Bob Daly Jr., president of Kaw Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Kansas City, Kan., and the president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, updated attendees on the NRCA’s recent initiatives. He first supplied some background, noting that the NRCA is the oldest construction industry association in the country, with 4,000 members from 50 states and 48 other countries. The association has 60 full-time employees and an annual budget of $13 million, said Daly, who outlined strategic planning designed to deal with issues including a declining work force and possible increases in governmental regulation.
“We have a demographic problem,” Daly said. “We have an aging workforce. We also have an image problem - roofing recently ranked first in a survey of the least satisfying jobs. We have an immigration problem.”
Part of the association’s response to these issues includes creating more exciting career paths with online education available through NRCA University and reaching workers at the community college level. The association is also working to help create a sensible immigration policy. “NRCA is constantly on top of this in our Washington office,” Daly said. “New immigration laws are being passed at the state and local level, and the NRCA is helping to challenge that in court. We feel that this should be addressed at the federal level.”
Emerging technologies are also a key focus for the NRCA, Daly said, especially environmentally friendly buildings, and this focus could help bring new blood to the roofing industry. “Green is quickly rising to the top level of priorities,” he said. “Studies are under way at Penn State (University) - funded by us - to evaluate thermal properties of green roofs and to examine the future of photovoltaics in roofing.”
NRCA is set to launch the Center for High Performance Roofing, Daly said. “It will act as a repository of information, advocate on matters of public policy, and act as a catalyst for new research,” he said. “It will keep ownership of the roof with the roofing industry.” “We need all roofing contractors to be engaged in shaping our future,” he said. “We can’t do it alone. We’re in this together. There’s a place for local, regional, state and national associations. My point is, associations are important.”