Back to School

Fall is just around the corner and soon kids will be headed back to school. While the days of books and pencils may seem like ages ago for most of us, have you ever stopped to consider the benefits of investing in your continuing education? One way to grow your business is to provide you and your employees with training opportunities to stay current with our ever-changing business world.

NWFA University (NWFAU) offers a combination of online and hands-on training for wood flooring professionals. Most recently, the development team added a manufacturing learning path that focuses on the various processes required when producing wood flooring. This new learning path offers more than 30 online training courses grouped into six learning paths. The latter is supplemented by online modules, 10- to 15-minute courses that can be taken individually or in small bundles. So with NWFAU, you can learn at your own pace, on your own schedule.

One thing that differentiates NWFAU from typical online learning platforms is the incorporation of digital badges. A digital badge is a graphic representation of a learned skill, but NWFA takes them a step further by embedding its digital badges with metadata that verifies the recipient’s proficiency with a specific skill or area of expertise. This metadata includes information about the NWFA as the third-party issuer of the badge, the date the badge was earned, and the specific skill or knowledge that was exhibited, and confirmed through testing, for the individual to earn the badge. Also, these badges become part of a life-long digital resume, which makes them especially convenient for attracting customers.

“NWFA uses its digital badges to influence consumers who are looking for qualified flooring professionals,” says NWFA President & CEO, Michael Martin. “For those members who engage with NWFA University, they move up in NWFA’s consumer search feature as they participate in more training. Take a series of courses to earn a badge, and bump up; take more courses to earn more badges, and bump up again; earn certification and jump to the top of the list.”

NWFAU pushes the industry limits and encourages professionals to grow their knowledge and skill set to set themselves apart from their competition. NWFAU is a resource to engage with other professionals, take part in meaningful education, and turn a job into a career.

“I love that I can continue my education at any time of the day or night with NWFA University. Having these resources available has been a very valuable tool for my business. The more you learn, the better off you’ll be, and you can charge accordingly when you have more to offer.” said Sean James, SJ Hardwood Floors, Santa Cruz, California. “For $100 a year, it’s really a no-brainer. NWFAU allows me to develop my hardwood knowledge and skill set, and pass that on to others. It’s such a cool thing.”

To learn more about getting involved with NWFA University, visit

Stephanie Owen is Education Director at the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis. She can be reached at

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