U.S. Manufacturing Company Creating Silver Lining for the Green Building Industry

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NCFI is addressing the future need for highly qualified building experts by recruiting, training and supporting top-quality insulation installers/applicators. Their new Web site is designed to attract hard-working, dedicated people who want to take control of their own destiny by tying it to the burgeoning green jobs economy.

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While many U.S. companies are waiting for the U.S. economy to turn north, Mount Airy, N.C.-based manufacturer, NCFI, is busy creating the future of green building by seeking out and training the next wave of sustainable insulation contractors.

"Green construction is the brightest spot in the U.S. building industry," claims NCFI Sr. Vice President, Nelson Clark. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, of which we are a member, the green building industry is not as affected by the down market. A recent McGraw-Hill report shows the overall green building market is expected to more than double from $49 billion today to approximately $140 billion by 2013.

"We see major upside when builders and homebuyers are equally motivated," continues Clark. "Builders are motivated by the economic benefits including higher revenue and lower operating costs. Homebuyers are inspired by the health benefits, use of sustainable products, reducing carbon output, higher home resell value and lower energy costs."

David Johnston, green pioneer, author and advocate calls NCFI insulation products, ''best of class.'' Johnson says, "Insulation for any building type appropriately selected and installed is the best investment a community can make in a building's infrastructure. As energy costs spiral, high-performance spray foam insulation is becoming increasingly popular, not only for its insulating properties, but because it also resists mold and moisture and promotes healthful indoor air quality."

According to Clark, "We're doing our best to not just prepare for this major building trend, but to also make sure the building industry is prepared for the future with current and complete technical information, high-touch support and the highest-quality, best-formulated products. We are not here just to sell products. We're here, and we've been here since 1966, to drive the very future of how we build healthier, high-performance homes and buildings in the U.S. It's been our corporate mission all this time to bring the energy economy and building economy together - get things moving in the right direction - and we're finally seeing that vision become reality.

"When the U.S. Dept. of Energy says about 80 percent of pre-1980 U.S. homes and a good percentage of current homes are under-insulated, and demand for new green building is exploding, we know there is a swell of emergent opportunity - for manufacturers and for entrepreneurial craftsmen. Consumer demand for green building products and methods is growing, architects are designing them into buildings and specifying them, and builders are using them. The only potential stumbling block we see to the green building juggernaut would be lack of qualified high-performance spray foam applicators. Since we're here for the long haul we are addressing that too."

NCFI is addressing the future need for highly qualified building experts by recruiting, training and supporting top-quality insulation installers/applicators. Clark says, "Our new Web site, http://www.spfcareers.com , is designed to attract hard-working, dedicated people who want to take control of their own destiny by tying it to the burgeoning green jobs economy. For people considering a career change, or who are out of work from layoffs and closings, this industry can be an ideal choice! As homeowners demand green, sustainable products, we're seeing slightly lagging demand on the builder/contractor level. We want to close that gap, quickly," says Clark.

A director of economic research for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Chad Moutray, Ph.D., says, "In an economic downturn, entrepreneurship is usually the savior." Clark agrees, "We certainly believe entrepreneurs and innovative thinking will be the driving force behind a recovery - especially in the new building culture. We're offering an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get in on the ground floor of the new greener economy - education, training, support, equipment, financing, and certification. It's a turnkey opportunity. We are preparing a new wave of success-driven craftsmen with the best knowledge and skills to build truly sustainable homes and buildings for the next 100 years.

"We not only continuously innovate our high-performance insulation and roofing products, we also provide the best technical information and training in the industry," explains Clark. "Our Certified Gold Star Applicator program for spray foam insulation and the Tier One Program for our roofing systems are in-depth, encompassing, information-heavy certification programs that provide builders with a cadre of installers/applicators they can trust to have the very best training on products and applications. So, they are, to borrow from our friend David Johnston, the best of class applicators spraying the best of class products."

Mike Stutzenburg, owner of Sea Spray Foam Insulation, LLC, Leland, NC, is one of those Certified Gold Star Applicators. "Becoming a Gold Star Applicator was no simple thing," says Stutzenburg. "We had to show we had the knowledge to do the work at exacting standards. We worked for it and we had to show NCFI we understood not only spray foam insulation, but also the entire building process and proper application techniques. We also had to prove we operated our business with sound, ethical, customer-driven practices."

Jim Benson, owner of Blue Foam Insulation, Inc., Avon, Colorado and GoldStar Applicator agrees, "The Gold Star application process wasn't easy, and rightfully so. Contractors want - no they expect - certified subcontractors. They want people they can count on and they appreciate that NCFI certifies us only after thoroughly testing our knowledge of the principles or spray foam insulation, building science, applications methods, equipment and our creditworthiness. I'm going to include my certification in all my bids."

Stutzenburg says about the benefits of Certified Gold Star status, "Being a Certified Gold Star Applicator best serves my company, our client builders, and homeowners, and keeps us a full step ahead in the market. NCFI is amazing at testing and associated code knowledge, so we stay informed and educated in the changes and directions of the industry. Their technical information and stringent requirements ensure Gold Star Applicators have the knowledge to do the very best work and, in my many years of experience, that's what builders really want. They want someone doing work for them they can trust." He adds, "NCFI's deep reservoir of knowledge and constant professional assistance helps my company's growth and gives me a real competitive advantage through a superior understanding of high-performance insulation products."

Benson agrees, "I've been in this business for eight years and I've never sprayed anything other than NCFI insulation. I really like the products and the company. I find I actually enjoy pitching it to contractors and homeowners. I tell them it doesn't matter what kind of energy they use: natural gas, electric or solar. Ice dams are a major concern here in the mountains, and I can show them how NCFI high performance spray foam insulation eliminates ice dams and improves the efficiency of their homes or buildings. What really matters is how the homeowner can use lots less energy by using NCFI. I can show them that and I love it!"

The spfcareers.com Web site is designed to be educational in a real-world sort of way. "It's a clearinghouse for people who want to control their own future by owning their own business," says Clark. The site not only includes industry and product information, but it also helps the person considering the opportunity a chance to do a personal assessment with tools like: A Day in the Life of an Applicator; Successful Applicators Characteristics; Staffing and Equipment Needed; Training and Support; Financing. It even provides the chance to speak with a Business Opportunity Counselor.

According to Clark, "We want to find, recruit and train an infrastructure of responsible applicators who will help us keep up with growing demand. That takes a certain kind of person -- a hard worker who demands excellence and provides the same for his customers. We want long-term relationships with the Mike Stutzenburgs and Jim Bensons of this country: People who get up early each day, roll up their sleeves, invest their time and energy, and go out and make good things happen - people willing to lead by doing the right things over and over. People you can trust. That's what Certified Gold Star means to us."

For more information or to arrange an interview on this subject please contact:
Dale McGlothlin
(202) 341-8615


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