LL Flooring, one of the nation’s largest specialty retailers of hard-surface flooring, and the National Flooring Contractors Apprenticeship Program (NFCAP) are marking a milestone with the opening of the initiative’s first training facility in partnership with the Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, Texas. This spring, participating Gary Job Corps students will begin the NFCAP pre-apprenticeship program to prepare for apprenticeship placements with LL Flooring’s network of independent contractors.
The NFCAP facility at Gary Job Corps includes classrooms, training stations and state-of-the-art equipment for training. Pre-apprentices will work with quality LL Flooring products to hone their flooring installation skills, and courses will be led by NFCAP-approved instructors. Students will also be connected with participating LL Flooring contractors to serve as mentors for their apprenticeship.
“LL Flooring is dedicated to developing a new generation of high-quality installers and contractors who take pride in their craft, and that’s why we are investing in this partnership with NFCAP,” said Damien McGaugh, Senior Vice President of Sales at LL Flooring. “We take great pride in assisting NFCAP at the Gary Job Corps Center, and we are excited to play a role in mentoring a future pool of installer talent who can make our customers’ floors look beautiful and perform perfectly.”
As the first national retailer to partner with the apprenticeship program, LL Flooring is lending resources and introductions to its professional networks to NFCAP. LL Flooring’s efforts include connecting NFCAP apprentices with participating flooring contractors to serve as mentors. LL Flooring will also donate product, advise on the curriculum and provide financial support to grow the program.
Carlos Mongalo, the founder of NFCAP, stresses the importance of a collective spirit and corporate support to address the flooring labor shortage gap. He cites launching at Gary Job Corps is a significant step as it is the biggest Job Corps Center among 200 in the nation.
“The beauty about Gary Job Corps is flooring contractors around the country can send prospects graduating from high school as well as veterans to get trained in flooring installation at a facility with the best resources and product from LL Flooring,” said Mongalo. “Partnering with Gary Job Corps is a first step in bringing this apprenticeship into other Job Corps across the country to help us train the next generation of flooring installers.”
Mongalo, a second-generation flooring installer himself, adds the industry will benefit from more consistent quality workmanship, which can be most effectively taught through apprenticeships.
“We believe NFCAP is a great program for our students as it provides a career path for our students to one day become business owners,” said Lorraine Lane, Executive Center Director, Gary Job Corps. “We look forward to seeing the future success of our students becoming flooring contractors running their own business.”