The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Secures the Future Excellence of the Roofing Industry

Immediate Former Alliance President Jim MacKimm, president of Beacon Roofing Supply, Peabody, Mass., says: “These partnerships are crucial for the roofing industry. 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.”

The Alliance also sponsored its inaugural Construction Management Student Competition at the 2015 International Roofing Expo in February in New Orleans. The competition challenged all three partner school teams in the areas of roofing knowledge, construction management skills, time management, and organization and presentation skills. The teams were presented with a problem statement, and they had to research the project, review the plans and specifications, and assemble a full estimate and proposal to submit a qualified bid package. Their written submissions and oral presentations were evaluated by a panel of roofing industry experts representing the contractor and supplier communities.

After careful debate by the judges, the winning team from the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University was announced during NRCA’s Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception on Feb. 25. Although all three teams exhibited professionalism and solid plans, the Colorado State team demonstrated the best knowledge of the project, its complexities, and the importance of safety and quality. Plans are already underway to sponsor next year’s competition, which will be held at the IRE in Orlando, Fla.

“We remain positive and are excited about the progress we’ve made with these three construction management schools, as well as the opportunity to build on these experiences to develop new relationships with more construction management programs in the future,” says Dennis Conway, president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, and a graduate of Colorado State University. Conway has played a pivotal role in connecting the Alliance with the university’s unique program.

TRAINING INITIATIVE

To address the industry’s labor challenges, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has embarked on a significant and innovative program with Bilingual America, Phoenix, to conduct cultural and leadership training programs for companies with Latino workers and for Latino workers employed by non-Latino owners. About 20 Alliance members have registered for the company’s six-week training program, which will study best practices within the Latino workforce in the areas of cultural understanding, recruitment, hiring, safety, leadership development and business development.

Following the training, Bilingual America will prepare a formal case study and report that will be shared with Alliance members. The report will include key findings, best practices and a list of challenges the industry must overcome in addition to specific recommendations for workplace improvements that are unique to the roofing industry.

ADVANCING EDUCATION

During 2014, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress continued its commitment to education through its Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program by approving funding to renew seven scholarships totaling $35,000, as well as initiating three new scholarships at $5,000 each.

The scholarship is named for Melvin Kruger, a former NRCA president and chief executive officer of L.E. Schwartz & Son Inc., Macon, Ga., who headed the initiative and was the lead fundraiser when the Alliance was first established. The Alliance’s first scholarship was awarded in 1986; since its inception the scholarship fund has distributed $580,000 to 110 students. The program is available to NRCA contractor and supplier members, their families and their employees who plan to pursue careers in the roofing industry or construction.

Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic record, potential to succeed, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of career goals and aspirations, and an outside appraisal. Each award is $5,000 and is renewable for up to three years of undergraduate study or until a bachelor’s degree is earned provided recipients renew annually and maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Roofing professionals are encouraged to support the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship program, which provides financial support for students pursuing careers in the roofing or building construction industries. Gifts to the scholarship program are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and can be paid during a period of up to and including five years.

HONORING WORKERS

Each year, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress sponsors the Roofing Industry’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional roofing workers from roofing contracting, distributor and supplier firms. Since its inception in 1999, 561 employees have been nominated and 123 have been honored.

MVP Award winners are chosen based on outstanding on-the-job performance, attracting new roofing workers and helping to retain existing ones, contributions to a team effort, community service and volunteerism, and other noteworthy contributions and activities.

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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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