Chattahoochee Technical College and Good Will Industries Bridging the Skilled Labor Shortage

The NWFA, in partnership with other industry organizations, is working to address the skilled labor gap issue, not only by providing training for future wood flooring professionals but also by working to change the perception about skilled trade careers. One way NWFA is accomplishing this is through its partnership with vocational schools, technical colleges, and adult training programs. Two such programs include Chattahoochee Technical College in Atlanta and Good Will Industries.

NWFA partnered with Chattahoochee to offer training through Good Will Industries as part of its adult education program. The mission of Chattahoochee Technical College’s Center for Corporate and Professional Education is to enable the citizens of our surrounding counties to develop necessary skills to further their career goals. Business and industry support programs help to create, and more importantly, to retain, skilled job positions.

For flooring professionals, NWFA also offers a variety of hands-on training programs throughout North America. The events are customized to meet the unique needs of each geographic location. For example, for training held in Denver, how wood performs in dry environments may be part of the curriculum, while for training in Miami, how wood performs in humid environments may be part of the curriculum. This helps to ensure the proper training is provided for each market.

If training is still inaccessible, the NWFA offers yet another skills gap option – online learning. While online learning will never take the place of hands-on training for specialized skills, it can provide some basic knowledge and general guidelines to ensure success. Through NWFA University, the NWFA offers interactive online courses for installation, sand and finish, and sales. Courses in basic business practices also are available, and courses for wood flooring inspectors are currently in development.

Amy Leatherman, Director of Operations at Chattahoochee, explains the impact the partnerships are having:

It is a win-win for everyone involved. Students receive quality training delivered by industry experts, which result in the attainment of industry-recognized credentials and certifications that help pave the way for competitive employment opportunities. Employers benefit by having a qualified and skilled job candidate that is ready to work, is efficient, and productive from the very first day of employment. All of the partners benefit through the satisfaction of a successful job placement, knowing they played a part in impacting someone’s life for the better.

Just this week, more than 13,000 skilled trade jobs were listed on a popular job search engine. With NWFA training, job seekers can get the training they need to find steady, good-paying jobs, and job posters can find qualified, skilled craftsmen and craftswomen to fill vacancies.

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