The fight for foreign workers

The H-2B seasonal guest worker program is vital to helping industry employers temporarily fill job openings

As roofing industry employers continue to face workforce shortages in a strong U.S. economy with low unemployment rates, NRCA continues pursuing legislative solutions to help address the issue. However, an unfavorable political environment and growing dysfunction within Congress make attaining legislative objectives increasingly difficult.

An expensive problem

NRCA members consistently report they could take on 10 to 20 percent more work if they could find the necessary workers to keep up with demand. This translates to between $3.6 billion and $7.2 billion in lost economic activity annually. Clearly, the struggle to find qualified workers to fill job openings has become the most difficult limitation on roofing contractors' ability to grow their businesses.

NRCA has worked for many years on legislative initiatives to address the workforce shortage crisis, including legislation to expand career and technical educational programs to better meet the needs of employers and immigration reform legislation to provide a sufficient level of legal immigration to meet industry labor needs. Efforts to pass such legislation have stalled as Congress struggles to find bipartisan consensus in an increasingly polarized political environment.