News + Views

Alliance awards five Melvin Kruger scholarships

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced the winners of its Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year.

This year's new scholarship recipients are Nicholas Calvert, Wellsburg, W.Va., son of Edward Calvert, senior engineer for Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va.; Salvador Flores Garcia (Beacon Roofing Supply Scholarship), San Jose, Calif., son of Jose Flores Estrada, roofing worker for Alcal Arcade Contracting, Fremont, Calif.; Sophia McGuire, Indianapolis, daughter of Mark McGuire, project manager for AAA Roofing Co., Indianapolis; Lillian McKenzie (OMG® Roofing Products Inc. Scholarship), Columbia, S.C., daughter of Christopher McKenzie, salesman for Watts & Associates Roofing, Columbia; and Alyssa Merna (Firestone Scholarship), Brighton, Mich., sales coordinator for Bloom Roofing Systems Inc., Brighton.

In addition, the Alliance renewed six Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year. The recipients include Christian Cole, Dallas, Ga., who is attending Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga., and was awarded the Dan Cohen Scholarship; Jaclyn Harris, Mooresville, Ind., who is attending Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., and was awarded the Firestone Scholarship; Jonah Manson, Solon, Iowa, who is attending Iowa State University, Ames; Dannelly McKenzie, Columbia, S.C., who is attending Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.; Drury Poston, Thomson, Ga., who is attending Georgia Southern University, Statesboro; and Ivy Rivas, Tujunga, Calif., who is attending University of California, Davis, and was awarded the Fred Good Scholarship.

The Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program provides recipients with $5,000 per year based on eligibility for up to four years of enrollment at an accredited college, university or vocational-technical school. NRCA contractor or supplier member companies' full-time employees or immediate family members are eligible to apply for the merit-based scholarships.

The Alliance awarded $25,000 for five new scholarships and $30,000 for scholarship renewals for the 2017-18 school year. To date, 122 students have received $735,000 in scholarship awards.

Eligibility requirements and application guidelines for the 2018-19 Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program will be available in September.

In addition, the Alliance awarded a $5,000 grant through its Helping Our Own Program to Robert Fry, service foreman for CentiMark Corp., Pittsburgh. Fry and his family lost their house and pets in a fire May 24. The Alliance awarded the grant to help support the Fry family through the many challenges they now face.

Immigrants represent a growing share of the U.S. workforce

Immigrants represent a steadily growing share of the U.S. workforce, a trend that could be affected by efforts to overhaul immigration policy in the U.S., according to Bloomberg BNA.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released an annual report May 18 showing the number of foreign-born workers in the U.S. increased to nearly 27 million in 2016—up about 700,000 from 2015 and representing 16.9 percent of the U.S. labor force. This is the highest proportion in records dating to 1996, when immigrants accounted for 10.8 percent of the workforce.

The report defines foreign-born workers as individuals who reside in the U.S. but were born outside the country to parents who were not U.S. citizens. It doesn't distinguish between legally admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents and undocumented immigrants.

The share of immigrants in the U.S. workforce steadily has grown during the past six years after a slight dip during the most recent recession when foreign-born workers were disproportionately affected by the collapse in the housing market, which took a toll on construction employment. From 1996 to 2016, the U.S. labor force increased by about 25 million workers, half of whom were born outside the U.S.

The data was released as the Trump administration's immigration proposals face legal challenges and resistance among some lawmakers in Congress; proposals include building a wall on the southern border, a travel ban on citizens from six mostly Muslim countries and a threat to withhold funding from jurisdictions that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Foreign-born workers are more likely than native-born workers to work in industries ranging from construction and farming to computers and the life sciences. Employers increasingly have relied on foreign-born labor to fill positions in these industries where it is becoming a challenge to find qualified applicants.

Lifelong roofing professional passes away


Brian Petrick, shop manager for Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill., passed away May 23. He was 56.

Petrick joined the family business as an apprentice in 1978 and served an integral role in the business for 39 years. Petrick is survived by his wife, Sharon; sons, Kevin and Michael; mother, Barbara; brothers, Rodney and Roger; step-grandson, Josh; and many nieces and nephews.

Donations in Petrick's memory may be made to PAWS Chicago at

Founder of CEI Group passes away

John C. Cook, founder and former executive vice president of CEI Group LLC, Hamburg, Mich., passed away April 24. He was 72.


After serving in the U.S. Army, Cook and his brother, George, founded CEI Group in the early 1970s. As executive vice president, Cook managed the company's international division before retiring from CEI Group in September 2014 after 43 years of service to the roofing industry. Cook is survived by his wife, Lori; sons, John and Rob; brother, George; and many nieces and nephews.

Donations in Cook's memory may be made to the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) to support Dr. Daniel George and the DCI prostate cancer research program at or Duke Cancer Institute c/o Emily Hamm, 710 W. Main St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701.


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