.

Sponsors for this year’s “Build My Future: Flooring Edition” included Mohawk Industries, Floors To Go Texas, Schluter Systems, MAPEI, Dal-Tile, Congoleum, One Source Commercial Floors, Rasa Floors, DDF Commercial, Tools 4 Flooring, Traxx, Fuse Commercial Alliance, iQ Power Tools, Magnetic Building Solutions and the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).

Build My Future: Flooring Edition 2020 will be announced before the next school year.

For more information, visit cfiinstallers.org.