The Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) hosted its first ever Flooring Futures Summit on September 20, 2022 at the Dalton Convention Center in Dalton, Georgia. The FCEF team, its partners and leaders within the flooring industry presented information on the progress thus far with training and education, donations—both financial and product, and what it still needs to accomplish the monumental task of remedying the shortage of qualified flooring installers.
Don Roberts, owner, Central Alabama Flooring, and president of the board of directors, FCEF, reviewed the Blackstone Group report that states the industry is losing 5,000 to 6,000 installers per year.
"I think the challenges up until recently have been on the shoulders of the dealer," said Roberts. "I think we've all come to the realization today that we're all limited to what we can sell in a new product based on what can get professionally installed."
The bottom line, according to Roberts, "We need to come together as an industry."
While the FCEF has secured support in various forms, it still has a long way to go with its efforts, requiring further support from the entire flooring industry. Support can be financial donations, tool and supply donations, or donations of time, services and resources.
"We need materials; we need people," said Roberts. "We need people to do things. We need people to help us schedule appointments. We need people just to make calls and try to recruit people, but it's going to take a big group of people doing this."
There are four partnership levels available. Each one is divided into the amount of contribution and what that amount achieves.
For more information and to donate, visit fcef.org.