How to Deal With Winter Downtime

You worked hard all summer and made a lot of money. But now summer is over and winter is quickly approaching. With winter comes downtime.

When you’re young, temporary lay-offs can be fun: Parties, travel, music and sporting events make layoffs easier to handle. When you’re older, with bills to pay and mouths to feed, layoffs can be very worrisome. There are a few basic steps you can take to help deal with temporary layoffs.

If you’ve been laid off, you should file for unemployment insurance as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the sooner you can be deemed eligible and the sooner you can start receiving funds. The unemployment agency will verify with your employer the reason for you losing your job.

If you are not happy in the roofing industry you might be interested in retraining, not only to learn new job skills but also to keep your mind sharp. Consider the following:

  • Take some community college courses. Community colleges are relatively inexpensive and offer a wide variety of courses to improve work skills while earning valuable college credits that may lead to a possible degree.
  • Visit your local unemployment office. It will have lists of apprenticeship and training opportunities that can lead to a more secure position.
  • Select courses at a location vocational/technical school. These schools offer a wide variety of hands-on training at reasonable costs.
  • Purchase books or software to use on your own. There are many free and reasonably priced online training and education classes available.

See “Training Resources” below for some additional ideas.

If you love roofing and want to remain in the trade, there are steps you can take to keep your head above water—financially speaking.

John M. Grohol, Psy.D., writes in “7 Ways to Cope with a Layoff” that you need to take a realistic look at your finances and budget. Do not put this off longer than a week after you are laid off. Although we may not enjoy dealing with our finances, failure to do so could result in a far worse situation down the road (which always arrives sooner than you think). Dr. Grohol suggests: “Be creative in analyzing your budget for places to cut.” Most of us assume we need things like digital television and unlimited mobile calling plans. But most of us don’t. He adds, “Now’s the time to put aside your wants temporarily and focus exclusively on your and your family’s needs.”

Your savings, rainy-day fund and even your 401(k) may offer you some temporary financial relief. Borrowing from your 401(k), for instance, is usually less expensive than adding to your credit-card debt because you are paying back the loan with interest to yourself (not a credit card company). However, borrowing from your 401(k) and other retirement accounts is usually recommended only as a last resort.

Take care of your insurance. We often don’t think about insurance until we’re faced with a layoff and find out just how expensive insurance really is. Your employer will likely offer you COBRA, which allows you to continue your employer’s health benefits with one catch: You now have to pay what your employer was paying for your benefits. Be prepared for sticker shock. Most people are amazed that a family of four’s health insurance on COBRA might be as high as $1,000 or even $1,500 a month; for a single person or couple, it can be anywhere from $500 to $800 per month. When paying bills is already going to be a challenge, COBRA might be out of reach.

Shop around. With the Affordable Care Act, there are a lot more health-insurance plans available at a wide range of costs. You may find other health insurance coverage for your family that is less expensive and won’t cut your benefits in any significant way. Weigh the costs with what you can afford. For example, you may have to pay a higher deductible for inpatient hospital stays to achieve a lower monthly premium.

If you want or need to keep working, hit the classifieds. Nearly all classified sections now are online, so searching through them is far easier than it was 10 years ago. Although it might seem like nobody is hiring (and in the construction profession, that may very well be true), you should keep an eye out anyway. Jobs sometimes become available as people retire or a company’s focus changes. Extend your search somewhat outside your trade, as well, just to see what else might be available. Check out your “dream job”, too. Some people use a layoff as an opening for a new opportunity.

Use the unemployment resources available to you, whether through your ex-employer or through your local government. Libraries, too, often offer a great set of employment and career resources (such as résumé writing services). Don’t be afraid to network. Make your situation known, build connections and, soon, unemployment will be a thing of the past!

Training Resources

The following are examples of free or low-cost training opportunities you may want to consider when you are laid off:
Free
College courses from American Standard University
Solar training in New Jersey from Information & Technology Management
Your state may offer free training, like New York

Low Cost
Penn Foster Career School

More Ideas
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration provides information and services to assist workers who have been or will be laid off.

Search for apprenticeships and youth education/training programs, like one in New York.

Interested in the safety profession? Check out Free-Training.com/osha/soshamenu.htm and Free-Training.com.

SOPREMA Awards Seven Scholarships to Current and Future College Students

SOPREMA Inc. has awarded seven scholarships to current and committed college students pursuing degrees in architecture, engineering, construction management or a similar field.

“We’re proud to be offering these scholarships through the first year of our scholarship program,” says Sara Jonas, marketing manager, SOPREMA. “By awarding scholarships to these deserving students, we’re investing in the next generation and pledging our commitment to the continued success and growth of the industry.”

This year’s scholarship winners come from all over the country and each is accomplished in their own right with many recent awards and honors.

  • Julianna Kampe, of Frisco, Texas, will be a freshman at the University of Portland studying civil engineering in the coming school year. While at Independence High School, Kampe has been a member of the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, and a participant in the Architecture, Construction and Engineer (ACE) Mentor Program. Additionally, Kampe has played for the school’s varsity and club soccer teams and volunteers in her community.
  • Matthew Hill, of Roswell, Ga., will be a freshman at the Colorado School of Mines studying engineering in the 2016-17 school year. In 2015, Hill received the National Merit Scholar Letter of Commendation and the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. In 2016, Hill received the John Dorman Duty to God Award.
  • Chandler Householder, of McKinney, Texas, will be a freshman studying architecture at the University of Texas at Austin this fall. Recently, Householder has conducted research and worked with Stantec architects on a collaborative project through an independent studies and mentorship class. Additionally, Householder has started her own architectural photography series and volunteers her time with children’s programs at the Kimbell Art Museum.
  • McHugh Carroll, of Chicago, Ill., will be a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying architecture this fall. While at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carroll volunteers at the campus bike co-op and attends architecture and physics lectures. He also enjoys spending his free time rock climbing.
  • Katherine Young, of Clermont, Fla., will be a college freshman this fall studying architecture. While attending high school at Monteverde Academy, Young has been a member of the varsity cross country and track team, Key Club, National Honor Society, S.T.E.M. Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and was named an AP Scholar with Distinction.
  • Heather Holm, of Clermont, Fla., will be a college freshman this fall studying engineering. While in high school at Monteverde Academy, Holm has been a member of Key Club, Yearbook Club and National Honor Society.
  • Ryan Keenan, of Montebello, Calif., will be a senior at California State Polytechnic University: Pomona this fall, graduating with a degree in architecture. While in college, Keenan has served as president of Freedom by Design, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) community service program. Additionally, Keenan was awarded both the Jean Roth Driskel Scholar Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the President’s Council Scholar Award from California State Polytechnic University: Pomona in 2015.

In its first year, the scholarship program supports SOPREMA’s commitment to educating and advancing the building envelope community through promoting continuing education and aiding the next generation in attending college.

SOPREMA Announces New Scholarship Program

SOPREMA announces its new scholarship program, a commitment to the continued success and growth of the industry.

“We’re proud to be offering this scholarship to students,” says Sara Jonas, marketing manager, SOPREMA. “By investing in the next generation, we are pledging our commitment to continuing the advancement of the industry.”

The SOPREMA Scholarship was founded to assist students pursuing a degree in architecture, engineering, construction management or a similar field at an accredited four-year college or university. Up to seven scholarships will be awarded. The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America, a designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals.

Project Profiles: Education Facilities

Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, N.C.

TEAM

ZINC INSTALLER: Baker Roofing, Raleigh, N.C.
ARCHITECT: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte, N.C.

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic.

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic.

ROOF MATERIALS

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic. As North Carolina’s first new medical school in 35 years, Campbell University regards this building as an investment in the state’s future needs for health-care professionals and a modern educational space. Campbell wanted a building with permanence to show its commitment to health sciences in the long term, and zinc provides it with a durable metal that can survive decades of internal and external activities.

ZINC MANUFACTURER: VMZ Interlocking panel in 1-millimeter QUARTZ-ZINC and VMZ Standing Seam panel 1-millimeter in QUARTZ-ZINC from VMZINC

ROOF REPORT

The Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences, which was completed in June 2013, consists of approximately 96,500 square feet on four floors. The building is designed to create a modern learning environment with simulation laboratories, traditional laboratories, an osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, student group-study rooms, student interaction areas, a resource library and small café. It hosts the School of Osteopathic Medicine and is designed to provide hands-on education for medical students.

PHOTO: VMZINC

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