Power of associations

Hands-on training, advocacy and more
Lee Senter, CFCRA president

At the CFCRA we are always looking at providing things that others cannot.

I hear about the education found on the internet all the time. The comments I hear are, “I saw it on You Tube,” “I googled it,” “it was on a discussion board” or “it was on a Facebook group.” Many have convinced themselves that this kind of education is sufficient. People look me right in the eye and say that the associations are not needed anymore.

When it comes to hands-on education, where do we receive that? Yes, hands-on education! So many people learn by doing. It’s the number one complaint we receive after theory-based classes: not enough hands-on. The organization I am involved in, the IICRC, is dramatically cutting down on the number of questions on our exams to allow for more time for hands-on training. The classrooms we are teaching in are expanding in size to accommodate hands-on training. Unfortunately, we still have many constraints on equipment brands and types that can be used for demonstrations. It is also hard to get a couple of dozen students to try each piece of equipment with the time allotted being short and the workspace being small.

A group out of the U.S. has got a great idea to implement hands-on training. What they are doing is providing a couple of days of training on the theory of a subject and then they go to the local Ronald McDonald house and clean it from top to bottom for free. When this is done the little extra touches that can be done on a job are demonstrated as well. Caulking and colour match is done on tiles. Baseboards are cleaned and countertops patched.

This is the direction we would like to take at the CFCRA. We plan on bringing in instructors from around the world to demonstrate their techniques. Paul Pearce will come and teach hands-on cleaning of wool, Tencel and bamboo carpets. We will teach stain removal on these natural fibres as well. We want to do hands-on colour repair for both tiles and carpet. We want to teach grout recolouring and sealing. We want to teach shining, polishing and honing of marble floors and countertops. To do this kind of hands-on training we need sites to do it in. Demonstrations on small set ups in a warehouses are better than nothing. But if any of our readers can think of worthy charities that can use a free cleaning, let me know at [email protected].

I want to remind everyone that we will be holding the CFI installation classes for wood/laminate flooring, all the vinyl floors, and for the installation of carpet. Our instructors are world class. CFCRA members get a special deal — buy two classes and get the third one free. Contact us for more info.

Last, but not least, the power of associations is forgotten when it comes to influencing the government. Empirical data from associations and their standards of care should be referenced by governments, industry and other materially interested parties. I hope that we see more participation from people on all sides of the industry to get involved with associations so the data and experience we have, along with our technical documents, can be used by those who need them and all the hard work that was put into them does not go to waste.

I hope 2020 is a fabulous year for us all!

The Canadian Flooring Cleaning and Restoration Association was preceded by the Flooring Institute of Ontario (FIO), a not-for-profit organization which proudly served the needs of flooring industry professionals in Ontario since 1962.
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