The Gallup study on worker satisfaction in the Roofing Industry was a seminal study documenting workers' motivation for entering, remaining in and leaving the industry. The publication Employee Satisfaction in the Roofing Industry: Quantitative Results was produced.
RATP is a comprehensive training program, designed for in-house facilitators to train company employees. Each module provides in-shop and on-the-job instruction guidelines, as well as testing and evaluation materials. Materials are instructor guides, DVDs and student manuals. The series addresses low- and steep-slope roof systems, various system applications, and safety and equipment.
RATP, a comprehensive training program designed for in-house facilitators to train company employees, was the first project funded by the Alliance in 1997. It was the foresight of the Alliance that allowed this program to be completed so that the roofing industry could have a standard source of training from its national association. In 2012, the Alliance approved additional funding (to couple with a similar amount from NRCA) to redo five of the top-selling modules: Administrator and Trainers Program; Overview of Low-slope Roofing; Overview of Steep-slope Roofing; Tear-off, Set-up and Equipment—Low-slope Roofing and Tear-off, Set-up and Equipment—Steep-slope Roofing.
This campaign produced and placed individual radio and television ads; published a first-ever color career brochure; created a career hot line; produced a recruiting guide: Recruiting and Retaining Workers in the New Millennium; created the annual Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards program; and produced a pilot Job Corps program.
The National Roofing Training Institute (a training facility for potential roofing workers) in the McAllen-Mission area of Texas was established. A 12-week program was offered to include a combination of vocational skills with roofing skills defined as "pre-apprentice."
Funding enabled the Alliance to participate in an academic consortium designed to ensure that specialty construction is incorporated into the construction curricula offered by leading educational institutions.
This roofing industry career video was distributed to vocational, educational and governmental institutions. It depicted employees working at and talking about jobs. The following materials were created: Solving the Recruitment Puzzle—Recruiting Quality Workers from Work-Release and Community Correctional Facilities; Recruiting Women to Work in the Roofing Industry and Recruiting Workers from High Schools and Vocational-Technical Institutes.
$25,000 went to NRCA for educational survey work; $25,000 went to update RIEI course materials.
This study documented effective and efficient methods for recruiting, training and retaining qualified workers. The publication Best Employment Practices Manual was produced.
This study was done to determine whether existing depreciation rules for nonresidential roofs were realistic and whether they created obstacles for the timely replacement of those roofs. The focus of the study was on the nonresidential building owner community. NRCA introduced legislation reducing the depreciation period for roof systems on "nonresidential real property" from 39 years to 20 years.
This study was done to identify and document best practices to prevent repetitive-stress and strain injuries in the industry. The focus is on worker education, redesign of work, and improved design of tools and equipment. Identification and Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Roofing Industry was published.
The SpecRight program was an NRCA initiative that was launched in 2006. The SpecRight program provides information about conserving energy and protecting the environment through quality roof system design, installation, materials and maintenance. The program includes the NRCA's EnergyWise energy calculator software program which is a Web-based application that allows roofing professionals to construct virtual roof assemblies to evaluate thermal efficiency and estimate energy costs via comparison of other roof assemblies (at ground level) absent other building envelope components.
NRCA's EnergyWise Roof Calculator Online is a web-based application that provides a graphical method of constructing roof assemblies to evaluate thermal performance and estimated Energy costs under normal operating conditions. It was updated to include information from the most recent versions of the International Code Council's International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the International Green Construction Code (IgCC); and ASHRAE Standard 90.1, “Energy Standard for Building Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings” (ASHRAE 90.1).
This study identified advances in information, materials and communication technology that will fundamentally change the roofing construction industry during the next 20 years. The study results are recorded in the publication The Roofing Industry in 2025, which provides tools to use to think more strategically and proactively about the future.
This study provides fact-based, actionable recommendations to overcome the excessive cost and poor availability of insurance for contracting firms. It demonstrates the corresponding negative economic impact on the public. A final report is available upon request.
NRCA's Technical Operations Committee worked with representatives from the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association to take solar reflectivity measurements on roof systems in the metropolitan Chicago area. The initial goal was to develop 5-year data on 30 or more roofs. A total of 70 roofs were originally included in the study. The final report included readings on 50 of these 70 roofs. A total of 20 roofs were no longer available; this attrition was anticipated when the study was originally established. Data was collected on an annual basis from 2007 through the summer of 2012. Final year data is available upon request.
The GREAT program was a Gulf Coast Workforce Development imitative/business-funded effort launched in 2006 to find and train craft workers to rebuild areas battered by Hurricane Katrina and keep them in place for power, industrial and other major projects planned in the region. Infused with $5 million from the Business Roundtable, the GREAT pre-apprentice program trained more than 20,000 new industry workers by 2010.
NRCA has been a long-standing national sponsor of Rebuilding Together, an organization that rehabilitates single-family homes for the elderly and needy. Each year, Rebuilding Together hosts Kickoff to Rebuild, an event held the Friday before the Super Bowl in the Super Bowl host city. In 2007, the Super Bowl was held in Miami. NRCA member Advanced Roofing, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was the title sponsor for the event. The Alliance joined the effort along with NRCA; the Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association; and Bradco Supply Corp.
Funding was approved to sponsor Rebuilding Together's Building a Healthy Neighborhood Campaign Sept. 23-24, 2016, in Cleveland. Volunteers provided critical home repairs, energy-efficiency updates, and numerous health and safety modifications to 10 neighborhood homes. Volunteers also rejuvenated a community space and cleaned up the neighboring homes, impacting the entire neighborhood.
The Alliance partnered with Penn State University to conduct a series of projects that contributed to the advancement of the roofing industry in areas of high- performance roof systems and related work force development issues. There were three initial objectives: Pursue the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition as a vehicle to explore and promote the effects of building- integrated photovoltaic systems on the roofing industry and promote the role of the roofing industry in the deployment of solar energy systems in a manner that expands the visibility of the roofing industry among college graduates; contribute to the advancement of vegetative roof system research specifically in the area of energy performance through the sponsorship in state-of-the-art research and the development of educational materials that promote awareness of vegetative roof systems; and investigate the potential effects and respective market strategies for the roofing industry in response to the growing interest in building-integrated photovoltaic (solar electric) technologies. Two reports were generated that are available upon request: Penn State 2007 Solar Decathlon Sponsorship and An Assessment of Green Buildings and the Solar Photovoltaic Industry and a Report for Evaluation of the Green Roof R Value at Penn State.
The Alliance approved funding to the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing (CEIR) to be used for research projects identified and agreed to by the Center. CEIR commissioned Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering to conduct this research project. This research was initiated to build upon a collaborative relationship born through the support of the NRCA, the CEIR and Penn State in the field of roof integrated solar energy systems. The purpose of the research was to explore the opportunities that exist in the solar energy market for the roofing industry and to identify strategies and tactics for roofing contractors to enter the solar market. The final report, available upon request, summarizes the nature of the data collection and interactions used to formulate a set of observations and strategic recommendations in the fields of rooftop solar industry advancement, research and training programs.
The Alliance approved $100,000 in funding for the development of a full-scale destructive testing facility by the International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) of Florida International University. The 12-fan Wall of Wind was the first-of-its-kind facility capable of performing controlled and repeatable testing in flows that replicate hurricane winds up to Category 5 accompanied by wind-driven rain and flying debris. Research allows 12-fan Wall-of-Wind-based testing that can adhere transformative advancement in hurricane damage mitigation techniques and additional building code enhancements.
The research, which involved a comprehensive survey of 600 rooftop solar installations that were subsidized by the state of Florida between 2006 and 2008, used the Florida solar database as the basis for a field performance study to monitor roof system performance for a designated period of time. The driving force behind the research was a white paper on rooftop solar energy systems released by the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing ("Successful Rooftop Photo-Voltaic: How to Achieve a High-Quality, Well-Maintained, Compatible Rooftop PV System") which identified the key challenges of integrating photo-voltaic (PV) energy into roofing. The white paper is available upon request.
Initial funds were approved for follow up research intended to clarify the results of the Asphalt Roofing Environmental Council (AREC) Dermal Cancer Assay (skin painting study) of Type IV BUR Asphalt Fumes. The research was proposed by the Asphalt Institute, the external Scientific Advisory Council involved in the initial study, and industry toxicologists who believed the proposed research was critical for the entire roofing industry so that the scientific and regulatory implications of the study could be fully understood. In October 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found emissions from oxidized asphalt are "probable" human carcinogens and classified them as Category 2A. In April 2012, the Alliance approved additional funds to perform a qualitative risk assessment of asphalt fumes in the occupational setting in an effort to better understand the actual risk of exposure based on all the research performed to date. This assessment should greatly aid in ensuring that any effort to regulate exposures, for example, reflects a realistic regulatory response. The final update is available upon request.
The Alliance awarded a $750,000 grant to the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing to co-sponsor the development of RoofPoint, a voluntary, consensus-based green rating system developed to provide a means for roofing contractors, building owners and designers to select roof systems based on long-term energy and environmental benefits. RoofPoint provided a simple, transparent and professional measure to validate that new and replacement roof systems were designed, installed and maintained in accordance with the most current sustainable best practices. RoofPoint is no longer operational.
The Alliance approved $25,000 for a feasibility study by Ducker Research to determine the need for better and more complete data collection and assimilation in the roofing industry. The study looked at what industry data was available; if other organizations collecting data independently were willing to share their data and how data that was collected could be disseminated. Preliminary findings indicated there was potential. Ducker prepared a full proposal outlining detailed next steps for the Board's consideration. The Board decided to take no further action.
Additional research and testing were deemed necessary to provide the information needed to comply with International Energy Conservation Code, 2012 Edition (IECC 2012) and other codes' and standards' requirements for roof assemblies to function as air retarders. The scope of the project was to take the data already developed by the NRCA/Chicago Roofing Contractors Association work, develop additional data and establish a representative test method that would be appropriate for evaluating individual roof assembly types that are mechanically fastened. An important consideration this research evaluated was the effect air barrier placement had on moisture accumulation within the roof assembly. Because an air retarder likely also performs as a vapor retarder, improper air retarder placement may actually increase moisture accumulation within roof assemblies. This issue currently was not addressed in IECC 2012 and had potential to be critical for roof assembly performance. Once the necessary data was developed, the project's purpose was to take the data and develop an appropriate test method standard that could be incorporated into future editions of the IECC and, if appropriate, the International Green Construction Code, ASHRAE 90.1 and ASHRAE 189.1. A final report is available upon request.
The Alliance approved funding to subsidize $100 per person to Alliance member firms who participated in Bilingual America's comprehensive six-week training program. The program involved cultural and leadership training for companies that employ Latino workers and counseled them on how to recruit, train, retain and develop those workers. At the end of the program, Ricardo Gonzalez recorded his findings in "Hispanics in Roofing—a Special Industry Report," which is available upon request.
Housed in the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, CM CARES is a service learning initiative focused on teaming students, faculty, staff and industry partners to assist with construction-related projects for people with special needs or local community service agencies needing assistance.
The NWIR will use the funds as part of start-up costs for the emerging association, including development of an association website; overall communications; database development; and ongoing education, mentoring, recruiting and networking opportunities.
The goal of the initiative is to address the roofing industry's workforce needs with the goal of recruiting, training and retaining a workforce that is appropriate for the industry's needs in the 21stcentury. The plan is to develop a structured, nationally recognized worker training program—ProCertification Series—that will include some 30 different training topics and a series of "microcredentials" that students will earn along the way. A funding mechanism will be developed whereby students will be charged an annual licensing fee to access all the programs that are developed, most of which will be delivered electronically. (The Alliance is to receive 25 percent of revenue until the investment amount is reached, after which the Alliance will receive a 10 percent royalty for an additional five years.)
On Sept. 12, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on worker exposure to silica. The proposed OSHA rule would require employers to conduct air monitoring in work areas where there is reason to suspect silica exposure may exceed 25 micrograms per cubic meter on an eight-hour, time-weighted average basis. NRCA is conducting air monitoring on select roofing job sites. The goal is to catalog details of roofing tasks and processes that could form the basis for industry-wide objective data and possibly reduce the burden of the new regulation on our members. NRCA believes it is crucial to identify and establish exposure data to develop a comprehensive document that may be relied on by roofing contractors to assist with compliance with OSHA rules and ensure the health and safety of roofing workers who may be concerned with exposures to respirable crystalline silica.
In 2016, NRCA and the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association undertook an initial research study with Structural Research Inc. (SRI), Middleton, Wis., to better understand the moisture release and drying characteristics of normal-weight and lightweight structural concrete roof decks. The second phase of the research study built upon the findings of the initial phase and developed specific guidelines for the roofing industry’s use. The result of this additional research was used to develop a model providing specific recommendations for addressing concrete deck moisture in the various climatic regions of North America. A final report, “Moisture in New Concrete Roof Decks.” was produced.
The Roofing Alliance funded a study conducted by Arizona State University to capture workforce demographics in support of programs to attract the next generation of the roofing workforce and to strengthen NRCA's voice and role in Washington, D.C. with statistical data that can be shared with regulatory and federal agencies. The study comprehensively examined the demographics of the U.S. roofing workforce, including the contracting, manufacturing, distribution and design communities; explored different types of operations; and analyzed industry challenges, trends and emerging issues. The final report, “A Study of the U.S. Roofing Industry and Its Workforce,” summarizes that the labor shortage in the roofing industry is more severe than previously recognized.
The Roofing Alliance partnered with Clemson University to develop and implement an undergraduate/graduate three-credit college course, specific to the roofing industry to educate students on the overall roofing industry and make them aware of the roofing industry as a potential career option. This course-material was developed in response to an increased concern over the lack of skilled workforce in the near future in the roofing industry. The course was first offered at Clemson University in January 2020. The project produced course materials are available to other academic institutions.
The Roofing Alliance and NRCA became more fully engaged with the CTE community and collaborated with industry and national partners such as the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and SkillsUSA during the 2019-20 fiscal year.
Both of these organizations provided value and multiple opportunities for NRCA and the Roofing Alliance to expand its outreach and footprint in the career and technical fields to not only establish roofing as a core curriculum within schools, but to also enable our members to address the workforce shortages they are facing across the country. The funding was for NRCA’s partnership with SkillsUSA. A joint NRCA/Roofing Alliance Task Force was formed to collaborate and engage with CTE national partners and schools to expand the roofing industry’s footprint within the trades and address workforce shortages.