Roofing Sponsorship Secures Contractors More Jobs

An exclusive roofing category sponsorship between IKO and HomeAdvisor, members of IKO’s contractor programs now have access to project leads in their local regions to help them land additional jobs.

“In addition to offering a full suite of roofing products and accessories, one of the best ways to help our contractors close more sales is to connect them directly with people who are looking for a new roof or repairs in their area,” says Jeff Williams, brand director, IKO North America. “That’s what our partnership with HomeAdvisor is intended to do, help our contractors secure more leads to close more jobs locally.”

Current and new members who enroll in IKO’s contractor programs, IKO ShieldPRO plus+ (SPP) and IKO Shield, can enjoy exclusive membership perks and special benefits on HomeAdvisor, including discounts and rebates on real-time leads, a customizable profile, and verified ratings and reviews, among other benefits. When an owner searches for a roofing project, IKO is presented as the exclusive roofing sponsor in the initial category results on the HomeAdvisor website, giving the brand increased awareness among a number of consumers seeking local contractor professionals.

“HomeAdvisor offers pros the ability to reach project-ready owners via mobile, smart phone devices and Facebook,” says Scott Weigel, vice president of business development for HomeAdvisor. “And, by using HomeAdvisor’s on-demand scheduling tools, owners can speak with pros or book appointments directly on their calendars, providing value for IKO and its members.”

The sponsorship is expected to help build IKO’s brand and product awareness through a custom content hub where homeowners can view photos, watch videos, learn about products or redeem special offers. Additionally, IKO branding will also be featured in HomeAdvisor’s home and building partner network, including sites such as Build.com, 1800Contractor, Realtor.com, ImproveNet.com and more. 

DeWALT Expands Initiative to Manufacture Products in the U.S.

DeWALT, a manufacturer of industrial power tools, hand tools and accessories, announces the expansion of its initiative to manufacture products in the U.S. With this expansion, an additional 60 corded and cordless power tools are being made domestically with global materials. An expansion of production into an existing company-owned plant in Greenfield, Ind., brings the total number of DEWALT plants in the U.S. to seven, with facilities in Connecticut, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, making some of the brand’s most popular tools.

DEWALT will now produce approximately 14 million products each year in the U.S. Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product, according to a 2013 survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

In addition to the efficiency that domestic expansion provides, DEWALT has also created new jobs for Americans across the country, adding more than 500 employees to the expanded manufacturing facilities since the campaign began. This brings the total number of employees at U.S.-based DEWALT plants to the thousands. DEWALT is also committed to hiring veterans and currently employs more than 1,000 former members of the military in its manufacturing facilities alone.

“We continue to grow our domestic capabilities because the professional using our tools wants to buy products made in the U.S. DEWALT is making the power tools for the contractors and builders who are themselves building America,” says Frank Mannarino, president of DeWALT Professional Products Group. “Whether it’s through our high-quality tools made in the U.S. with global materials, convenient service repair centers, or products backed by extensive warranties, the DEWALT professional end user can expect premium power tools that are made and serviced by fellow Americans—some of whom are veterans—right here in the U.S.”

With the added products, facilities and a continued commitment to expanding domestic manufacturing, DeWALT is able to deliver products with greater efficiency, without adding cost, while keeping the same Guaranteed Tough quality customers have come to know and expect from the brand.

GAF Provides Programs and Training in Support of Military Members and Veterans

GAF announced that it has signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. The document recognizes the pivotal role played by the National Guard and Reserve in strengthening our nation and our communities. The signing sends a strong message of support to GAF employees (and non-employees) who have served our nation.

The ESGR Statement of Support complements other key initiatives GAF has undertaken to benefit military veterans, servicemen and servicewomen. They include:

  • The Roofs for Troops military rebate program, launched in 2012, provides active military members, veterans and retirees a $250 rebate on a Lifetime Roofing System installed on their roof by a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor. GAF is now approaching 20,000 homes successfully helped by this program.
  • Last year, GAF went live with its Hire-A-Hero military job board. The job board provides a platform for employers in the roofing industry to connect with transitioning troops and veterans as they seek to fill key positions within their companies. GAF contractors and distributor partners are posting jobs, viewing applicants and connecting with ex-military job seekers.
  • GAF is rolling out GAF Roofing Academy, a roofing installation training program to help veterans transition to a career in the roofing industry. Pilot classes have been successful as nearly 80 percent of class attendants were placed in roofing jobs. We are currently planning classes in various regions over the next year, including a class this month at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. The course includes access to a professional and comprehensive steep-slope roofing primer and a high-level commercial roofing introduction. Veterans win by learning a valuable trade with solid earnings potential. The knowledge that they acquire from this course could possibly lead to other careers including sales, estimating, installation supervision, maintenance and project management.
  • GAF regularly reaches out to veterans’ organizations to assist with fulfilling recruiting needs. For example, GAF has worked with employment agencies such as the Lucas Group, which have a focus on connecting those who have served in the U.S. military with jobs upon their return from service.

“The men and women who have served in America’s armed forces have demonstrated remarkable character, work ethic and dedication in their service,” says Bob Tafaro, president and CEO. “They represent a tremendous opportunity for GAF, for the roofing industry and for the broader private sector. We want to help veterans leverage the talents and leadership skills they have acquired through their service to transition into civilian careers.”

Ecotech Institute Clean Jobs Index: 1.2 Million Green Energy Jobs Posted in First Quarter

Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index reported more than one million green energy job postings across the nation in the first quarter of 2015. The Clean Jobs Index classifies clean energy jobs based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics description, which says that clean jobs are jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. The classification also includes jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

Ecotech Institute, a school dedicated solely to renewable energy and sustainability, created the Clean Jobs Index to provide objective information about renewable energy jobs and to compare states’ use and development of clean and sustainable energy.

“As more businesses look for ways to conserve energy and renewables continue to gain traction, more jobs are becoming available,” says Chris Gorrie, Ecotech Institute’s president. “States have come to see clean energy sources as an important piece of infrastructure, opening the door to great opportunities in renewable energy.”

Highlights from the Clean Jobs Index Q1 2015

    Number of U.S. Clean Jobs Postings in Q1 2015:

  • 1.2 million
    Top three states with the most clean jobs openings:

  • California – 131,215 job openings
  • Texas – 90,281 job openings
  • New York – 71,748 job openings
    States with the highest rise in clean jobs openings, compared to Q1 2014:

  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Maryland
    States with most clean jobs per 100,000 people:

  • North Dakota
  • Iowa
  • Rhode Island
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • South Dakota

Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index is an aggregation of statistics by state. Although it may indicate a greater possibility for employment in the clean economy sector, the Clean Jobs Index in no way indicates the presence or the promise of any specific job opportunities. Data for the index is gathered regularly from independent research entities including: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Green Building Council.

WalletHub Small Business Study: Best and Worst Cities to Work

The personal finance social network WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015’s Best & Worst Cities to Work for a Small Business.

In order to help job seekers consider small businesses as attractive employment prospects, WalletHub examined the small business environment within 100 of the largest U.S. metro areas across 11 key metrics. Our data set includes such metrics as net small business job growth, industry variety and earnings for small business employees.


    Best Metro Areas to Work for a Small Business      Worst Metro Areas to Work for a Small Business 
 
1
 
 
Charlotte, N.C.
 
 
91
 
 
Springfield, Mass.
 
 
2
 
 
Raleigh, N.C.
 
 
92
 
 
Tucson, Ariz.
 
 
3
 
 
Oklahoma City, Okla.
 
 
93
 
 
Augusta, Ga.
 
 
4
 
 
Austin, Texas
 
 
94
 
 
New Haven, Conn.
 
 
5
 
 
Omaha, Neb.
 
 
95
 
 
Bakersfield, Calif.
 
 
6
 
 
Nashville, Tenn.
 
 
96
 
 
Fresno, Calif.
 
 
7
 
 
Salt Lake City
 
 
97
 
 
Scranton, Penn.
 
 
8
 
 
Dallas
 
 
98
 
 
Toledo, Ohio
 
 
9
 
 
Houston
 
 
99
 
 
Stockton, Calif.
 
 
10
 
 
Boston
 
 
100
 
 
Youngstown, Ohio
 


Key stats:

  • The number of small businesses per 1,000 inhabitants is two times higher in the Miami metro area than in the Bakersfield, Calif., metro area.
  • The earnings for small business employees adjusted for cost of living are three times higher in the Houston metro area than in the Honolulu metro area.
  • The median annual income adjusted for cost of living is two times higher in the Ogden, Utah, metro area than in the McAllen, Texas, metro area.
  • The unemployment rate is four times higher in the Fresno, Calif., metro area than in the Provo, Utah, metro area.

By 2042, the Cape Coral, Fla., metro area is projected to experience the highest population increase, at 103.4 percent, and the Youngstown metro area the highest population decrease, at 11.1 percent.

Employment App Makes It Easy to Find Construction Jobs and Job Seekers

Snagajob, an hourly employment marketplace for job seekers, announced the release of its free mobile app for iOS and Android, designed to meet the unique needs of those seeking to hire construction workers, builders or contractors for hourly employment.

Snagajob, an hourly employment marketplace for job seekers, announced the release of its free mobile app for iOS and Android, designed to meet the unique needs of those seeking to hire construction workers, builders or contractors for hourly employment.

Snagajob, an hourly employment marketplace for job seekers, announced the release of its free mobile app for iOS and Android, designed to meet the unique needs of those seeking to hire construction workers, builders or contractors for hourly employment. The free app makes the job posting/hiring process easier by using a smartphone’s or tablet’s video, photo and GPS technology. Employers can currently post jobs for free via the app’s free trial promotion.

Snagajob offers a new way for employers to find and manage applicants on their mobile device. With Snagajob, employers can conveniently use their mobile device to:

  • Manage their account’s status and add additional postings for multiple locations
  • Access and review applications for each job posting and quickly see their availability and qualifications
  • Find qualified prospects in their area and then reach out via phone or email and encourage them to apply
  • Easily rank/sort applicant and “star” the applicants they want to interview and note the ones they are not interested in.

The app’s “Video Apply” feature allows employers to view a short clip that candidates can include with their application and lets them gauge the personality fit and enthusiasm of applicants before scheduling an interview, thus saving time and energy for both job seekers and employers.

Snagajob is currently used by thousands of employers across the country across a wide range of vertical markets including retail, food service, transportation, hospitality, child care and more.

Sen. Cardin Reintroduces Bill to Increase Employment and Improve the Energy-Efficiency of Commercial Building Roofs

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), has reintroduced the “Energy-Efficient Cool Roofs Jobs Act,” S. 2388, which would boost job creation in the construction industry and significantly increase the energy efficiency of buildings throughout the U.S., lowering energy costs and saving money. The bill would improve investment returns on building energy-efficiency improvements by shortening the tax depreciation period for the installation of new roofs on existing buildings that meet certain thermal performance and “cool roof” requirements.

“We don’t need to choose between good jobs and helping the environment; we can do both with the same policy,” said Senator Cardin. “Cool Roofs provides an opportunity to reduce energy consumption and add nearly 40,000 jobs to a sector of our economy that still has not felt the full effect of our emergent recovery. It’s no wonder this bill, which provides incentives to install energy efficient roofs and simplifies the tax code, has such broad support across industries and labor.”

S. 2388 is co-sponsored by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.). Sen. Cardin also filed the Energy-Efficient Cool Roofs Jobs Act as an amendment (S. Admt 3186) to the EXPIRE Act (S. 2260). U.S. Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) have introduced a companion bill in the House (H.R. 4740).

The bill reduces the depreciation period for commercial roof retrofits, lowering the current 39-year depreciation period in the current tax code to a 20-year depreciation period for energy-efficient cool roof systems. To qualify, roofs must include systems with insulation that meets or exceeds the ASHRAE Standard 189.1-2011, a model green building standard, and have a cool roof surface in climate zones one through five.

“Congress recognizes the value of commercial building roofs in terms of both national energy policy and providing an incentive for owners to increase the thermal performance of their buildings,” said Jared O. Blum, president, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), a supporter of the bill. “Most buildings in this country were built before modern energy codes were in place, so upgrading the performance of those buildings with more energy efficient roofs can save lots of money.

“The legislation also offers a more fair treatment of roofs under the tax depreciation system. As currently structured, the tax code has created a disincentive for building owners to upgrade their roofs,” added Blum.

The Energy-Efficient Cool Roofs Jobs Act has attracted a wide range of supporters, including PIMA. The bill would create nearly 40,000 new jobs among roofing contractors and manufacturers; add $1 billion of taxable annual revenue in the construction sector; make the tax code simpler and more equitable for small businesses of all types; reduce U.S. energy consumption and save small businesses millions of dollars in energy costs; and reduce carbon emissions by 800,000 metric tons—an amount equal to the emissions of 153,000 cars. Additional supporters include:

Alliance to Save Energy
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association
Associated Builders and Contractors
Building Owners and Managers Association
Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Global Cool Cities Alliance
Institute for Market Transformation
Joint Roofing Industry Labor and Management Committee
National Roofing Contractors Association
NAIOP: The Commercial Real Estate Development Association
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers

A significant opportunity to increase building energy efficiency lies within the commercial roofing sector. Waterproof membranes on commercial low-slope roofs (i.e., flat roofs) last, on average, 17 years. When these membranes are replaced, building owners could add a reasonable amount of insulation and substitute a white roof surface (i.e., a cool or reflective roof) for the traditional dark colored roof surface, a practice that would save $12.2 billion in energy costs in just the first ten years. The annual savings after ten years would be $2.4 billion. This activity would also avoid and offset 147 million tons of CO2 emissions, an amount that is equal to the annual emissions of 38 coal fired power plants.

NRCA Supports Commercial Roof Depreciation Legislation

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) strongly supports bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress on May 22 to reform the outdated depreciation schedule for commercial roofs. This legislation, which replaces the current 39-year depreciation schedule with a 20-year schedule, will remove an obstacle in the tax code that limits economic growth in the roofing industry, thus facilitating the creation of an estimated 40,000 new jobs among roofing contractors and manufacturers. It also will benefit millions of small businesses nationwide and advance energy efficiency within the commercial building sector.

NRCA wishes to commend Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) for sponsoring the House bill (H.R. 4740) and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) for authoring the companion legislation (S. 2388) in the Senate. NRCA looks forward to working with these and other lawmakers to enact this legislation as the congressional tax-writing committees consider possible changes in tax policy that will help grow the economy and create jobs.

There has been a need for depreciation reform since the depreciation schedule for nonresidential property was increased from 15 to 39 years between 1981 and 1993. The average life span of most commercial roofs is only 17 years, according to a study by Ducker Worldwide. This has caused building owners to delay the full replacement of older, failing roofs in favor of limited, piecemeal repairs. Moreover, building owners who install new roofs before the current 39-year schedule has elapsed are required to depreciate roofs at different schedules, causing paperwork burdens for businesses.

This legislation will rectify this problem by providing the 20-year depreciation schedule for commercial roof retrofits that meet a benchmark energy-efficiency standard. Depreciation reform for energy-efficient commercial roofs will provide significant energy, environmental and economic benefits by reducing energy costs for businesses of all types that install new roofs.

Depreciation reform for commercial roofs enjoys the support of numerous business, labor and energy efficiency groups, including the National Roofing Contractors Association; United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; and the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association. For more information, please contact NRCA’s vice president of government relations Duane Musser, or manager of federal affairs Andrew Felz at (202) 546-7584.

Kid Rock and GAF Support American Investment at Next Week’s International Roofing Expo

GAF has announced that it will be holding an event with special guest Kid Rock at the International Roofing Expo (IRE) held in Las Vegas, Feb. 26-28. Guests are invited to have their photo taken with Kid Rock and receive an autographed photo at the event to be held across from the GAF’s IRE booth at 4:30 pm on Feb. 26.

In August 2013 at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, GAF donated a motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers to war veteran Robert Dickey on stage at the Kid Rock concert. The collaboration led to the realization that GAF and Kid Rock share a mutual focus on creating jobs in America along with supporting and giving back to the military. One of the charities that Kid Rock strongly supports is Operation Finally Home, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to America’s Heroes and their widows. Through their partnership, GAF will give back to this foundation by including Kid Rock in its summer contractor promotion. For each entry, GAF will make a donation to Operation Finally Home.

“Our relationship with Kid Rock has been a great experience, as we share some of the same ideals and understand the importance of investing in America and supporting our troops. GAF has an unparalleled level of investment in new roofing plants, and we actively working to bring new jobs and service on line at our upcoming facility at Cedar City, Utah,” explains Paul Bromfield, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development at GAF.

2013 Solar Employment Grew 10 Times Faster than the National Average Employment Growth Rate

The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, has released its fourth annual National Solar Jobs Census, which found the U.S. solar industry employed 142,698 Americans in 2013. That figure includes the addition of 23,682 solar jobs over the previous year, representing 19.9 percent growth in employment since September 2012. Solar employment grew 10 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in the same period. Read the full report. State-by-state jobs numbers, including a more detailed analysis of the California, Arizona, and Minnesota solar markets, will be released in February.

“The solar industry’s job-creating power is clear,” says Andrea Luecke, executive director and president of The Solar Foundation. “The industry has grown an astounding 53 percent in the last four years alone, adding nearly 50,000 jobs. Our census findings show that for the fourth year running, solar jobs remain well-paid and attract highly skilled workers. That growth is putting people back to work and helping local economies.”

Solar employers are also optimistic about 2014, expecting to add another 22,000 jobs over the coming year. By comparison, over the same time period, the fossil-fuel electric generation sector shrank by more than 8,500 jobs (a decline of 8.7 percent) and jobs in coal mining grew by just 0.25 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics current Employment Survey (not seasonally adjusted), September 2012 – November 2013.

“The solar industry is a proven job-creator,” says Bill Ritter, former governor of Colorado and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. “In Colorado and across the country, we have seen that when the right policies are in place to create long-term market certainty, this industry continues to add jobs to our economy.”

“SolarCity has added more than 2,000 jobs since the beginning of 2013; every single one in the United States. When you install a solar panel you create a local job that can’t be outsourced,” says Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “More than 90 percent of Americans believe we should be using more solar, and fewer than 1 percent have it today. We’ve barely begun this transformation, but as it advances, the American solar industry has the potential to be one of the greatest job creators this country has ever seen.”

Solar companies are also reporting that cost savings are driving their clients’ decision making, as 51.4 percent of customers report going solar to save money and another 22.9 percent because costs are now competitive with utility rates.

“Tens of thousands of new living-wage jobs have been created over the past year thanks to plunging solar technology costs, increasing consumer demand, and supportive government policies,” says Amit Ronen, director of The George Washington University Solar Institute. “As the nation’s fastest growing energy source, we expect the solar industry will continue to generate robust job growth for at least the next decade.”

The National Solar Jobs Census 2013 was conducted by TSF and BW Research Partnership with support from the GW Solar Institute. The report, derived from data collected from more than 2,081 solar firms, measured employment growth in the solar industry between September 2012 and November 2013. The margin of error of this data set is +/- 1.3 percent, significantly lower than any similar national industry study.

“The study shows both aggressive hiring and clear optimism among US solar companies,” says Philip Jordan, vice president at BW Research Partnership. “Of particular interest was the continued high wages among solar installers, who earned an average of between $20 and $23.63 per hour. We also found higher than average employment of veterans in the solar industry, a sign that their high-tech skills are valued in this sector.”

“SunPower is proud to be a global leader in solar power technology and energy services, creating thousands of American jobs and injecting billions into the U.S. economy,” says SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “We employ about 1,000 people at facilities in 10 states and are actively hiring hundreds more. Our network of approximately 400 dealers employs more than 6,000 across the U.S., and two of our major solar power plants last year created 1,300 jobs at peak construction. Solar is a competitive, reliable resource, and an economic success story for America.”