Rick DamatoBased on the resounding success of Roofing Day in D.C. in 2018, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is once again bringing together roofing industry interests to travel to Washington, D.C. to speak directly to members of congress. By “roofing industry interests” I mean not only roofing contractors and members of NRCA, but other stakeholders — state and regional roofing associations, as well as representatives from roofing manufacturers, distributors, and even the design and roof-consulting community.

Roofing Day II in D.C., April 3-4, 2019, is set to be the one event in the year when the roofing industry rises to speak directly with members of their respective congressional delegations across the United States about the several topics that concern virtually all of us involved in the roofing trade. This is not to make a political statement or advocate for one party or another; just putting real people in front of the Congress to express the need for help in the areas of immigration reform, regulatory reform, and workforce development.

The format for the event is simple and straightforward. Meet one evening to hear from some of the industry’s leaders and to review the message that will be brought to Capitol Hill. To be effective as an industry group, the message needs to be uniform and straight to the point. The next day, working in groups separated by state and congressional districts, all participants go to the Capitol with appointments to call on their respective senators and congressional representatives.

Visiting one’s congressional representatives in their D.C. offices is an experience that I hope every American can take advantage of someday. But visiting Capitol Hill with hundreds of individuals representing all facets of your chosen trade is special. I know this from attending the first Roofing Day last year. Connections with lawmakers were made that continue to this day and connections with other folks in the trade were, perhaps, even more valuable.

Moving any agenda forward in our national government seems to be a never-ending process. But several things that happened last year should give us hope as an industry. The best thing, in my opinion, is that the roofing industry showed up. In person, and en masse. The power brokers in Washington, D.C. now know there is a roofing industry, and a roofing industry that will remain active in addressing the national government.

Something else happened in the Capitol last year after we were there. Congress approved the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act; legislation that is designed to reform and reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act of 2006. The President signed this important legislation but it is important to stay after our lawmakers to make sure the funding and support of workforce education not only continues, but grows.

I plan on attending Roofing Day in 2019 and hope you will register to come along as well. You do not have to be a member of NRCA or any other trade group, just interested in calling on your congressional representatives to talk about issues that are important to your roofing business. Consider bringing one or more of your key people or workers to help tell your story. More information, including a link to register, can be found at http://www.nrca.net/roofingday.