Recruitment Efforts in the Roofing Industry Part 1

Approximately 80 percent of construction companies have reported difficulty finding skilled workers to fill vacant positions. Naturally, this statistic has also impacted many roofing companies. With fewer young people pursuing careers in roofing and construction and with more and more talented workers retiring every year from the workforce, the skills gap remains a growing concern. Labor shortages create a variety of issues for businesses including stalling projects, impacting safety measures in the workplace, among other concerns.

In this two-part article, we will first explore the main reasons why fewer young people are pursuing careers in roofing. In the second part, members of the Roofing Alliance, the Foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), will discuss ways to help combat this growing problem.

Recruitment Starts with an Alliance of Roofing Professionals

The most effective way to combat the skills gap problem is for the most talented and successful roofing contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers to get involved in project initiatives that are designed to advance the roofing industry. For example, members of the Roofing Alliance, a membership-based organization and endowment fund, can become an integral part of the roofing community by funding research projects, training initiatives, and roofing industry scholarship opportunities, along with other ways to make a difference in roofing.  

Why Does a Skills Gap Exist?

Along with countless talented individuals from the baby boom generation retiring every year, there are not enough new workers entering the construction and roofing industries. Here are some of the current problems with finding qualified workers:

  • Education: High schools across the nation have removed vocational training programs from their curriculum. There is a direct link between the death of shop class and a lack of qualified applicants entering the workforce. The emphasis on a four-year college education instead of an apprenticeship position results in less high school graduates interested in focusing their future on a career in roofing.
  • Training: The Great Recession of 2008 impacted thousands of jobs in construction and roofing and led to a reduction in apprenticeship programs, on-the-job training, and other mentorship opportunities. With fewer opportunities for entry-level hands-on experience, fewer young people are entering the workforce and being placed in programs that foster their development in a roofing career.
  • Perception: One of the biggest hurdles for construction and roofing professionals is overcoming the negative perception often associated with these hardworking positions. Many potential roofing contractors prefer other industries that promote technology. Moreover, they are unaware that there are lucrative opportunities in the roofing industry.           

Membership opportunities with the Roofing Alliance are available to all roofing professionals. For more information on our organization’s objectives or how you can make a commitment to the Roofing Alliance, please contact us today.