GAF Education Center Debuts at 2017 IRE

The GAF Education Center will debut at the 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) , offering attendees a curriculum of eight condensed classes dedicated exclusively to roofing industry education, not product pitches.
 
Through eight, 45-minute sessions in the GAF Education Center, trainers will teach roofing industry strategies that will help attendees build skills, think critically and arm them with practical solutions to work smarter.
 
“The addition of the GAF Education Center adds another component to the line-up of show floor activities and educational offerings,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, show director of the IRE. “These roofing industry educational courses will be beneficial to all attendees who want to gain knowledge and excel in their businesses.”
 
“Our focus is education and we have assembled speakers who are experts in their field,” says Paul Bromfield, CMO at GAF. “We want to provide practical learning that helps our customers to build their business.”
 
Beginning on March 1, classes include “The Importance of a Roofing System,” “Commercial Roof Maintenance,” “Common Sense Approaches to Reducing Condensation Problems Associated with Reflective Roofing on Western Wood Framed Decks,” and “Impact Resistance – What the Hail is Happening?” 
 
Concluding on March 2, classes include, “Impacting In-Home Selling with Technology,” “Home Design from a Worldwide Perspective,” “Redesign Your Business by Starting Over: Start With a Blank Sheet and Redesign for Positive Impact,” and “Thriving on Alphabet Soup: How to Benefit From the New Age of Green Rating Systems.”
 
Classes are free with all registration packages. Seating is available for up to 55 people on a first-come, first-served basis. For specific class times, descriptions and speakers, visit here.
 
“The addition of the GAF Education Center reinforces the International Roofing Expo as a partner in education for roofing contractors,” says Reid Ribble, CEO of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “I encourage our members to attend these free classes designed to foster knowledge through idea-sharing.”  
 
Taking place March 1-3, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the show will offer roofing contractors of all sizes and specialties a preview of the entire roofing construction and maintenance industry.

IRE Trade Show Floor Is Sold Out

The 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) trade show floor has completely sold out, topping out over 131,000 square feet and 465 exhibitors.
 
Taking place March 1-3, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the International Roofing Expo is a roofing construction and maintenance event where roofing professionals gather to experience face-to-face interaction, product review, education and networking.
 
“The commitment from so many industry manufacturers and suppliers demonstrates trust in the International Roofing Expo brand and its ability to deliver qualified buyers from every segment of the industry,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “The IRE has experienced a 41.6 percent growth in net square feet since 2012.”
 
Exhibiting companies will feature products and services spanning 40 categories, including adhesives, built-up roofing, coatings, fasteners, gutters, metal roofing, modified bitumen, roof/ decking materials, roof pavers, shingles, skylights, slate, spray polyurethane foam, tile, vapor retarders, ventilation, walkways/ballast, waterproofing, and much more.
 
“The U.S. roofing industry is in a strong position this year, and that’s reflected in the banner support we see for the IRE in terms of attendance and exhibit space sold,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “NRCA is excited to again hold its annual convention in conjunction with the IRE.”
 
The trade show floor is just one aspect of the three-day event. Other highlights include an educational conference program consisting of 122 education hours and 44 sessions, a variety of special events and show floor education, as well as networking opportunities and more.
 
The show was founded in 1955 by the National Roofing Contractors Association as the NRCA Convention and Trade Show. On May 18, 2004, Hanley Wood Exhibitions acquired the show and rebranded it as the International Roofing Expo [IRE]. The IRE is now owned and produced by Informa Global Exhibitions, who acquired Hanley Wood Exhibitions in December 2014. 

Soprema Scholarship Is Available for 2018 School Year

In an effort to continue its commitment to the success and growth of the industry, SOPREMA is proud to offer the SOPREMA scholarship to architecture, engineering, building construction management and building science students for its second year.

In its first year, the SOPREMA scholarship was awarded to seven students who each received $5,000 to go towards their graduate or undergraduate studies. SOPREMA is currently accepting applications for the 2018 scholarship year. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017.

“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. The program is administered by Scholarship America, a designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals.

ATAS To Host Building Envelope Education Event

ATAS International Inc. will be hosting Designing with Metal – Building Envelope Education, an AIA/CES education event at the Building Envelope Design Center in Mesa, Ariz. on Thursday, Feb. 9th and Friday, Feb. 10th.
 
In addition to four presentations by ATAS, and a plant tour of the manufacturing facility, four additional presentations will be given by other individuals in the architectural building envelope industry.  Umicore Building Products USA/VMZINC, Lorin Industries, Hendrick Architectural Products, and Roofinox America will also be sharing knowledge about zinc, anodized aluminum, perforated metal, and stainless steel.
 
Architect members of the American Institute of Architects are required to complete 18 LUs from registered AIA/CES providers each year.  Of the 18 LUs, 12 must be in the topic areas of health, safety and welfare (HSW).  By attending this entire event, a total of 9.5 LUs can be earned; more than half of the annual AIA membership requirements.

Lee Ann M. Slattery, Sales Support Manager, states, “ATAS has always provided a variety of educational opportunities on a multitude of topics.  Many of our staff have a long history of working within the industry and have held active roles in several of the industry-related associations, so we are fortunate to have a wide pool of experienced and respected resources from which to build valuable educational content.  By hosting this education event at our Mesa, Ariz., location, we are able to provide a tour of our facility which manufactures building envelope components from metal.  And, by holding the event in February, it is an ideal reason to pair the event with a warm getaway from the cold weather that many are experiencing at that time of the year.”

MBMA Releases 2016 Annual Report

The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has released its 2016 Annual Report. This resource highlights the technical research, sustainability innovations, industry advocacy, safety preparations and educational programs the association has undertaken over the past year. The report provides relevant information for anyone who works with metal building systems, or who is involved in the low-rise commercial building market. It can be downloaded here.
 
“This last year was filled with growth and opportunities for our association and we are proud of all that has been accomplished,” says Brad Curtis, MBMA chair. “We have made strides in the areas of structural research, education, sustainability and fire protection. The tools we develop in these areas help designers to use metal building systems in new and exciting ways. These tools are what differentiate metal buildings as a durable building construction approach that produces economy, speed to market and single-source control.”
 
“For more than 60 years, MBMA has raised the bar for the metal building systems industry,” says Dan Walker, MBMA’s associate general manager. “MBMA members and various committees spearhead research, create innovative tools and resources, and improve industry practices and standards.”
 
The 2016 Annual Report details recent accomplishments made by MBMA, some of which include:

  • developing college capstone courses on metal building design
  • producing several new technical manuals
  • influencing code changes
  • creating educational webinars, videos and podcasts
  • completing three industry-wide Environmental Product Declarations
  • adding a new membership category to include architects and engineers

 
Also, in 2016, MBMA played a role in instituting a new Founders category in the Metal Construction Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to early industry trailblazers.
 
“The leadership that our association provides is bar none. MBMA’s members work alongside other industry experts and organizations to improve the safety, quality and durability of low-rise construction for future generations,” Walker adds.
 
MBMA’s membership represents more than $2 billion in annual shipments and accounts for nearly half of the total non-residential, low-rise construction market in the United States.
 
MBMA also provides engineering leadership through the many research programs it sponsors annually, often in coordination with universities and engineering schools throughout North America. This research is used to improve the performance, efficiency and quality of metal building systems—and serves to elevate the technology used to produce them.

OSB Manufacturing Plant Construction Continues

Work continues in Corrigan on an oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturing plant, the first such facility in the Lone Star State for RoyOMartin. Due to open in fall 2017, the plant represents a $280 million investment, is situated on 158 acres, and adds 165 direct jobs. The Corrigan OSB LLC greenfield OSB plant will ship products throughout the U.S. OSB is primarily used for roof and wall sheathing in construction.

Company officials and the East Texas community celebrated the grand opening of the plant’s administration building, which marked the beginning of the transition from a construction site to a fully operational facility. Construction began in July 2015 and is nearly halfway complete. About 30 employees have been hired to date. Corrigan OSB LLC will complement RoyOMartin’s other OSB mill in Oakdale, La., in manufacturing RoyOMartin-branded OSB products that include Eclipse OSB Radiant Barrier, Eclipse OSB Wall System, TuffStrand, WindBrace, and Structwall.

“We believe East Texans share our passion for excellence and experience,” says Roy O. Martin III, president, CEO, and CFO of RoyOMartin. “We have sold into the Texas market for a long time, and now we look forward to becoming a proactive partner in the community.”

Named a 2016 Manufacturer of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, RoyOMartin brings more than jobs to the region. The company has also earned accolades for safety and employee development programs, including WoodWorks and RoyOMartin University. The former is a program in local high schools that trains students for careers in the wood products industry. The latter is an on-site training program that provides employees a perspective on the business and prepares them for advancement within the company. It also aims to teach behaviors and instill principles that make graduates valued participants in the communities in which they live.

“We’ll extend our philosophy of being ‘employer of choice’ and ‘vendor of choice’ to the region, while maintaining the stability of a company committed to its stakeholders,” Martin adds.

MRA Adds Two New Manufacturer Members

The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) has announced the addition of two new manufacturer members to the organization.  CertainTeed joins the MRA to promote a line of architectural metal roofing products.  Also joining the MRA is DECRA, an innovator and leader in the stone coated metal roofing market.

After more than 18 years of growth, the MRA has proven success as a market-building organization. With an initial investment of $24 million in marketing programs, the MRA has tripled the roofing market share, from three percent in 1998 to 11 percent today.

“CertainTeed recognizes the importance of partnering with industry associations that support its membership in the promotion of their products and services,” says Dale Walton, product manager for CertainTeed Roofing.  “For this reason we are pleased to join the Metal Roofing Alliance, and we look forward to participating with the MRA to further strengthen our presence and position in the metal roofing sector.”

The MRA was formed to educate both homeowners and roofing contractors on the many benefits of metal roofing.  For the past 18 years, the MRA has been able to more than triple metal roofing’s market share by offering investment grade product that provides decades of protection for homes

“In 2017, DECRA will celebrate its 60th anniversary and as the original stone coated metal roof tile manufacturer, it is critical that we have a voice in the industry. We are happy to be re-joining the MRA and look forward to assisting the market and industry in the years ahead,” states Bobby Bloom, president, DECRA Americas.

 “The addition of CertainTeed and DECRA is an important development for the MRA, as it adds two manufacturers of building and roofing materials to our organization,” states Bill Hippard, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance.  “Our goal is to reach 20 percent market share by 2020 and manufacturers such as CertainTeed and DECRA are going to help us reach that milestone.  All segments of the metal roofing supply chain can benefit from additional growth, from raw materials suppliers and coil coaters to manufacturers and contractors.”

As new manufacturer members, CertainTeed and DECRA will participate in the MRA’s national consumer and contractor education campaigns. In addition, CertainTeed and DECRA’s metal roofing contractors are now able to join the MRA and begin benefitting from the leads generated by the alliance’s national consumer marketing campaign.

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.

NRCA’s ProForeman Certificate Program Helps Field Leaders Become Excellent Foremen

Brian Draper completes the ProForeman Certificate Program.

Brian Draper completes the ProForeman Certificate Program.

When the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) debuted its ProForeman Certificate Program in 2014, Brian Draper, Superintendent at Queen City Roofing, Springfield, Mo., was the first to apply for the program.

Because he was the only participant from Queen City Roofing, Draper navigated the elements of the program completely on his own. He enjoyed the support of his boss, the company owner, Larry Stock, who is a big believer in training and education. It was no small undertaking for either of them.

The ProForeman Certificate Program is a robust, multi-faceted program aimed at helping field leaders become excellent foremen. It also enables them to become company ambassadors, as well as well-rounded and knowledgeable employees within the roofing industry as a whole. The six areas of emphasis are general education, roofing technology, construction/business practices, leadership, safety and training others.

Roofing Technology

The roofing technology portion of the certificate program required Draper to complete two programs about codes, write a recent job report and watch a technical issues webinar conducted by Mark Graham, NRCA’s vice president of technical services. The purpose of the codes programs is to expose field managers to their complexity and purpose rather than for participants to learn all the codes that affect roofing. Similarly the technical webinar is a snapshot of issues roofing contractors have to deal with every day. Each of these three programs help turn field managers, like Draper, into better-educated employees who can appreciate the complexities of their industry and, therefore, be better representatives of their companies and more understanding team members.

Draper’s recent job report discussed aspects of a TPO installation. He was required to anticipate methods, safety concerns and common problems, as well as share specific concerns for one job. Because he is a more experienced field manager, he was able to accurately demonstrate his knowledge and experience.

Construction/Business Practices

This segment of the certificate program is designed specifically to help field managers appreciate the roles and concerns of management. Draper reported aspects of these segments to be helpful to him and some others in the office. Three elements comprise this section—a webinar about customer service, a webinar about foreman daily planning and a company-based activity during which participants shadow several key management employees—from which participants learn the responsibilities and concerns of many office employees. For instance, a “daily huddles” webinar helps field managers appreciate the financial picture of the company, seen through the lenses of a job. It explains the impact a field manager’s leadership can have on a job and the company’s bottom line.

Leadership

ProForeman leadership components are the heart of the program. They are comprised of two day-long, in-person programs and two follow-up webinars. Each of these elements is aimed at teaching leadership awareness and skills.

NRCA’s premise is that most field managers already are excellent managers. They know what it takes to successfully install a roof system and are drive to achieve goals. Where roofing industry field managers often lack awareness is how to effectively influence the people who work for them.

Queen City Roofing is lightyears ahead of many companies. According to Draper, Stock is committed to creating an atmosphere in which people enjoy their jobs and want to come to work, and he wants people to be committed to customer service. To that end, being part of the ProForeman Certificate Program was not Draper’s first exposure to leadership concepts. He has been talking to the foremen at Queen City Roofing about concepts like this for some time. NRCA’s For Foremen Only programs, which are part of the certificate program under the leadership section, helped provide Draper with additional material to discuss with the company’s field leaders. Draper notes that over time he has seen foremen come to treat their crews differently, and he reports that hardly anyone manages by yelling anymore.

Safety

It was the position of NRCA legal counsel that no one should be able to earn the ProForeman certificate without having expertise in safety. To that end, there are more requirements in this section than any other. When the program first debuted, NRCA required a roofing-specific OSHA 10-hour card, which could be substituted by a non-specific 30-hour card. There was lots of confusion over the way this was worded, so the requirement was changed to simply require an OSHA 30-hour card. Although a roofing-specific 10-hour can still satisfy, the idea is that ProForeman certificate holders be “above and beyond” when it comes to safety.

Other elements in this section include a webinar about what it means to be a competent person, a fall-protection video and assessment, job-site inspections of current jobs and a full-day NRCA program about fall protection: Roofing Industry Fall Protection A to Z.

Draper successfully completed all the requirements. In a conversation with him, he stated that Queen City Roofing experienced a transformation in its safety culture four to five years ago. Since that time, leadership and safety have taken a front seat. Draper has embraced learning and training as a way to keep these things in front of the employees at Queen City Roofing.

Training Others

The final section of the certificate program focuses on helping field managers to become excellent trainers for their employees. Not many companies have someone skilled in being a trainer, though all foremen fill this role to some extent. The intent behind these elements is to help foremen be more comfortable in their role as teachers, which is a huge advantage to the individual and the company.

The three items Draper was required to complete in this section were the following:

  • Watch an online module about what it means to be an excellent trainer.
  • Record a video of himself doing a teaching demonstration, such as part of a safety talk (a participant who is a current authorized CERTA trainer does not need to do this exercise).
  • Teach an actual classroom training session.

The classroom training exercise is an opportunity to train new (or newer) field employees on the basics of roofing. The session includes classroom time, demonstration and hands-on activities. NRCA recognizes roofing involves a lot of on-the-job training but does not believe sending new employees up on to the roof right away to learn everything is the best approach. It often frustrates busy foremen, slows down crews that need to work around what they perceive to be dead weight, and tends to weed out workers who might be highly successful if they were provided with a more structured or methodical way of learning a new skill.

Draper reported this classroom training experience to be positive for him and those who participated in the class. Queen City Roofing celebrated participants’ completion by awarding certificates and making a splash of their successes. The company is committed to using this program with future new employees.

First of Many

Draper was the first person to complete the NRCA ProForeman Certificate Program and it helped solidify and improve his skills in many existing Queen City Roofing initiatives. In many ways, Draper was ahead of the curve, coming from a company with an existing commitment to leadership development and a thriving safety culture. It was NRCA’s pleasure to award the jointly held certificate to Draper and Queen City Roofing. NRCA mailed the certificate and, with it, some award items to Draper, such as a Carhartt vest and Thermos mug with the ProForeman logo. NRCA does not expect certificate holders to attend the International Roofing Expo, but finishers are recognized at the award ceremony by name and company.

Learn More
To learn more about the ProForeman certificate program, email Janice Davis at jdavis@nrca.netor Amy Staska at astaska@nrca.net.

Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Adds Three Members

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced the addition of three members at the Governor level during 2016’s third quarter, adding $150,000 in funding for progressive research that contributes to the ongoing advancement of the roofing industry.

The alliance’s newest members are:

Through the generosity of its members, the alliance commits to the following:

  • Education and training—Develop programs and projects addressing current and future workplace issues, ensuring a qualified and trained workforce for the roofing industry.
  • Technology—Engage collaborative industry segments to embrace innovation and use technology.
  • Sustainability—Advocate environmentally sustainable design.
  • Philanthropy—Enrich the well-being of the roofing community through scholarships, charitable gifts and endowments.

Alliance membership is reserved to those who commit their pledged amount during a three- to five-year period. All members are entitled to participate in the task forces established to guide the alliance’s agenda and attend the semiannual meeting of the full alliance.