It’s become a tradition at Best of Success for the sitting president of the National Roofing Contractors Association to update attendees on the priorities of the NRCA and key issues to watch in the industry. This year, Bruce McCrory, NRCA president and co-owner of Kiker Corp. in Mobile, Ala., had plenty of ground to cover.
McCrory noted that the two dominant themes of last year — the “regulation tsunami” and the green building movement — were still prominent.
He also pointed to other key problems, including a still-sluggish economy and an aging workforce. But it was the impact of codes, standards and government regulation that was the key focus of his discussion. He noted that the industry was currently dealing or preparing to deal with agencies and regulations including:
• OSHA and fall protection regulations
• EPA and lead paint
• DHS and E-Verify
• FMSCA and cell phones
• OSHA and recordkeeping
• OSHA and silica
• OSHA and asphalt fumes
“Asphalt fumes have been reclassified to 2A, meaning it’s a probable carcinogen,” McCrory said. “The finding, we think, could apply to dermal exposure as well, which means tear-offs, too.”
He outlined the NRCA’s five-point strategic plan to help contactors cope with this ever-changing business environment. The association’s priorities include:
• Get ahead of regulatory activity.
• Be the leading resource for roofing-related code and standards activities.
• Consider certification programs — for companies, individuals or both.
• Devote resources to emerging technologies.
• Promote professionalism, especially to members’ customers.
As contractors struggle to stay afloat in a still sluggish economy, an aging workforce and tougher immigration laws could spell trouble when the economy picks back up. “When we have a recovery, where are we going to find our workers?” he asked. “It’s going to be a problem.”
He concluded by pointing to the educational resources NRCA could provide to help contractors, including recent publications, on online certification course for solar roofing professionals, and management webinars. “NRCA often has management webinars, so you can view them on your computer without having to travel.”
Despite all of the challenges, it’s a good time to be a roofer, maintained McCrory, who thanked attendees for their support of NRCA. “It’s a fascinating time to be in the roofing industry — a time of dramatic change and dramatic opportunity,” he said. “And it’s critical to remain engaged in all of these issues, which are otherwise easily lost dealing with daily battles.”