Capitol Hill

Improving access to opportunities
Recruiting people to the roofing industry depends on legislative support for career and technical education

NRCA continues to hear from members that one of the most difficult challenges they face is finding and keeping quality workers. NRCA is working on a number of strategies and programs to address this need, one of which is supporting legislation to improve federal policy with respect to career and technical education (CTE). Congress is working to address CTE policy and may approve legislation this year.

How CTE can help

NRCA believes effective CTE programs (sometimes referred to as vocational education) are vital to the roofing industry's long-term prosperity. In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for contractors to find workers for job openings despite vigorous recruitment efforts. It is expected this problem will become more acute as the construction economy continues to grow. The shortage of qualified workers is a result of an aging workforce, educational trends that encourage greater numbers of students to pursue four-year college degrees and the physically demanding nature of roofing work.

In NRCA's view, CTE programs should help meet the growing need for skilled applicants to fill well-paying roofing industry jobs. NRCA members provide great opportunities for workers to obtain fulfilling careers if they have the requisite skills and work ethic. Entry-level wages are significantly above the minimum wage, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the mean hourly wage for roofing workers throughout the U.S. was $19.04 in 2014. Moreover, there are numerous opportunities for employee advancement to foreman, estimator and other positions within the industry. Roofing companies provide rewarding lifelong careers for those with the proper training and skills and a drive to succeed.