Combating the Skilled Labor Crisis

Ambassador Floor Company is a second-generation, family-owned business in St. Louis, Missouri, with a strong focus on supporting its community and its people. One of the ways Ambassador does this is through helping to recruit and train young people into the flooring industry so it can encourage long-term careers and support families.

“Not only is it important to support our community, but we also want to cultivate talent so we can maintain and grow our reputation as a top-quality flooring company,” says Mike Lee, Vice President of Operations at Ambassador Floor Company. “We are extremely proud of the professionalism and expertise shown by our installation teams, and we want to do all we can to ensure our high standards with these craftspeople continue to be met.”

Ambassador has a robust training and education program for their installation teams. “We currently have 17 flooring apprentices working for us, and we have a mentoring program to help guide and encourage our apprentices as they work toward their goal of achieving journeyman status,” says Lee. “Our apprentices also take week-long intensive training sessions every quarter to ensure they’re furthering their training and progressing on their path to journeyman.”

Training Ambassador’s installation teams in the best and safest methods has been a priority for President Kelly Taylor. To keep their installers up to date, Ambassador conducts regular “Toolbox Talks” that include in-depth safety training. “Our commitment to keeping our installers updated and trained is one of the big reasons why we’re more than 900 days injury-free,” adds Lee. “This is an almost unheard-of achievement in the flooring industry, and we’re extremely proud of our installation teams for achieving such a milestone.”

In addition to safety training, Ambassador’s installation teams also attend regular “Product Knowledge Meetings” led by manufacturers as new offerings are added to the Ambassador showroom.

A recent effort Ambassador participated in to help educate and attract prospective apprentices took place when the Home Builders Association of St. Louis approached Ambassador about a presentation at South Tech High School in Sunset Hills, Missouri.

“Two of our installation professionals, Bryan Benke and Travis Rochman, joined me to lead the presentation and share an overview of the various types of flooring and the particular skills and training needed to specialize in each,” says Lee. “The presentation was a great opportunity to connect with students and answer their questions about building a career in the flooring industry.”

Ambassador Floor will soon participate in the Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program Career Day and talk with area high school students about opportunities and training options.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to talk directly with area students and young people, share more about the industry we’re passionate about furthering, and support training opportunities to help more find their career path in flooring installation,” concludes Lee.

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