Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) is
an educational institution that offers local, regional, and
national training programs for consumers, installers, construction
professionals, architects, designers, building inspectors
and sales associates interested in the sales and installation
of ceramic tile.
The CTEF currently has numerous educational
and training courses available covering all facets of tile
and the installation process. Custom programs are regularly
created to meet the needs of the industry. Classes are conducted
on a year around basis at the CTEF facility in Pendleton, SC, in addition
to numerous satellite programs elsewhere in the United States.
The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation was created in the later
part of 1996 at the suggestion of the Tile Council of North
America (TCNA). Other supportive industry organizations such
as the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Ceramic
Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), and foreign trade partners
Ceramic Tile of Italy (Italian Tile Producers) and Tile of Spain (Spanish
Tile Producers) had long realized that the absence of an educational
organization was and would continue to impact the ability
to sell product in the American marketplace.
The attrition of the current tile industry
workforce at the rate of several thousand per year, also served
to compound the problem. A review of current available curriculums
and educational programs found that the available programs
were sorely in need of updating or of a proprietary nature.
Armed with funding from the Coverings Tile
& Stone Exposition and other industry partners, the decision
was made to create from scratch numerous educational and training
courses to assist the industry in the sales and installation
of ceramic tile products. The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation,
a 501 C3 non-profit organization was created for this purpose.
The CTEF's training center is a 9,000 square-foot facility
designed to meet the growing demand for ceramic tile-related
and hands-on installation courses.
Each work area contains
a tub and shower, which are used as a practice area for tile setting,
waterproofing, and shower pan programs.
The CTEF warehouse contains an extensive inventory
of products donated by manufacturers to provide each student with the opportunity to learn the basics of floor and wall tile installation.
The commitment of the Tile Council of North
America and the National Tile Contractors Association will assure continuance of CTEF programs for years
to come at a very modest price. Manufactures have also been
generous with financial donations and/or materials without which the programs
would not be possible. Consider in each class, thousands of
dollars of materials are installed and removed to make way
for the next group of students. Some become quite attached
to what, in some cases, becomes a work of art.