Perhaps no presentation at this year’s Best of Success better embodied the collaborative and non-competitive spirit of the event than a panel featuring leaders from two perennial RC Top 100 commercial roofing contractors.

Nicole Eisenhardt, vice president of service for Tecta America Southeast, based in Orlando, Fla., joined Advanced Roofing’s Vice President Kevin Kornahrens and Project Manager Clay Thomas to outline a unique apprenticeship program paying dividends in South Florida.

The trio explained not only how they joined forces to create an apprenticeship program unlike any other currently in the industry, but also how it could be replicated virtually anywhere to draw the next generation of roofing contractors into the fold.

“We’ve partnered together to change our workforce and change our industry,” said Eisenhardt, who also serves as Tecta America’s corporate national director of training and development. “More than 70 percent of our workforce will be under the age of 38 next year. We have to understand what they want to attract them to (roofing.)”

After studying the workforce issue, industry leaders determined that the next generation of roofers will need a different approach to reach and stay in the roofing industry. Eisenhardt said they’ll want instantaneous access to information, job stability and flexibility. To really attract the best candidates, the industry must also show viable upward mobility and the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Two years ago, the companies set out a vision to design a training program that attempts to cover it all.

The three-year program includes 144 hours of classroom time annually, and about 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.