Get Involved as the Alliance Celebrates 20 Years of Elevating the Roofing Industry

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” This simple statement by Steve Jobs reflects the sentiments of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ diverse and dedicated forum of members, who have united to carry out the Alliance’s vision to influence, shape and advance the future of the U.S. roofing industry.

At 157 members strong, including 10 new members within the last year, the Rosemont, Ill.-based Alliance is in a unique position to unite roofing contractors, material manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals. To date, the group has committed more than $12.4 million to its endowment fund to help preserve and enhance the U.S. roofing industry’s success and performance.

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Alliance remains steadfast in its mission and vision to serve as a valuable, effective and influential organization focused on three primary objectives:
1. Supporting high-quality education programs.
2. Ensuring timely and forward-thinking industry responses to major economic and technological issues.
3. Enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

PARTNERING WITH SCHOOLS

With a keen focus on enhancing college students’ experiences by exposing them academically and experientially to roofing as a career choice, the Alliance Board of Trustees approved ongoing project funding to continue advancing educational initiatives with three of the most well-known construction management schools in the United States: the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

The Alliance is focused on fostering its relationships with construction management schools by developing a faculty research program that includes identifying topics of interest and direct benefit to the roofing industry, as well as a systematic approach for connecting member companies with construction management schools nationwide.

“When a school needs a roofing expert to meet with students either in the classroom or on a job site, we want the Alliance to serve as that resource,” says Dennis Conway, NRCA chairman of the board and principal and vice president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas. “Talking with students one-on-one about roofing fundamentals and career opportunities, in addition to exposing them to all the different roofing products, materials and systems, is invaluable.”

Former Alliance President Jim MacKimm, president of Beacon Roofing Supply, Peabody, Mass., says such partnerships are invaluable. “These partnerships are crucial for the roofing industry,” he says. “We know we need to do a much better job telling students about career opportunities in roofing and making sure they understand the importance of roofing even if they pursue other construction-related careers.”

During the International Roofing Expo in March, the Alliance also sponsored its third Construction Management Student Competition, a hallmark competition to promote careers in roofing industry management. In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the six-team competition fostered camaraderie, dialogue and team spirit among the students as they met the challenges of demonstrating their roofing knowledge of estimating, project management, safety and related areas for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Teams represented were from the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University; Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; University of Cincinnati; and the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida.

“As technology advances, government regulation grows, sustainability increases in importance and roof systems become more complex, it is imperative for us to attract professional, knowledgeable students to the roofing industry,” says Suzan Boyd, vice president of Academy Roofing, Colorado Springs, Colo. “The exposure our industry receives through our construction management school partnerships is invaluable because the future of our workforce is at stake.”

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About Alison L. LaValley, CAE

Alison L. LaValley, CAE, is the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association’s Associate Executive Director of Member Services.

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