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Can Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) solve the underpaid workforce challenge?

The well-acknowledged flooring installers crisis

The flooring installation crisis is dominant, as reiterated by the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC). An organization, now deceased, that vowed to solve the education and training problems for installers. Accompanied by the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), CEO Scott Humphrey is striving to solve the prevalent issue. But is it actually generating the required outcomes? Has the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) or the WFCA been able to eliminate the shortages that the installation industry continues to encounter?

Evidently, there exists a dire need for a young and skilled labor workforce, new installation professionals, and adequate remunerations to compensate for their hard work.

The growing issue of underpaid labor

Floor covering craft is highly demanded everywhere, yet the floor covering industry is under deep waters. As essential as flooring is to any framework, the floor installers are left to tackle a colossal of projects and remain disturbingly undervalued and underpaid.

How low is the pay rate really and is it because of installer value?

The average hourly pay of floor installers in the current market is between $14 – $16.98 which roughly makes up to $2,200/month upon extensive hard work and overtime add-ons. This monthly income is low compared to the enormous amount of manual work floor installers are supposed to carry out for perfect flooring. The value of a craftsman is lost. Consequently, bad economies and existing underpaid individuals have left the industry for better-paying jobs. Many higher-paying industries have paid them, trained them, and created for them tools to succeed. What has the flooring industry done for installers in the last 30 years that have added value to the installer?

Why is Floor Installing Workforce Underpaid?

You would think the high installer age of between 45-56 years old comes with a polished set of skills, professionalism to know and be aware of market economics that makes flooring installers successful. Nope! The industry educational programs are only now evolving. Many installers still have trouble looking for answers to be great employers and the tools they do have to understand the local market costs to offer good estimates are leveraged by the lowest bidder. It’s discouraging! It’s no wonder why a construction company who hires a floor installer, only pays them an adequate salary because their competence is apparently “worn out.” Simply, installer values are decreasing.

While that might not be the case always, we cannot deny the fact that the existing workforce is underpaid. Stating the obvious: the low pay rates and under-tooled installers are demotivating for any aspiring seeker. Like a major turnoff, potential candidates look elsewhere to stuff their pockets with cash and abilities.

Consequences of low pay rate

As a result of terribly low pay rates offered to flooring installers, the installation industry is deprived of young workers. At the Certified Flooring Institute (CFI) conference, industry executives observed that on average, the current flooring installer age is 56 years old. Needless to elaborate, this pressing problem of a lacking young and skilled workforce in the industry can be attributed to poor pay and the lack of awareness of a failing profession.

Does the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) Address the Issues?

The only solution that the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) presents for the skilled labor shortage is to award students with scholarships, recruiting them to the flooring industry as they complete their training. This approach is ineffective as the root cause of the underpaid and under-tooled workforce is not being remedied.
The number 1 profession in the flooring industry is the installer. No installers = no floors get installed.

FCEF Tracker provides well researched, up to date information, on the progress of the Floor Covering Education Foundation FCEF and the solutions it’s providing to solve the installer crisis.

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