From those who make floorcovering to those who make the machines that make floorcovering, FloorTek has attracted companies from across the world to the Dalton Convention Center.

The trade show kicked off Tuesday, and several of the exhibitors said they were happy with the turnout.

"This is our first time here," said Brent Berquist with Advanced Blending Solutions of Wallace, Michigan.

"Traffic has been pretty good," he said. "I think it is going to be a good show. It is the first show we have attended since COVID-19 shut everything down, and I think people want to get out, they want to see what is new in the industry and meet with people."

Advanced Blending Solutions makes equipment for the handling and blending of polymers, such as those used in the manufacture of carpets.

The FloorTek expo (floor-tek.com), which concludes Wednesday, has attracted companies from across the United States and from around the world. The show, hosted by the American Floorcovering Alliance, aims to bring together those who make and distribute floorcovering as well as those who supply machinery, technology and raw materials to the floorcovering industry.

Paul Chambers and Doug Stringfellow were representing Valco Melton of Cincinnati, Ohio, which makes machinery that applies adhesives, sealants and coatings.

"We've been around since 1952. We can bind many different things," said Chambers. "We can bind carpet to carpet backings. We can bind various layers of woven material to non-woven material."

The company serves a number of carpet companies.

"We are also in packaging, paper converting, woodworking," said Stringfellow. "When you think about how handles get attached to bags or how the core in toilet tissues gets glued together or how the paneling gets attached in vehicles, our products do that."

In addition to industry leaders, area students attend FloorTek to learn more about the floorcovering industry.

Tracey Brock, director of corporate education at Shorter University in Rome, was at the trade show to let students and workers know about that school's online programs.

"We offer a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees online," she said.

Among those programs are accounting, business and management.

"We still offer traditional on-campus programs," she said. "But online is growing in popularity, and for students who are working, it is very convenient."

Trish Rafey of Dalton State College's Wright School of Business said she wanted to let executives in the floorcovering industry learn more about the school and the students it graduates.

"We want to let them know that our students are out there," she said. "Whatever they need, we have students who will be able to fill that need."

Several elected officials showed up to meet with industry leaders.

"Manufacturing is the lifeblood of our economy," said state Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton. "I support our manufacturers, and I wanted to get out here today to talk to them."

State Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, also came to FloorTek. Miller, who is president pro tem of the state Senate, is running for lieutenant governor.

"Dalton is a major part of our state's economy," he said. "The floorcovering industry is key to Northwest Georgia in terms of economic development and financial strength and employment."

Stephanie Manis, executive director of the American Floorcovering Alliance, said the show is shaping up well.

"It started off a little slow, but it's been growing steadily and it's going to be a great show," she said.

To attend the expo, which is free, register at floor-tek.com.

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