The International Labor-Management Committee for the Floor Covering Industry was formed in 1990, with the original responsibility of assimilating hard tile installation services into existing United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America training centers throughout North America.

However, this committee quickly became aware of a significant problem that was hindering the floor covering industry — a critical shortage of qualified professionals. As a result, floor covering materials were being installed improperly, causing a hike in customer callbacks and costly repairs. Manufacturer, retailer and consumer confidence in floor covering professionals was low and falling fast.

At committee meetings, members often explored pressing issues and concerns within the industry as a whole, but one issue was repeatedly revisited — the need for quality education in floor covering installation. The committee devised a plan:

  1. Determine industry-wide needs by forming meaningful alliances with floor covering mills and manufacturers of floor-related tools and materials; and
  2. Support the creation of a universal training program that would embrace all categories of floor covering.

The goal was to substantially increase the level of proficiency for all floor covering apprentices and journeymen across North America. Training would be conducted under an umbrella name — International Standards and Training Alliance (INSTALL) — and would be steered by the International Labor-Management Committee for the Floor covering Industry.

The committee determined the INSTALL mission would be to ensure the continued health and prosperity of the North American floor covering industry, to demonstrate commitment to quality installations, and to enhance the industry’s reputation. To accomplish this, the committee would provide ongoing investment and support to INSTALL’s existing UBC members and work closely with architects, facility managers, specifiers, floor covering mills, and manufacturers of floor-related tools and materials through outreach efforts.

To launch INSTALL, the committee originally partnered with UBC Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees (JATC) to create a curriculum. That curriculum is now updated and refined by subject matter experts from the UBC’s International Training Fund. This evolving curriculum is also regularly reviewed and commented on by technical and educational representatives from major mills and manufacturers who are formal partners of INSTALL.

This curriculum is now regarded as the leading industry-endorsed training program of its kind in North America.

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Ben Coplan |