The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has directly addressed the President of the United States for clarity on "essential worker" and "essential business" designations and how they pertain to roofing contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, NRCA CEO Reid Ribble informed members that the association is leading an industry-wide effort to send a letter to President Donald Trump asking the administration to provide clear guidance regarding what an essential industry and essential worker is in order to keep roofing contractors working.

"We made the case clear that the roofing industry should specifically be cited in any guidance as essential," Ribble said in an email to members.

State governments are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in various ways, with some shutting down businesses except those considered essential. For instance, in California, “essential businesses” exempt from mandatory closures are those engaged in “essential infrastructure,” including public works construction, construction of housing (primarily subsidized affordable housing), operation of public transportation and utilities as well as plumbers, electricians and other service providers.

"Recent emergency orders and guidance threaten the ability of roofing contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other industry employers to operate and aid in the response to the coronavirus pandemic," the letter states. "Clarity and consistency are needed given the multiple orders from hundreds of state and local governments, each with different rules. Thus, we recommend your administration issue guidance that clarifies essential businesses, services and workers, and that this guidance recognize the role of the roofing industry in protecting U.S. families and employers."

The letter further explains that the roofing industry is an essential $100-billion-plus sector, with an estimated 1.1 million employees "that provides critical materials and services to ensure home and business safety." The letter also points out that, as spring and other extreme weather events take place, it will be vital for roofing contractors to be able to make the necessary repairs for homeowners and businesses alike.

"As the role of hospitals becomes ever more critical in providing care that our fellow citizens need at this time, it will be critical that roofing companies are able to quickly fix roof leaks or provide other essential services to keep these buildings operating safely," the letter states.

The letter is signed by multiple roofing industry representatives, including the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, EDPM Roofing Association, National Women in Roofing, the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association, the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association, the Single Ply Roofing Industry and the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance.

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