WFCA Forms Education Fdn., Donates $1M to Fight Installation Shortage
Chattanooga, TN, December 13, 2019--At a press conference yesterday, the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) announced the first ever industry-wide initiative, “We are Part of the Solution,” to impact the installation shortage, forming an education foundation, donating $1 million to jumpstart the effort, and extending free membership to all independent floorcovering dealers.
The World Floor Covering Association has committed an initial seed-funding donation of $1.0 million, and challenges industry leaders to join with the WFCA in solving the labor shortage. This collaborative effort will include two distinct initiatives that will serve to broaden industry support and participation. As an initial step, the WFCA has spearheaded the formation of the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF), an organization dedicated to recruiting and training individuals in preparation for a career in the flooring industry. In another unprecedented move, to be truly inclusive of all industry partners, the WFCA has made its membership free to all independent floorcovering dealers.
FCEF exists to lead a collaborative network of industry and educational partners aligned to support student development, training, certification, and transition into the flooring industry workforce, but its initial focus will be on solving the installation crisis at the root level of the problem-student recruitment and education. According to the FCLC study, the industry will need to recruit and educate roughly 6,000 new installers annually for the next ten years to replace attrition in the workforce, or the crisis will deepen.
The campaign aims to inspire action and is seeking initial and continuing financial support from manufacturers, distributors, groups, dealers, private donors, government grants, suppliers, media and other industry trade associations that will drive collective action to bring awareness to the opportunities that exist in the flooring industry. The funds will be used for awarding student educational scholarships, development of awareness campaigns, student recruitment, and to run the day-to-day operations of the foundation.