NKBA Establishes New Foundation

by WOHe

NKBA Establishes New Foundation

Hackettstown, NJ In an effort to expand the base of qualified
employees for the ever-expanding kitchen and bath industry, the
National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) is in the process of
setting the educational agenda for its new non-profit foundation.
The Center for Kitchen and Bath Education and Research (CKBER)
which got the approval to move forward with its non-profit status
and its finite formation earlier this year is specifically geared
toward addressing the growing need for more trained professionals
in this industry by providing a variety of workforce development
programs.

“Research has shown that while the kitchen and bath market
continues to expand, there is a distinct lack of a trained
workforce prepared to service this growing market. Our goal is to
create a variety of educational programs to help increase the
professional competence of those interested in, or currently
working in, the kitchen and bath industry,” say CKBER
officials.

Indeed, “Its primary goal is to help bring professional talent
into a growing industry,” adds Larry Spangler, the new CEO of the
NKBA. “It will be providing scholarships to bring people into our
educational system and our endorsed NKBA programs for kitchen and
bath [design]. But at the same time, it will provide an overall
vehicle for scholarships to bring people into our industry.”

With some funds already raised, the main focus now, says
Spangler is to reach out to “industry players” to form a separate
board of trustees, which along with NKBA’s Bill Schankel, who was
named the assistant director of industry relations will oversee and
shape the new foundation’s agenda.

Spangler says that process, along with the process of creating a
strategic marketing plan to get the word to the industry, should
take approximately four to five months. The official launch, he
says, will be at next year’s Kitchen/Bath Industry Show in Orlando,
set for April 11 to 13.

Once launched, some of the programs the CKBER will implement
include:

  • Establishing high school kitchen and bath career and mentoring
    programs in each region of the country.
     
  • Expanding existing college scholarships for students taking
    part in an accredited kitchen and bath curriculum.
     
  • Creating continuing education professional development
    grants.
     
  • Partnering with institutions offering continuing education
    programs in order to devise new professional development
    courses.
     
  • Monitoring and measuring industry awareness of professional
    opportunities within the kitchen and bath industry.
     
  • Developing and implementing an educational satisfaction
    survey.
     

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