Former NRCA Chairman of the Board Addesses Labor Shortage in The Wall Street Journal

Former NRCA Chairman of the Board, Nelson Braddy, Jr., CEO of King of Texas Roofing Company, Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas, was featured in an article addressing the ongoing labor shortage in the Nov. 24, 2016, issue of The Wall Street Journal.

According to Braddy, King of Texas Roofing has turned down $20 million worth of projects during the past two years because the company can’t find enough workers. He says he would hire 60 roofing workers right away if he could find them.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen in my career,” Braddy says.

The article cites many factors behind the decline in U.S. labor, including Mexican families are smaller and their children are better educated; an aging U.S. population; the physically demanding nature of blue collar jobs; and the trend towards pursuing college degrees. In addition, Congress has failed to reach a compromise on immigration to address employer needs for a steady, legal workforce.

To help recruit more employees, King of Texas Roofing has raised wages twice this year, putting most of its workers above $20 an hour. In addition, it offers a management course for foreman, English classes and $250 bonuses for referrals from current workers.

Braddy states he would like to see the incoming Trump administration help solve the labor shortage.

“Employers like me hope for some sort of work-visa program to give immigrants a means to work legally and come out of the shadows,” he says. “That is going to help the economy.”

To read the article in its entirety, click below. If you do not subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, you can request a PDF of the article by emailing Charlotte Norgaard, NRCA’s media relations manager, at  cnorgaard@nrca.net.

NRCA Now Accepting Entries for Annual CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award

Fraizer_HabitatOnce again, CNA and NRCA are working together to honor charitable works by NRCA contractor members through the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award. Submit any charitable project, activity or donation between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016 for a chance to win up to $7,500 for your charity.

Three winning charities will be selected and will receive:

1st Place – $7,500

2nd Place – $5,000

3rd Place – $2,500

Winners will be notified by Jan. 17, 2017, and the awards will be presented at NRCA’s Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception during NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

Any charitable project undertaken by an NRCA contractor member is eligible. Projects, activities or donations do not have to involve roofing work. For Example, funds raised for a cause or volunteer work at a children’s hospital would qualify.

Butcher_Toy DriveWinners will be selected by a panel of judges, who must have ample understanding of the charitable donation to best determine the winners. Therefore, all entries must include supporting information regarding the charitable work performed. In addition to a required 100-word description, a testimonial from the receiving charity explaining how the donation helped its operations is requested.

Submissions should also include additional supporting materials, including, photographs, press clippings and video.

All entries must be postmarked by Dec. 31.

For more an official entry form, and additional information on the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award  visit http://www.nrca.net/roofing/CNA-NRCA-Community-Involvement-Award-722.

 

 

NRCA Releases Statement on 2016 Elections, Calls for Pro-Growth Reforms

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This statement is attributable to: William Good, CEO, National Roofing Contractors Association

We are pleased a vast majority of candidates supported by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and ROOFPAC, our political action committee, prevailed in the 2016 elections on Tuesday. We congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and all winning candidates on their victories and look forward to working with the incoming Trump administration and new and returning lawmakers to advance NRCA’s policy agenda.  This includes pro-growth tax policies, relief from burdensome regulations, legislation that addresses the workforce needs of our industry, and replacement of the Affordable Care Act with market-based reforms to our health care system.

ROOFPAC, the voice of the roofing industry in Washington, D.C., actively supported pro-growth candidates in the elections. ROOFPAC invested more than $340,000 in support of 67 candidates during the 2015-16 election cycle and achieved a winning percentage of nearly 90 percent of candidates supported.

NRCA and ROOFPAC will continue to support members of Congress and other candidates who support government policies that enable roofing industry entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.

OSHA’s Silica Rule – The Price We’ll Pay is An Increase in Accidents and Injuries

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The following is a response from Bill Good, NRCA CEO to a guest column in the Buffalo Law Journal, written by Richard Williamson, secretary-treasurer of Local 3, Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers on NRCA’s stance on OSHA’s rule regulating worker exposure to crystalline silica.

On Oct. 12, Richard Williamson, secretary-treasurer of Local 3, Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, took rather strong exception to my guest column, “Here We Go Again:  OSHA and the New Silica Rule,” which appeared in the Buffalo Law Journal Sept. 8.  Unfortunately, Williamson missed my point, which was how the new rule, through unintended consequences, will adversely affect worker health and safety.

When OSHA issues new rules, like the silica rule, that are complicated, expensive, unworkable and difficult to enforce, two things happen:

  • New safety hazards emerge that are worse than the risks the rule is trying to address. In the case of the silica rule, as it applies to roofers, tripping, slipping and falling risks greatly increase.
  • The underground economy expands, as unprofessional contractors simply choose to ignore the rule just as they ignore other OSHA rules. It expands because the cost differential increases with contractors who make a good faith effort to comply with the rule. And as the underground economy expands, more workers are put at risk for all of the other hazards to which they are exposed.

Williamson’s suggestion that I am not concerned with worker safety is a default argument made any time someone objects to new OSHA regulations.  As Williamson notes in his column, NRCA, my employer, did object to OSHA’s most recent fall-protection regulations. However, NRCA objected not because it is opposed to preventing falls, but rather because it believes the roofing industry knows how to prevent falls better than OSHA does. And as a matter of fact, since OSHA’s new fall-protection rules were imposed, falls in roofing have increased.

In addition, Williamson takes exception to my assertion that the new silica rule is “complicated and expensive.” The rule is more than 1,700 pages long; complying with it involves either following OSHA’s “Table 1” requirements or proceeding into a laundry list of other compliance measures. For any contractor—but especially for a small contractor already trying to address fall protection, lead abatement, asbestos, confined space and a host of other rules—that is complicated.

NRCA knows the cost to conduct initial air monitoring for a typical roofing crew can cost between $3,000 and $5,000. This does not include the necessary training, medical surveillance and record keeping requirements that come with the new rule. Williamson might be surprised by the much larger price tag the next time he needs to have the roof on his home replaced.

Williamson also has done some research on my background. I did work on roofs before OSHA was established.  I never witnessed a serious accident or injury, but I did learn a lot about the importance of creating a culture of safety within a roofing company.  I have spent my entire career preaching about the importance of safety in the roofing industry, and I’d invite Williamson to take the time to see all the safety training programs NRCA has developed.

Although I agree with Williamson that we must work together to find the best solutions to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses in our respective industries, we must also acknowledge OSHA doesn’t always know best and OSHA mandates often have unintended consequences.  The roofing industry is paying the price for some of those unintended consequences, and I’m deeply concerned we will once again pay the price for them by trying to comply with the new silica rule. The price we’ll pay is not the cost of compliance; it is an increase in accidents and injuries.

NRCA Advises Homeowners and Business Owners Effected by Hurricane Matthew to Use Caution When Repairing Their Roof Systems

hurricane (2)NRCA is advising homeowners and business owners in the effected by Hurricane Matthew to use extreme caution throughout the inspection and restoration process of their roof systems in the storm’s aftermath.

NRCA recommends inspection and repair of damaged roofs happen as quickly as possible. Most wind damage begins on the edges of roof systems. When roofing material loosens, the wind’s suction can raise the material and the wind’s pressure can further push the material. Once the roof system’s underside is exposed, not only can rain can get in, but it also gives the wind more to grab, resulting in a peeling effect. Subsequent winds continue to push roofing material up and over a little more each time until an entire corner of the deck or insulation become exposed.

Homeowners and business owners should not attempt a roof system inspection if it cannot be performed from the ground level nor should they attempt repairs on their own. Damage assessment of a roof system and subsequent repairs should be done by a professional roofing contractor.

Homeowners and business owners also should be aware of unprofessional contractors who may approach them about performing roof system repairs. If it is necessary to hire a roofing contractor, consumers should keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Price is only one criterion for selecting a professional roofing contractor; professionalism and quality workmanship also must be considered. Potential contractors should be thoroughly evaluated before a deposit is made or any reroofing work begins.

To locate an NRCA professional contractor, homeowners and business owners can visit NRCA’s consumer website at www.everybodyneedsaroof.com.

For a list of criteria to consider when hiring a professional roofing contractor, visit http://staticcontent.nrca.net/pdf/0113_hurricane.pdf.

NRCA’s 2016 Market Survey Shows the Roofing Industry Remains Strong

roofing-contractorNRCA has released its 2015-16 market survey providing information about overall sales volume trends in the roofing industry, roofing experiences, material usage and regional breakdowns. It is an important tool to measure the scope of the U.S. roofing industry, and the data provides a glimpse into which roof systems are trending in the low- and steep-slope roofing markets.

This year’s survey reports sales volumes for 2015 and 2016 projections averaged between $8 million and almost $9 million, respectively, and revealed a near-steady ratio of low- to steep-slope sales of 74 percent to 26 percent.

For low-slope roofs, TPO remains the market leader with a 40 percent share of the new construction market and 30 percent of the reroofing market for 2015. Asphalt shingles continue to dominate the steep-slope roofing market with a 47 percent market share for new construction and a 59 percent share for reroofing.

Polyisocyanurate insulation continues to lead its sector of the market with 80 percent of new construction and 73 percent of reroofing work.

In addition, roof cover board installation for 2015 was reported as 22 percent in new construction, 42 percent in reroofing tear-offs and 36 percent in re-cover projects.

NRCA’s market survey enables roofing contractors to compare their material usage with contractors in other regions, and provides manufacturers and distributors with data to analyze, which can affect future business decisions. NRCA members may download a free electronic copy of the 2016 survey by visiting http://www.nrca.net/store/detail/2015-16-nrca-market-survey/1557.

Eberhard Roofing & Waterproofing Helps Design and Install Pomona College’s Studio Art Hall

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Pomona College is a 140-acre campus located in Claremont, Calif. The school currently offers 48 majors and minors to 1,640 students.

In 2014, the college turned to NRCA -member Eberhard Roofing & Waterproofing, Van Nuys, Calif. to construct the roof system of its new 35,000-square-foot Studio Art Hall that was designed to interconnect studios and bring together disciplines ranging from sculpture and painting to digital arts and media.

pomona-2More than half the new building’s exterior was made of glass and consists of a free-flowing design to encourage interaction and collaboration in shared space, including a central courtyard.

The building’s striking canopy roof system combined design elements with challenging installation requirements. Eberhard Roofing & Waterproofing worked closely with the project’s architectural firm, wHY, Los Angeles, to devise a roof system that would meet the new art studio’s needs

The solution was a tan-colored Sarnafil 60-mil-thick feltback thermoplastic membrane adhered to Cell Crete lightweight insulated concrete, which saved Pomona College $150,000 and also increased the roof system’s wind-uplift rating from FM 1-90 to FM 1-240.

In January 2014, Eberhard Roofing & Waterproofing began installing Studio Art Hall’s roof system.

The canopy-shaped roof system design was achieved by pouring the lightweight insulating concrete into the desired shape on top of the existing concrete roof deck. A Sarnafil feltback G410 thermoplastic membrane then was adhered to the concrete.

In addition, Eberhard Roofing & Waterproofing installed a photovoltaic (PV) panel system over the thermoplastic roof membrane to allow for the installation of six skylights.

One of the most challenging parts of the project was incorporating fire sprinklers under the facility’s ceiling. Before the sprinklers were installed, a vapor retarder was placed over the concrete roof deck to ensure the light-weight concrete did not drip through the sprinkler holes in the roof deck.

In April 2014, Eberhard Roofing & Waterproofing completed the installation of Pomona College’s Studio Art Hall’s unique roof system.

Eberhard Roofing & Waterproofing received a 2016 Gold Circle Award honorable mention in the Innovative Solutions: New Construction category for its work on the Studio Art Hall.