Eight students graduated from the inaugural Basic Flooring Installation Program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) on March 18 in Dalton, Georgia. The program, developed in partnership with GNTC and the Floor Covering Education Foundation, is designed to prepare men and women of all ages for a lucrative career in flooring installation. 

"These guys in this class—after 10 weeks we are family," said instructor CFI Master Installer Dave Garden. "These guys all have different skill levels and different paces of learning. But the beautiful thing was the guys who were learning at a faster pace were turning around and helping students who were learning at a slower pace. That's the best way to get people learning—it's been a great class."

"I appreciated all the different people who came out and talked to us and showed us specialized knowledge on each subject," said graduate Kendall Keitt. "You wouldn't have gotten that from any video course or a Zoom course. It was really nice to have a hands-on situation like this."

"My father is in the trade, and what I have heard is that most classes are done at night, weekends, after somebody works, so to have a sit-down classroom and a full-on lab where you can dedicate your time in classroom setting—it's pretty ideal to learn something like floorcovering where there is a lot of things to learn," said graduate Wesley Ruiz. 

The graduates said the course has set them on a good course for a future in flooring. 

"It's a great first step in the business," said graduate John Knowles. "I've learned what I like and what I don't like. I loved the hardwood and the LVP."

"I'm going to use what I learned here and combine it with some other trade knowledge I know and work for a company for a while to gain what I can and then go into business for myself and do some remodeling work," Keitt said.

"Hopefully, that future is going to look like a lot of money," said graduate Logan Spake. "We got a lot of hands-on experience, I got to work with multiple tools I've never used before, so overall it's been a positive experience."  

The next class at GNTC begins on May 16. Find more information here.