As I was saying …

Thoughts about training and education

Everyone in the roofing industry can agree with the proposition that training and education are crucial to the industry's future and require a great deal of diligence, thought and effort. Deciding how to move this from a proposition to a reality gets more dicey.

For example, should NRCA be the leader in training entry-level workers? If so, where does that leave union apprenticeship programs? Is a certification program for workers the logical approach? If it is, how is that developed, marketed and administered? Does NRCA run the risk of alienating members who already have superior worker training programs? And—not insignificantly—who's going to pay for all of this?

Here are a few things we know:

  • We have trouble recruiting people into the trade because we lack a clearly defined training program and career path.
  • We have some first-class training conducted by union apprenticeship programs, manufacturers, distributors and individual contractors.
  • We have some training known by the euphemism "on-the-job training," which sometimes is little more than a way to weed out those who are physically unable to do the work.
  • We have a lot of industry leaders absolutely committed to the notion of training.