Technical Breakout: Recruitment Strategies to Reduce Labor Shortages

An exhaustive industry study in 2018 showed that the flooring industry is losing between 5,000 and 6,000 flooring installers. Representatives from the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF) and the International Masonry Training and Education Foundation (IMTEF) will discuss what they are doing to increase awareness of career opportunities in installation, recruit new talent into the worker pipeline, and provide industry recognized training and apprenticeship programs. They will review the efforts that are in process, future plans, and how anyone and everyone in the industry can join the effort to make a difference.

Jim Aaron

Jim Aaron has spent all of his adult life in the flooring industry. He began his flooring career working for a family member’s flooring store while attending the University of South Carolina. Upon graduation, he accepted a role as territory manager with a wholesale distribution company, William M Bird & Co., where he spent twelve years. He then spent a number of years with Mohawk Industries where he gained additional sales and sales management experience. He then went on to work for a retail business cooperative for 17 years where he served as VP of Merchandising for the company’s largest division, Carpet One Floor & Home, with 850+ locations. He now serves as the Executive Director of the Floor Covering Education Foundation, a role he has held since March of 2021.

Anthony DiPerna

Anthony is the International Masonry Training and Education Foundation‘s (IMTEF) National Director of Apprenticeship and Training and has been a member of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) for 35 years, serving in a number of leadership positions. In his current role, he oversees the National Training Center and works with all local training centers in implementing training and education. Anthony started as a journeyworker in BAC Local 3 and quickly rose through the ranks becoming a foreman in the early 90s. By the late 90s, Anthony earned the title of Superintendent, leading many high profile jobs in Upstate New York. In 2002, Anthony became a local trustee for all benefit funds for BAC Local 3. After about 22 years in the field, Anthony was elected to the position of Vice President for Local 3, and just a couple of years later, was elected to Secretary Treasurer office. In 2015, Anthony was voted into the role of President of BAC Local 3. During his presidency, Anthony took on various roles in his community such as becoming President of the Rochester Building Trades in 2019. In 2020, Anthony was promoted to National Director of Apprenticeship and Training for IMTEF.