Kelly Bakke’s career as an installer started in high school. This initial foray was enough to get him hooked on a trade that he would eventually make his career.
After completing a construction management degree at Minnesota State University, Bakke rejoined the industry as an installer, and quickly found his way to the UBC. Beginning in 2000, Bakke began his job as an installer at INSTALL Warranty Contractor St. Paul Linoleum Company.
Eight years later, Bakke had an epiphany. “I needed to find a way to pass on the skills from my teachers to the next generation,” he said. “I had the opportunity to work with some incredible installers and journeymen through INSTALL and since many of them were retiring I thought it was now or never.”
Bakke officially joined the Twin Cities Floor Coverers Training Center in 2008 and immediately got involved with INSTALL. The organization’s certification process was just getting rolling at this time, and since the TCFCTC had 600-700 installers in need of certification, it was a great time for him to join the instruction team.
“I have tried to elevate the status of our trade and the individual installer my entire career,” said Bakke. “This is what INSTALL does on a daily basis. Their entire existence is based on creating the difference between a trained, professional installer and someone who can lay a floor. Passing on the knowledge that I’ve accumulated is the best part of my job,” he said. “There’s nothing else I’d rather do.”