Come together

The Alliance unites the roofing industry through education, training, research, sustainability and philanthropy

  • Alliance members participate in a Camp Ronald McDonald work day in Mountain Center, Calif.
  • Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va., performed roof system repairs on a Ronald McDonald house in Morgantown, W.Va.
  • The University of Florida team received the Construction Management Student Competition award during the 2017 International Roofing Expo.®
  • The Auburn University team presents their proposal, a competition requirement for finalists.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress is a diverse organization comprising thoughtful and dedicated roofing contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and industry professionals. Collectively, Alliance members have committed more than $13 million to preserve and enhance the U.S. roofing industry. And members not only contribute financially; they also volunteer their time, talents and passion.

Since forming in 1996, the Alliance has allocated more than $5 million to 45 projects that have positively affected the trade, and the organization continues its efforts to help advance the roofing industry through new and ongoing initiatives.

Origin and purpose

In 1996, the board of trustees of NRCA's educational foundation, the National Roofing Foundation, took a bold step to establish The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress—the first organization to bring all segments of the roofing industry together to focus on education, training, technical research, sustainability and philanthropy. More than 20 years later, the Alliance boasts a track record of improved standards, employee engagement and community giving.

In 2009, the Alliance embarked on a campaign to re-energize current members, increase membership and update its brand. The momentum invigorated members who seek to improve the industry's workforce image by creating positive community awareness regarding the industry.

In 2011, Alliance leadership engaged in strategic planning that resulted in a revised mission-vision-core values statement, building the endowment fund, renewed emphasis on gaining new members, funding projects affecting the industry and launching significant initiatives such as partnering with a national charitable organization.

Ronald McDonald House Charities

The Alliance's newest initiative, introduced in 2016, established a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and cultivates proactive corporate social responsibility. Through the partnership, Alliance and NRCA members endeavor to inspect, maintain, repair and, when possible, replace the roof systems on the 184 Ronald McDonald houses throughout the U.S.

Ronald McDonald houses provide a supportive "home away from home" for families while their children are being treated at nearby hospitals. Offering comfortable, private rooms where families can get a good night's rest knowing their child is nearby, the houses give families a chance to connect with others experiencing similar situations. The houses employ full-time staff who always are there to provide care and comfort to families during their greatest times of need.

Through its program, the Alliance is identifying one or more Alliance or NRCA members to align with each Ronald McDonald house. The expectation is the member will conduct regular inspections of the roof system, ensure it is properly maintained, perform repairs when necessary and be involved when the roof system needs to be replaced. Roof system replacements will be managed as individual projects and, when appropriate, several contractors may be asked to become involved with the goal of having materials donated by manufacturers and/or distributors on a project-by-project basis.

RMHC will work with the Alliance to manage communications and public relation efforts for the overall partnership, as well as help promote the individual members who have adopted houses. In the six months since forming the partnership, 36 Ronald McDonald houses have been adopted—20 percent of the Alliance's goal to adopt all houses—and some houses already have received much-needed roof system repairs.

Education and training

In 2014, to address the industry's labor challenges, the Alliance partnered with Bilingual America, Atlanta, to conduct cultural and leadership training programs for companies with Latino employees. About 20 Alliance members participated in the six-week training program, which studied best practices within the Latino workforce in the areas of cultural understanding, recruitment, hiring, safety, leadership development and business development. After completing the training, Ricardo González, founder and CEO of Bilingual America, recorded his findings in the "Hispanics in Roofing—Special Industry Report" and prepared eight specific recommendations for the industry. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, contact Bennett Judson, Alliance executive director, at (847) 493-7513 or

In addition, the Alliance recently allocated $250,000 to help fund the development of NRCA's ProCertification Series, a national training initiative to address the roofing industry's workforce needs with the goal of recruiting, training and retaining an appropriate workforce for the 21st century. When fully implemented, the training program will assess the skills of employees, issue NRCA certifications for installers of various roof system types, and provide a career path that acknowledges and develops an employee's abilities with organizational outcomes of improved safety, productivity and quality.

Construction management schools

Four years ago, the Alliance developed relationships with three top U.S. construction management schools: Auburn University's McWhorter School of Building Science, Auburn, Ala.; Colorado State University's Department of Construction Management, Fort Collins; and the University of Florida's M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management, Gainesville. The partnership goals were to create roofing industry awareness, incorporate more roofing-specific information and case studies into existing curricula, and encourage students to seriously consider the industry as a viable career option.

As part of cultivating these relationships, the Alliance created a Construction Management Student Competition. In addition to the learning opportunity, the competition connects Alliance members with student teams to serve as mentors while fostering camaraderie, dialogue and team spirit as students rise to meet the challenge of demonstrating their roofing knowledge in the areas of estimating, project management, safety and related areas.

This year's student design competition project is the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. Teams from the following schools are participating in this year's competition: Auburn University; Colorado State University; Kennesaw State University, Marietta, Ga.; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati; and University of Florida.

This month, the teams will submit their written proposals to a panel of roofing professional judges who will select a maximum of five finalist teams. The finalists will present their oral presentations and bid packages to the project owners (the panel of judges) Wednesday, Feb. 7, during the 2018 International Roofing Expo® (IRE) in New Orleans. After hearing the oral presentations, the judges will compile their scores, and the winning teams will be announced during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception held later that evening.

So far, the progress made and feedback received regarding the construction management school initiative has been extremely positive. The Alliance looks forward to strengthening existing relationships, developing new faculty and school relationships, and being involved in more construction management programs in the future.

Technology and research

Recently, the Alliance funded the "Moisture Release in Concrete Roof Decks Study" and an NRCA "Silica Objective Data Collection Project."

In 2016, NRCA and the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) undertook an initial research study with Structural Research Inc. (SRI), Middleton, Wis., to better understand the moisture release and drying characteristics of normal-weight and lightweight structural concrete roof decks. SRI currently is conducting a second phase to build upon the findings of the initial phase and develop specific guidelines for the roofing industry's use. The result of this research will be used to develop a model providing specific recommendations for addressing concrete deck moisture in various climatic regions of North America.

Matt Dupuis, Ph.D., P.E., senior engineer for SRI, and Bill McHugh, CRCA's executive director, will present "Concrete Roof Decks and Moisture" during the 2018 IRE in New Orleans Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 7:45-9:15 a.m. to provide an update about the research. A final report is expected to be available in fall 2018.

Additionally, the Alliance funded a project to assist NRCA staff with conducting air monitoring on select roofing job sites with the goal of cataloging roofing tasks and processes that could form the basis for industry-wide objective data and possibly reduce the burden of a new regulation on members.

In September 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding worker exposure to silica. The proposed OSHA rule would require employers to conduct air monitoring in work areas where there is reason to suspect silica exposure may exceed 25 micrograms per cubic meter on an eight-hour, time-weighted average basis.

NRCA believes it is crucial to identify and establish exposure data to develop a comprehensive document that may be relied upon by roofing contractor members to assist with complying with the OSHA silica rule and assure the health and safety of roofing workers.

Ongoing signature programs

The Alliance continues to offer three ongoing signature programs.

The Gold Circle Awards Program recognizes Alliance and NRCA members for outstanding contributions to the roofing industry in the categories of outstanding workmanship, innovative solutions, and safety preparedness and performance. Entries are evaluated by a panel of judges within the roofing industry. The highest-ranking entries determine the winners. Recipients will be recognized during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception held during the 2018 IRE.

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards Program celebrates outstanding employees recognized for extra-work activities such as charitable deeds, community involvement, personal heroism and team-building skills. The MVP awards are especially important and emotional accomplishments for the selected workers—they realize they are valued for being an outstanding performer not only on the job but also in their communities. The MVP Awards Program recognizes a maximum of 10 workers, and one winner is chosen to be Professional Roofing's Best of the Best, an elite recognition and award co-sponsored by OMG® Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass. The Best of the Best award winner receives an additional prize awarded by OMG Roofing Products and is featured in a cover story in Professional Roofing. MVP winners also are recognized during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception held during the IRE.

And the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program assists employees of NRCA contractor and supplier members. Employees and their families who plan to pursue post-secondary education in college and vocational programs are eligible for the merit-based scholarships. Scholarship recipients will receive funding for up to four years of full-time study at any accredited post-secondary institution of the student's choice.

The Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program is designed to assist individuals seeking to further their education to pursue careers in the roofing or building construction industries, including architecture; business management; civil, mechanical or structural engineering; and construction management majors. Applications for the 2018-19 school year will be accepted until Jan. 31, 2018. To obtain a scholarship application, visit the Alliance's website at

Keeping the momentum strong

As the Alliance continues to advance education, invest in technology and research, and expand its philanthropic reach, it remains steadfast in its commitment to secure the future of the roofing industry and is poised to move the industry forward for generations to come.

Roofing professionals who invest in the Alliance not only advance the roofing industry, they advance their own careers and businesses. For more information about the Alliance, please contact me at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7513, or, or visit the Alliance's website,

Bennett Judson is executive director of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress.

Get to know the alliance

NRCA's National Roofing Foundation established The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress in 1996 to create a permanent endowment fund to serve as a resource for the roofing industry and its customers. Currently, the Alliance has 165 active members: 115 contractors; 37 manufacturers, distributors and suppliers; five service providers; six individuals; and two supporting members who have pledged significant amounts of money to fund projects that help improve the roofing industry. Membership is open to all roofing professionals.

The Alliance is managed by a 16-member board of trustees that oversees existing projects and considers funding for future projects addressing critical industry issues. The Alliance holds two member meetings each year; the next annual meeting will be held April 25-28, 2018, in Amelia Island, Fla., and another held during NRCA's Fall Committee Meetings.

Thomas Saeli, CEO of Duro-Last Inc., Saginaw, Mich., is the Alliance's 2017-18 president; Rod Petrick, president of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill., is vice president; and Dane Bradford, president of Bradford Roof Management, Billings, Mont., is secretary/treasurer.

Since June 1, the Alliance has welcomed three new members: Bluefin LLC, Greenwood Village, Colo.; Trent Cotney, P.A., Tampa, Fla.; and Rackley Roofing Co. Inc., Carthage, Tenn. A list of all Alliance members can be found on the Alliance's website,

Alliance logo

The Alliance's logo represents different segments of the roofing industry that are united toward a common goal. Blue reflects the colors of the outdoors and sky, representing the rooftop and roofing workers; gray and brown reflect the colors of steel and wood, representing manufacturers and suppliers of common roofing materials; and green reflects Earth, nature and the environment, representing progress toward environmentally sustainable roofing practices and design.

Getting involved; giving back

Member participation is vital within the Alliance, and much of the organization's strength comes from its broad base of supportive contributors. The roofing industry has a wonderful history of generosity, and for roofing professionals who would like to be involved with giving back to the industry that has given so much to them, the Alliance provides the perfect opportunity.

The Alliance offers varying levels of membership to encourage small-, medium- and large-sized firms to join and have a voice in determining the roofing industry's future. Commitments to the Alliance can be pledged for three- to five-year periods. Public recognition is given in accordance with donors' wishes and levels of commitment and include national public acknowledgement during NRCA's annual convention and other special events and programs. Alliance members also are encouraged to participate in committees and task forces established to guide the Alliance's agenda and are invited to the semiannual meetings and networking events attended by the full Alliance.

The Alliance also provides roofing professionals the opportunity to fulfill their philanthropic goals through its Planned Giving Program. Planned giving opportunities include bequests, gifts of real estate or appreciate stock, life insurance policies, retirement plan assets and charitable trusts. These planned giving gifts will go a long way to fund research and programs that advance and shape the roofing industry for the future.

The Alliance greatly appreciates the generous planned gifts provided by Dane and Sandy Bradford, Bradford Roof Management, Billings, Mont.; William and Lacy Collins, Berwyn, Pa.; Dennis Conway, Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas; Trent Cotney, Tampa, Fla.; Jason Dark, Duro-Last® Inc., Saginaw, Mich.; William Good, Seabrook Island, S.C.; John Gooding, GSM Roofing, Ephrata, Pa.; Robert and Lianne Therrien, The Melanson Co. Inc., Keene, N.H.; and Kelly and Lance Van Winkle, King of Texas Co. LP, Grand Prairie.

In addition, roofing professionals are encouraged to support the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program, which provides financial support for students pursuing careers in the roofing or building construction industries. Gifts to the scholarship program are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and can be paid during a period of up to and including five years.

For more information about how you can make a commitment to the Alliance and leave a legacy to help secure the future of the roofing industry, contact Alison LaValley, CAE, NRCA's vice president of strategic partnerships and development, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7573 or, or visit the Alliance's website,



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