Category Archives: Government Relations

STATEMENT: National Roofing Contractors Association Plans Roofing Day in D.C. 2018

STATEMENT: National Roofing Contractors Association Plans Roofing Day in D.C. 2018

All roofing industry stakeholders encouraged to participate

 This statement is attributable to: Reid Ribble, CEO, National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)

One of the things I have heard repeatedly from National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) members during my first 11 months as NRCA CEO is an interest in elevating the image of our chosen profession. As a result, NRCA is planning its Roofing Day in D.C. March 6-7, 2018, and seeks 1,000 or more roofing industry stakeholders to participate in the event.

To effect change in Washington and elevate the image of the roofing industry, we must speak with one voice: contractors, distributors, manufacturers, designers, labor and management together. When we are united and organized, we present our industry as a united voting body.

Therefore, NRCA asks all industry stakeholders to help identify the top two or three issues that unite the roofing industry. By doing this, we will present a united front that will minimize the objections of elected officials.

In addition, NRCA is asking members of the roofing industry to participate in Roofing Day in D.C. 2018 and consider bringing one or more employees. For more information, contact Duane Musser, NRCA’s vice president of government affairs, at (202) 400-2592 or dmusser@nrca.net.

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NRCA continues to push for reform of career and technical education federal policies

Professional Roofing’s August issue highlights NRCA’s continued efforts to reform career and technical education federal policies.

Roof Repair and Maintenance (5)In June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), legislation that would reform and reauthorize CTE programs operated under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

NRCA’s efforts to work with Congress to improve policy governing career and technical education (CTE) are highlighted in “Educating for the 21st Century,” an article published in Professional Roofing’s August issue.

The article states NRCA believes more effective CTE programs are vital to the long-term prosperity of the roofing industry. It is becoming increasingly difficult for contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other industry employers to find enough workers to fill job openings despite vigorous efforts to recruit new employees.

NRCA is urging Congress to improve and expand CTE programs to help meet the growing need for skilled applicants for well-paying roofing jobs. NRCA member companies provide career opportunities for those with the proper skills and work ethic. Reformed and expanded CTE programs can help provide students with the skills needed to pursue rewarding careers in the roofing industry.

In 2015, Congress began developing legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which authorizes and provides more than $1 billion in funding for CTE programs at secondary and post-secondary levels. Policies governing these programs have not been updated since 2006, and their effectiveness for meeting the current needs of employers is in question.

NRCA has worked with lawmakers to develop policies designed to improve and expand CTE opportunities to meet the challenging workforce development needs of our members. The goal is to provide new opportunities for employers to collaborate with educators at the state and local levels to develop CTE programs designed to achieve employers’ workforce objectives.

According the article, a reauthorized Perkins Act will provide maximum flexibility in the design of CTE programs to ensure they are truly effective for meeting rapidly changing economic demands. In addition, there is a need for expanded employer-sponsored internships, on-the-job training opportunities, new sector partnerships between employer and educational institutions, and more incentives for the development of industry recognized credentials.

In 2016, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) introduced the first iteration of H.R. 2353 which included policy recommendations developed by NRCA and allied groups. After passing the House, the Senate failed to take action on the legislation before adjourning at the end of 2016.

In 2017, at NRCA’s urging, the House renewed its efforts, and a revised bill was approved with strong bipartisan support in June. However, bipartisan differences in the Senate over education policy present an obstacle to Senate passage.

It is critical all NRCA members support this effort by contacting their senators in support of the bill. NRCA recognizes the importance of workforce development to its members and will continue working with lawmakers to pass the legislation. When implemented in the coming years, programs developed under the reforms in H.R. 2353 could be critical to enabling roofing industry employers to meet their workforce needs.

To read this article in its entirety visit http://www.professionalroofing.net/Articles/Education-for-the-21st-century–08-01-2017/4065/.

 

 

NRCA Releases Statement Addressing President Trump’s Executive Order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”

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This statement is attributable to: Dennis Conway, Chairman of the Board, NRCA

NRCA welcomes the administration’s focus on reducing regulatory burdens on entrepreneurs, our nation’s job creators. The roofing industry has endured a wide array of regulations issued by federal agencies in recent years, and NRCA members consistently indicate regulatory reform is one of their top priorities.

The Executive Order issued on Jan. 30 requires that each federal agency to identify two existing regulations that will be cut for every new rule proposed. For the remainder of fiscal year 2017, any additional regulations issued by the federal government must be completely offset by repealing existing rules. For fiscal year 2018 and beyond, the Executive Order establishes a reformed regulatory process for newly proposed regulations. It also contains exceptions for regulations related to the military, national security or foreign affairs and those related to agency organization, management, or personnel.

The Executive Order appears to be consistent with NRCA’s long-standing support for regulatory reform that ensures regulations achieve public policy goals without imposing unreasonable burdens on businesses. We look forward to reviewing more details on how this Executive Order will be implemented, and we encourage the administration to work closely with Congress to develop sound regulatory policies in a manner consistent with American law and values.

NRCA Voices Support for Quick Consideration of Regulatory Reform Legislation in 115th Congress

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NRCA has voiced its support for the Regulatory Accountability Act in a letter sent to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan Dec. 5. NRCA joins 380 associations and chambers of commerce from throughout the U.S. in urging Ryan to make consideration of the legislation an early priority for the 115th Congress.

Associations joining NRCA in signing the letter come from 47 states and the District of Columbia and represent a multitude of sectors including agriculture, energy, transportation and manufacturing.

“We believe federal regulations should be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, and impose the least burden possible, while still implementing Congressional intent,” the groups wrote in the letter to Ryan. “The Regulatory Accountability Act builds on established principles of fair regulatory process and review that have been embodied in bipartisan executive orders dating to at least the Clinton administration.”

“Our members, nearly all of whom are small, family-owned businesses, tell us they simply can’t cope with the layers of regulations they must contend with,” says William Good, CEO of NRCA.  “Too often, regulations are not based on good science and are difficult to understand.”

The Regulatory Accountability Act would reduce the burden of regulations on employers and economic growth by requiring agencies to invest more effort earlier in the rulemaking process to gather data, evaluate alternatives, and receive public input about the costs and benefits of its rules.

 

The full letter can be viewed in its entirety here.

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 Hopes Recently Passed Legislation Will Address Roofing Industry Labor Shortage Challenges

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To help members address their workforce development challenges, NRCA has been working with Congress to improve federal policy governing career and technical education (CTE).

NRCA believes more effective CTE programs (also known as vocational education) are vital to the roofing industry’s long-term prosperity. In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for roofing contractors to find applicants to fill job openings despite vigorous efforts to recruit workers. The shortage of qualified workers is caused by a variety of factors, including an aging workforce, educational trends that encourage greater numbers of students to pursue four-year college degrees and the physically demanding nature of roofing work.

CTE programs must be expanded to help meet the growing need for skilled applicants to fill well-paying roofing industry jobs. Roofing contracting companies provide great opportunities for those seeking fulfilling careers if they have the proper skills and work ethic.

In 2015, Congress began developing legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, a law that authorizes policies governing programs involving the development of career and technical skills among graduates of secondary and postsecondary institutions. Policies governing these programs have not been updated by Congress since 2006, and the program’s effectiveness in meeting employer’s needs is in question.

At the same time, NRCA began working with lawmakers to develop policies to improve and expand CTE opportunities that meet the roofing industry’s challenging workforce development needs. The goal is to provide new opportunities for employers to collaborate with educators at state and local levels to develop CTE programs designed to achieve employers’ workforce objectives.

A reauthorized Perkins Act should strengthen the role of employers and provide maximum flexibility in the design of CTE programs to ensure they effectively meet constantly changing economic demands, including expanded employer-sponsored internships and on-the-job training in CTE programs.

New legislation should provide more incentives for the development of industry-recognized credentials, which NRCA views as a key component of encouraging greater interest in roofing industry careers.

In June, several lawmakers introduced the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” (H.R. 5597). The legislation seeks to reform and expand Perkins Act programs and largely adopts NRCA’s policy recommendations. The bill will ensure CTE programs provide enhanced incentives for work-based learning opportunities, new incentives for the development of industry recognized credentials and other reforms to better align programs with the roofing industry’s workforce needs.

In July, H.R. 5597 unanimously was approved by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and on Sept. 12, it passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 405-5. With a vote in the Senate still uncertain, NRCA is hopeful that Congress will approve H.R 5597 by the end of 2016.

NRCA recognizes the importance of workforce development to the industry and will continue working with key lawmakers to get the legislation passed.