New Video Series Launched:  Is the FCEF a Bust? Episode 2

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Is the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) a Bust? Episode 2 Transcript:

Jared King: What do you make of the FCEF’s effort to recruit new installers?


Robert Alexander: It's a waste of money.


Jared King: So, Robert, how do you see this installer crisis? 


Robert Alexander: You know the flooring industry isn't the buggy whip industry of the 20th century. This industry, this flooring industry isn't going anywhere. It's far too established and rooted into the US economy. And we may be in a low spot, but it's going to bounce back and it's going to do it on its own. 


Jared King: What do you make of the FCEF’s effort to recruit new installers?


Robert Alexander: I think it’s a worthy program but it's a waste of money. $10 million dollars to put towards this program, especially when in a crisis is just inefficient in many different ways. It's vacant way too often. Installer acquisition cost is way too high. And it's too slow. It'd be, if I were to open up a transportation company in the middle of a city to move people around and I'm using horses to do it. Scott Humphrey said that we're in a crisis, and we need to move this product around the country to meet those new installers. Well, it's a problem. It's a problem out the gate. And we truly need a better system to serve the people we want to serve. It doesn't serve the industry. It doesn't serve the new installers. It doesn't serve current installers. It doesn't even serve the FCEF. If we use the word crisis. Somebody’s drowning. Somebody’s stuck in a building. Somebody’s hurt. All crisis, how to react? We react fast and immediate. Right? If we’re in an installer crisis, we have a slow truck, yet it's mobile. But it's slow. 


Jared King: Right. 


Robert Alexander: Is it limited in the number of installers it could reach in a moment? Yes. Is it only in one place at one time? Yes. Can we do better? Absolutely. We need movement. We need to be faster, and we need to be better at what we do.  


Jared King: So is this a flooring industry problem? Or are we seeing this in multiple industries across the board? 


Robert Alexander: And I think the FCEF model, as we look at it today, doesn't benefit, doesn't give the perks that a new, young installer would have to come to this industry. 


Voiceover: What is the flooring industry up against? We've seen huge improvements in the job market lately. But many potential employees are expressing their stubbornness to which industry best serves them and that many large industries are also experiencing employee shortages. Paid training and placement incentives will fill their needs for jobs and great people. More important, are these industry's ability to remove the shame around unemployment checks and food stamps by rebuilding confidence and self-esteem through incentives for careers, benefits for talented people like Andy, who leveraged these incentives.


Andy: They called me flat out off the LinkedIn and offered me $25,000 to come in and interview. Anybody who has the qualifications right now is getting a phone call. And they're getting money to train for it, finding students who would be interested in aviation and they're paying for their school and then saying you have a job when you come up. There are training incentives, meaning we'll pay for your licenses, if you promise to give us three, four years. It’s really gotten to the point where we are investing in where Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, people from different schools have come over. They've seen our airplanes. We've had classes for them to take about not just aviation, but how to get a job, things that you need to do for any employment. Right now, the market has so many options for people that if yours cost too much money, they're not going to take that option. There are options out there to make a lot of money and to get the training for it, paid for by the people who need you to come and work. 


Jared King: So with FCEF program, I mean, how can they compete with say, even the airline industry?


Robert Alexander: It's competitive. And, we're all competing for the same pool, right? That pool is only so big. And I can tell you this, the FCEF truly has to get this down. I would not put $5 towards any program that couldn’t answer these simple questions that we're asking here today.