News & Press: President's Letter

January 2020 President's Letter

Friday, December 20, 2019  
Posted by: Trish Moss
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Successes, initiatives and priorities for the new year


It’s January, a new decade, and I am excited to reflect on NTCA’s successes, new initiatives and priorities for the year. The main charter of the NTCA starts and finishes with professional development. In keeping with that, the association is always looking for ways to bring value to its membership through training, professional resources, and to act as a repository for current industry information, product information and events.


NTCA Apprenticeship Guidelines Program

There are tangible examples of the association’s success this year, starting with approval of the NTCA Apprenticeship Guidelines Program by the Department of Labor (DOL). The apprentice program is the culmination of a multi-year initiative that started with the good intentions of updating the existing apprentice program. That undertaking quickly developed into a more complex and advanced goal when it became clear that a total overhaul was required to be a better resource that brought value to the development of qualified labor. The program now includes short modules that can be completed online at one’s convenience. They are arranged in a logical progression of the required skills and information someone would need to start new in the office or field. This allows the participant to make good use of their time and take greater responsibility for their success. 

NTCA Education & Curriculum Director Becky Serbin, along with a team of volunteers, created an apprentice program recognized by DOL for its innovative use of internet modules. Companies are just learning how to use the modules for training office and installation teams and are only scratching the surface of how to effectively use this tool. It can be a supplement to existing training or it can function as a fully developed apprentice program. We hope that the benefits of apprentice training will be apparent as modules continue to be created to address detailed aspects of tile and stone installation. 


Regional training seminars, NTCA Workshops 

The immediate popularity of regional training seminars led to new hires and staff assignments for NTCA to accommodate widespread expansion of these sought-after regional training sessions. These events give participants in-depth, hands-on opportunities to collaborate with friends, partners – and often competitors – in a supportive and creative format. Meanwhile, refreshed content for the NTCA Workshops with additional presenters brings new twists and energy to the program, along with fresh venues provided by a growing number of sponsors. 


CTEF engagement

Many NTCA presenters are also Certified Tile Installer (CTI) evaluators. NTCA has strengthened its engagement with the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF). While CTEF remains a separate entity, new CTEF staff, along with NTCA support, brings the opportunity for both organizations to benefit from shared resources. The CTEF CTI program is able to respond more effectively to our engaged installation community that requests more CTI testing opportunities as well as Advanced Certification for Tile Installers (ACT) exams. These goals should be realized as a result of the NTCA/CTEF collaboration. 


People make NTCA tick

Adding to an already-proven efficient team can sometimes be risky. Luckily, professionals in marketing, training, social media and technical arenas have blended together to give new voices the chance to provide input and support to the growth and long-term success of our association. Those who choose to have deeper engagement with the association benefit from the talents and energy of the NTCA staff, regional directors, state ambassadors, and industry volunteers. Participation maximizes the strengths of our association, allowing it to continue as a leader in the industry and make meaningful contributions to the tile community. 

Associations are only successful if they provide value. NTCA generates that value through volunteer participation, industry collaboration and recognizing the contributions the association offers that are meaningful and in line with the needs and expectations of NTCA’s members.  

Because so many people are involved, it’s impossible to recognize and thank everyone individually for this year’s success of the association. But it is my pleasure to serve as president, and I look forward to working with the NTCA team in 2020.



Chris Walker

NTCA President

Vice President, 

  David Allen Company

Chairman, ANSI A-108

Chairman, US TAG ISO TC-189

Board of Directors ABC-VA

Voting Member TCNA Handbook

Voting Member 

  NTCA Reference Manual