FCEF showcases installation careers at ASCA
Austin, Texas—The Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) recently attended the America School Counselor Association (ASCA) annual convention, which was held here. For the first time, the flooring industry was represented at the largest school counselor event with an attendance of more than 4,000 advisors and counseling professionals.
“Awareness is a big issue for the flooring industry, even bigger than we initially thought,” said Jim Aaron, FCEF Executive Director. “We need to make sure that young people are aware of our industry and the career path of the floor craftsman. Talking to the people who guide young people in making decisions about their future… that’s a huge, positive step.”
The FCEF team spent three days in talks with ASCA participants. The message: Flooring careers are in high demand and they offer a great career path for people who love to work with their hands, are creative and feel the satisfaction of building something beautiful and functional.
In addition to Aaron, Kaye Whitener, direction operations; Tiffany Ketchem, FCEF administrative assistant; Bill Blackstock, board member and CEO of the Resilient Flooring Institute; and Dave Garden, CFI trainer and current instructor for the technical school’s pilot program, attended ASCA to raise awareness.
“I was inspired by the thousands of advisors at the event and the reception of the FCEF message about opportunities in our industry,” said Blackstock. “There was a hunger to learn and FCEF delivered its vision in a great way. In addition, it is only a matter of time before a student can take advantage of the scholarships and programs FCEF has to offer. Statistics show that the demand for talent is growing rapidly. Seeing the many organizations at the meeting sharing their value propositions with these counselors was proof of this. FCEF’s leadership team continues to be highly innovative in conveying our industry’s compelling message to key entities that can impact the future. In addition, the FCEF team is building bridges of infrastructure that can support access. So proud of them and enthusiastic about their work.”
FCEF came to the event with custom brochures that spoke to counselors, as well as student-centered handouts showing a simple representation of the floor craftsman career path.
“We want to show that this is not just any job; this is a career where you are constantly learning and growing,” said Whitener. “Floor craftsmen have many opportunities down the road for other roles within the flooring industry. There are so many opportunities and it all starts with learning the trade.”
For those looking to help spread the word, FCEF recently launched a digital awareness kit available to all donors who bet $100 or more per month. The kit includes videos, social media content, flyers, emails and more to make it easy for local retailers, suppliers and distributors to spread the word across their networks. Visit for more information fcef.org.
For information on craftsmen careers, training programs and scholarships, visit flooryourfuture.com.