Nearly 300 meetings have been set up for today on Capitol Hill between roofing industry professionals and members of congress as part of Roofing Day in D.C. 

Duane Musser, vice president of government relations for NRCA, confirmed about 280 meetings have been set up between roofing industry representatives and legislators and/or their respective aides. 

NRCA wants industry representatives to hit on three primary issues during the meetings.

The issues are:

  • Immigration reform to address nationwide “chronic workforce shortages”
  • Supporting measures in expand workforce training incentives
  • Supporting legislation aimed at improving the infrastructure of public buildings

Musser said Wednesday that those interacting with government officials don’t necessarily need to know all of the details of bills that would address those issues to have an impact.

“We have a lot of members of congress who don’t understand business,” Musser said. “This is our opportunity to go up, tell your story, talk about the challenges that you face as an employer, in terms of workforce and not being able to get a sufficient number of workers to sustain and grow your business.”

During breakfast Thursday, NRCA CEO Reid Ribble urged attendees to stay on point during meetings so that Roofing Day can have the biggest possible impact.

"We're going to touch the vast majority of offices across the country with the messages we need to deliver," Ribble said. 

Roofing professionals like David Welch, owner, Ben Hill Roofing of Douglasvilla, Ga., generally said they feel it's important for the industry to be well-represented in D.C. 

"I'm trying to do my part," Welch said. "We need a voice in Washington."

Mark Duffy, of Joiliet, Ill.-based Elens and Maichin, said he was part of a group from the Chicago area.

"I think it's important for our industry," Duffy said. "Whenever we can get the voice out there the entire industry is better off."

Musser said NRCA will gather feedback following the meetings to ensure roofing day goes well beyond the one day roofing professionals are in D.C.

Roofing Day-related events kicked off Wednesday, when National Women in Roofing held the first NWIR Roofing Day Women’s Luncheon featuring U.S. Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota and U.S. Rep. Suzan DeBene of Washington. About 50 people attended the inaugural event.

Later in the afternoon, NRCA hosted a welcome event. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa., and U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., addressed the crowd and acknowledged many of the issues facing the roofing industry.

Be sure to check the May issue of Roofing Contractor for complete coverage of Roofing Day in D.C.