Roofing Alliance Funds Mississippi State Virtual Reality Safety Research

The Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) celebrating its 25th year, is funding a research program through Mississippi State University (MSU) for virtual reality and safety research. A team from MSU is working with a Roofing Alliance task force to develop a virtual reality training module that will help the roofing industry focus on ladder safety and overall assessment of rooftop safety.

Roofing Alliance task force members have been holding virtual meetings with the Mississippi State University team as the project progresses. The first steps were to identify topics for the virtual reality module(s) being developed. Two main areas were selected: ladder safety and an overall assessment of rooftop safety. The programs are aimed at new hires and entry-level workers with no prior experience. Participants using VR will experience what it feels like to climb a relatively tall ladder and understand some of the key concepts of ladder safety. The task team has also worked with MSU to develop a BIM model strategy for the research and deliverables.

“It’s intended to be part of a new hire’s onboard training before they actually go up on the roof,” stated Josh Kelly, task force chair. “We provided faculty with some elements that are to be included such as assessing the jobsite for best ladder location, selecting which ladder to use based on building height and weight rating, inspecting the ladder, setting it up and securing it.”

The funding request was submitted by Dr. Saeed Rokooei, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University. The proposal named “Evaluating the Efficacy of Virtual Reality Technology for Improving the Roofing Construction Workers’ Safety” was approved for funding in April of 2020.

For more information on how to submit funding requests, current funding projects or the Roofing Alliance 25th Anniversary contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@roofingalliance.net or visit www.roofingalliance.net.

NRCA Releases Updated Roof Coatings Guide

The National Roofing Contractors Association has released NRCA Guidelines for the Application of Roof Coatings. The new guide updates the 2015 guide and serves as a reference for roof coating designers and installers.

The guide provides technical information about the application of various types of roof coating systems, preparations necessary for their successful performance and quality control guidelines for on-site evaluation. Also included are best practice guidelines for the application of common roof coatings to various types of roof surfaces, such as membrane roof systems or existing coating systems.

 The guide has been reorganized to more closely follow the chronological order of events surrounding the roof coating process, and terms and definitions have been modified, added or removed to better capture the wide range of applications currently available for roof coatings. Step-by-step guidance on some quality control and quality assurance procedures also have been added.

 Hard copies of NRCA Guidelines for the Application of Roof Coatings are available at nrca.net/shop. NRCA members can download the guide for free in electronic format.

NRCA Shares Career Insights With SkillsUSA Students

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recently joined SkillsUSA members nationwide to participate in 12 industry discussion panels as a professional development activity. The trade-specific discussions were hosted by SkillsUSA and held via Zoom to help students and teachers stay motivated and focused on future career paths during an unusual school year that is virtual or hybrid for many students.

More than 500 students at SkillsUSA schools participated in one of 12 simultaneous discussions — organized by career cluster — including architecture and construction, information technology, manufacturing and transportation. 

The discussions connected students and teachers with business and industry professionals who shared insightful information about their industries. After an overview, students broke into smaller groups organized by career cluster for panel discussions that provided industry descriptions, as well as opportunities to ask questions; learn about trends, job outlooks and education needed for specific careers; and connect with successful industry role models.

“The opportunity to reach out and connect with these students about career possibilities in the roofing industry was invaluable,” said Alison LaValley, NRCA’s vice president of strategic partnerships and workforce development. “It’s imperative we continue to educate students and their influencers and advocate for roofing as their trade of choice.” 

 “This collaboration offers our members the information they need at a pivotal time in the career path decision-making process,” said Chelle Travis, executive director of SkillsUSA. “This program is especially exciting as we entered the 2020-21 school year in the context of a global pandemic that has affected education at more than 4,000 SkillsUSA schools nationwide. We are so impressed with our students as they strive to move forward with their education; many will graduate, and our goal is to ensure they are career-ready. We thank our industry partners who are always willing to step up and support student learning through our programs.” 

For more information, visit nrca.net and skillsusa.org

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum Joins NRCA’s One Voice Initiative, Becomes NRCA Partner Member

The National Roofing Contractors Association has announced Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC, Atlanta, has joined NRCA’s One Voice initiative as its 40th partner member.

In 2017, NRCA launched its One Voice initiative to unite the roofing industry and speak with one voice about matters critical to the roofing industry’s continued success.

To ensure all industry sectors are given an opportunity to participate, NRCA amended its bylaws to allow manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers and consultants that choose to participate to become full members of the association, meaning they will be granted voting rights and eligible for leadership roles within the association. Previously, such rights were reserved only for contractor members.

“NRCA’s One Voice initiative offers a unique opportunity for the roofing industry to address the major issues we face,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “However, our work can only be accomplished with commitments from leaders from all sectors of this great industry. Only together as a roofing community can we take this transformational approach to address our issues and concerns and achieve success in the future.”

“Georgia-Pacific Gypsum is honored to join NRCA’s One Voice initiative. For more than 120 years, NRCA has been a valued resource for roofing contractors. The vision set forth around safety, training and increasing professionalism throughout the industry is one we all can stand behind,” says Greg Hudson, director of commercial Dens® sales for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum.

Issues currently affecting the roofing industry include workforce development and certification; advancing the industry’s public policy agenda; building codes and insurance; and increasing professionalism throughout the industry.

For more information about NRCA and its One Voice initiative, visit nrca.net/onevoice.

NRCA Partners with Oplign to Support Military and Veteran Hiring in the Roofing Industry

The National Roofing Contractors Association has entered into a partnership with Oplign LLC, Virginia Beach, Va., to enhance and support NRCA members’ efforts to recruit transitioning military personnel and veterans. Oplign is a labor market data analytics company that uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology to align job applicants with job openings.

NRCA and Oplign will work together to provide workforce recruitment resources, educational tools and training materials to NRCA members identifying how roofing employers can build an effective veteran recruitment and sourcing program. In addition, Oplign will offer discounted subscriptions to NRCA members for its advanced services.

“We see this partnership with Oplign as an invaluable resource for our members,” says Alison LaValley, NRCA’s vice president of strategic partnerships and workforce development. “We hope this opportunity will help our members recruit, engage, onboard and train transitioning veterans to the roofing industry.”

“Oplign is excited to support NRCA. The veteran labor pool continues to be an untapped source of dedicated and talented workers,” says Mike Grow, Oplign’s CEO. “If we can increase the ability of architects, engineers and roofing professionals to connect with transitioning military personnel and veterans, we will feel like we’ve added tremendous value to both communities.”

For more information, visit nrca.net/workforce-recruitment.

NRCA Partners with “Inside the Blueprint” to Produce Educational Content for the Roofing Industry

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has entered into a strategic partnership with national TV show “Inside the Blueprint” to produce educational content regarding roofing industry issues, initiatives and innovative solutions. 

NRCA will create broadcast-quality video content specifically addressing roofing industry insight for industry professionals, and the content will be integrated into half-hour episodes. The TV show airs nationally on Fox Business Network and internationally to more than 35 countries on Bloomberg International. NRCA and “Inside the Blueprint” will work together to promote the TV show via digital marketing and on social media platforms leading up to the first airing in 2021.

“NRCA is pleased to partner with ‘Inside the Blueprint,’” said NRCA CEO Reid Ribble. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide content that will connect with a broader audience, promote professionalism and educate those involved in the roofing industry.”

“‘Inside the Blueprint’ shares NRCA’s view that providing educational content specific to the needs of architects, engineers and roofing professionals are keys to helping the industry address challenges related to sustainability, efficiency and resilience,” said Ron Secreto, executive vice president, partnerships, for “Inside the Blueprint.”

For more information about NRCA, visit nrca.net.

For more information about “Inside the Blueprint,” visit insidetheblueprint.com.

NRCA to Hold a Roofing Industry Telephone Town Hall October 13

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) will hold a roofing industry Telephone Town Hall Tuesday, October 13, at 5 p.m. EDT. The roofing industry Telephone Town Hall will feature the leaders of NRCA, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, EPDM Roofing Association, International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association and Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association sharing the latest developments regarding the roofing industry. NRCA CEO Reid Ribble, ARMA Executive Vice President Reed Hitchcock, ERA Executive Director Ellen Thorp, IIBEC CEO and Executive Vice President Brian Pallasch, PIMA President Justin Koscher and RCMA Executive Director Dan Quinonez will discuss the state of the roofing industry, conduct interactive surveys with participants and answer participants’ questions.

 To join NRCA’s roofing industry Telephone Town Hall, participants should provide their contact information at nrca.net/townhall, and they will receive a phone call when the Telephone Town Hall is about to begin. Participants who have previously filled out the form or participated in an earlier NRCA Telephone Town Hall do not need to sign up again. Participants who are signing up for the first time will receive a call for all future Telephone Town Halls.

 For more information about NRCA, visit www.nrca.net.

Roofing Alliance Grants Clemson University Second Round of Funding

The Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), is proud to announce that funding was approved for Clemson University’s phase two initiative to develop additional classes for a formal roofing certificate program at the college level. In the second year of development, Clemson University’s Construction Science & Management (CSM) Department program continues to develop valuable resources for the roofing industry.

With the successful completion and implementation of the first three-credit hour course, the second round of funding will be used to develop two new online roofing courses and to convert the first course into an online format. The deliverable will be a formal Roofing Certificate program to attract potential workforce by educating interested university students about the roofing industry and providing a continuing education opportunity to retain corporate level industry professionals. 

The Roofing Certificate program will consist of three, three-credit hour courses (9 credits total). The first course developed and implemented in phase one of this study was a three-credit roofing introductory course specific to the roofing industry. The first course, offered in spring 2020, was a big success with 21 students (both graduate and undergraduate) enrolled, 16 Roofing Alliance member companies participating in the form of in-person guest lectures and 90+ companies involved in donating the material for developing the content for this course.

The Roofing Alliance funds research studies, projects and initiatives every year that address both the current and future needs of the roofing industry. Seeing that the construction industry continues to face the predominant challenge of a declining workforce, Clemson University submitted a second funding request to develop and implement the roofing certificate program. Led by Dr. Dhaval Gajjar, a professor in the CSM department, who is passionate about developing curriculum to help students gain knowledge about roofing including technical insights, industry overview and potential career paths.

 “Along with developing the online certificate program, the study also proposes an analysis on various economic factors such as salary, benefits and career advancement within the roofing industry,” stated Gajjar. “This is due to the important contributing factors that influence the career choice of younger generations. These are the factors the industry needs to better understand if it wishes to attract and maintain a talented workforce.”

For more information on Roofing Alliance funding projects, student competition and overall information about the Roofing Alliance contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@roofingalliance.net or visit www.roofingalliance.net.

Roofing Alliance Seeks to Fund Initiatives That Advance the Roofing Industry

The Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), announces its annual Call for Funding. Committed to promoting and funding the advancement of roofing through research, education, technology and philanthropic programs, the Roofing Alliance is seeking to fund initiatives that will contribute to the advancement and growth of the roofing industry. This year’s deadline for funding applications is January 1, 2021.

 Each year, the Roofing Alliance provides funding for research, educational initiatives and technical programs that address current issues and work to secure the future of the roofing industry. Roofing Alliance Executive Director Bennett Judson shared that in 2020, a total of $272,253 in project funding was approved. “While much of our funding is earmarked for our ongoing initiatives, the Roofing Alliance is always looking to support new programs that can fulfill a need within our industry and contribute toward the betterment of the U.S. roofing industry,” said Judson. 

A notable example of a successful funding request was that of Clemson University, who used the funds to develop a three-credit roofing class for use in construction management programs throughout the country. The Roofing Alliance will be donating the course materials to construction management schools who are members of the American Council for Construction Education. 

For 24 years, the Roofing Alliance has been committed to shaping the industry’s future by funding education, research, scholarships and philanthropic initiatives, all for the purpose of securing the industry’s future excellence. Ongoing initiatives include committee projects and programs including the ongoing partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities®, the Roofing Alliance Student Competition and construction management partnerships with universities. 

Requests are due by January 1, 2021. For information on specific criteria and the funding review process please visit http://www.roofingalliance.net/About/Funding. To learn more about the Roofing Alliance, please visit www.roofingalliance.net or contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@roofingalliance.net

NRCA Launches the NRCA Health Care Program to Benefit the Roofing Industry

The National Roofing Contractors Association has launched the NRCA Health Care Program, the first and only health care program tailored specifically to the roofing industry, in partnership with Vault Health Strategies, Bloomington, Illinois.

The NRCA Health Care Program enables NRCA members of all categories and sizes to offer employer-sponsored health care options. The plan is flexible, based on each company’s needs and budget, and can be offered with or without employer contributions. An employer can make available to employees voluntary benefits, such as dental, vision, life, disability and accident insurance, and work with his or her current broker or use an NRCA Health Care Program broker. Coverage includes everything from full-service major medical to supplemental or prescription-only coverage. In addition, the NRCA Health Care Program offers a telehealth option. 
As health care costs continue to rise and the industry struggles to recruit new workers, the new health care program is intended to help NRCA members offer company-sponsored health care plans that benefit roofing professionals and also can be used to bolster employee recruitment and retention. 
“One of the biggest concerns NRCA members tell us they have is workforce issues — it’s really difficult to attract and retain good employees,” said Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “As an industry, we must take care of our employees. One important way we can do that is by offering quality benefits such as health insurance.” 
To learn more about the NRCA Health Care Program, go to nrcahealth.com or contact Rich Trewyn, an NRCA director of enterprise risk management, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7575, or rtrewyn@nrca.net
For more information about NRCA, visit www.nrca.net.