On April 5-6, 225 NRCA members and other roofing professionals joined with industry partner organizations for Roofing Day in D.C. 2022. Attendees met with members of Congress and their staffs, ensuring the industry’s voice was heard clearly by lawmakers.
Roofing Day in D.C. 2022 was the fourth annual industrywide advocacy event designed to fulfill former NRCA CEO Reid Ribble’s vision of how NRCA can enhance the roofing industry’s image and expand its influence on federal policymaking. Previously held in Washington, D.C., in 2018 and 2019 and virtually in 2021, Roofing Day in D.C. brings together all segments of the industry, including contractors, manufacturers, distributors, consultants, associations and field workers to deliver a collective message regarding key legislative issues.
Holding an annual legislative conference on a large scale enables the industry to have a greater effect on congressional leaders by communicating with one voice about government policy issues affecting roofing industry employers and employees. By hearing directly from constituents during Roofing Day in D.C., lawmakers gain a better understanding of how legislation and regulations affect roofing businesses.
NRCA was happy to welcome Roofing Day in D.C. participants in person again this year. Although access to the U.S. Capitol complex remains closed to the public, in-person meetings are permitted by appointment. Because some members of Congress were not comfortable resuming in-person meetings, NRCA provided additional programs, speakers and networking opportunities for participants. The event proved successful in conveying the roofing industry’s message to lawmakers while also providing invaluable training and inspirational speakers to all participants.
On April 5, participants attended a training session for a state-of-the-art online platform led by Advocacy Associates, a leading firm providing logistical support and training for Washington, D.C., fly-in events. Participants learned how to use the platform for virtual meetings and to access important materials, including a schedule of meetings.
Next, Duane Musser, NRCA’s vice president of government relations in Washington, D.C., led an issue briefing to prepare participants for their congressional meetings. McKay Daniels, NRCA’s CEO and a former congressional chief of staff, joined Musser in a mock meeting to demonstrate how meetings with members of Congress and congressional staff typically are (and should be) conducted.
Later that day, Ribble and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) officially kicked off Roofing Day in D.C. 2022. Lankford provided insights regarding recent political developments and the upcoming congressional agenda. The advocacy issues selected to be the focus of the congressional meetings were described to help prepare participants for the main event.
On April 6, participants enjoyed breakfast with Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee and is a member of House Republican leadership. Johnson gave his perspective regarding the roofing industry’s workforce challenges and his outlook for the 118th Congress. Participants also attended a presentation given by speaker Bruce Mehlman, founder of Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas; a chief of staff panel; and Scott Ketcham, director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s construction directorate for the Biden administration.
The presenters gave unique perspectives to help participants navigate their congressional meetings and the year ahead.
Next, participants attended their congressional meetings. Each participant had a full schedule of meetings with senators and one or more representatives or congressional staff arranged by Advocacy Associates. Participants focused on solutions to workforce and supply chain challenges, the issues chosen by NRCA’s Roofing Day Advisory Committee after receiving input from all segments of the industry. Specifically, industry professionals advocated for increased funding for and reform of career and technical education and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as well as immigration reform that meets the industry’s needs. Lawmakers heard firsthand personal accounts of the challenges currently faced by roofing industry employers.
The event concluded with a reception at the Reserve Officers Association Top of the Hill Banquet Center where participants shared their experiences with one another while taking in spectacular views of the U.S. Capitol.
The in-person congressional meetings greatly enhance the work NRCA and partner organizations perform in Washington, D.C., by strengthening existing relationships and establishing new ones with lawmakers.
With participants attending 174 meetings with lawmakers and congressional staff, Roofing Day in D.C. 2022 remains one of the largest advocacy events in Washington, D.C. The collective voice of industry professionals from across the U.S. was heard, and NRCA thanks all participants for their enthusiasm and dedication. To read more about Roofing Day in D.C. 2022, see “Welcome back!”
NRCA and partner organizations already are planning for Roofing Day in D.C. 2023 to be held April 18-19. NRCA urges this year’s participants to return and other industry professionals to attend next year to help make Roofing Day in D.C. 2023 the best one yet.
DEBORAH MAZOL is NRCA’s director of federal affairs in Washington, D.C.