News + Views

Generation Z sets its sights on trade schools

The latest generation of Americans to reach college age increasingly is turning to trade schools to avoid education debt, according to

The job market currently is over-promising and underpaying, which has Generation Z—those born between the mid-1990s and 2010—weighing the benefits of blue-collar trades. Attending technical and vocational schools allows students to refine specific sets of skills that translate directly into jobs.

In-state tuition and fees at public four-year universities have increased at an average rate of more than 3% above inflation each year during the past decade. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, in 2017, the average college graduate with education debt owed about $25,000.

The pressure to attend a four-year college remains strong in American society, and many high-paying jobs in the trades are sitting empty, reports NPR. Generation Z appears drawn to the opportunity to earn stable paychecks in fields where there's an obvious labor need.

TAMKO® Building Products welcomes strategic minority investor

NRCA member TAMKO Building Products, Joplin, Mo., has announced Carlyle Global Partners will become a long-term strategic minority investor in its asphalt roofing and building materials business. Carlyle Global Partners is the long-duration investment fund of The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global investment firm managing $216 billion of assets. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2019; terms have not been disclosed.

"TAMKO Building Products' success is firmly rooted in the core values that have always defined us as a family-run business: hard work, honesty and integrity, and a commitment to hire and develop outstanding people," says David Humphreys, president and CEO of TAMKO Building Products. "Carlyle Global Partners is a great long-term partner because they recognize that these guiding principles—combined with our cost leadership strategy, focus on vertical integration, commitment to quality, customer focus and continuous improvement—have underpinned TAMKO Building Products' success. Together with Carlyle Global Partners, TAMKO Building Products will continue to invest in these areas to grow the market-leading positions we hold today."

Vipul Amin, managing director for The Carlyle Group, and Eliot Merrill, co-head of Carlyle Global Partners, will join TAMKO Building Products' board of directors. TAMKO Building Products' composite decking business will continue to be owned and operated as a stand-alone business exclusively by the Humphreys family.

Women need a clear path to join the construction industry

Women could help fill some of the 380,000 U.S. construction jobs currently available if they had a clearer path to follow into the industry, according to

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force but represent only 9% of the total construction workforce. The Department of Labor estimates the construction industry's workforce shortage would be nearly wiped out if twice as many women joined the industry.

"There's a perception that it's not an industry friendly to women," says Katrina Kersch, chief operating officer of the National Center for Construction Education and Research. Kersch says this is likely because of the scarcity of images depicting women at work in the industry and stereotypes of male construction workers as unwelcoming to women.

The Portland Metro Workforce Development Board conducted a study to determine why women are absent in the construction workforce and found a lack of industry connections, absence of exposure to construction careers, inadequate funding for pre-apprenticeship programs that serve women and job-site culture were among the top reasons.

The construction industry offers good, high-paying jobs and a significantly smaller gender pay gap. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports women in the construction industry earn 97 cents for every dollar a man earns compared with the U.S. average of 80 cents.

To attract more women to the industry, construction companies can lobby for increased funding for programs that help train women or invest in an advocacy campaign to alert women to construction job opportunities.

"We need to do a better job telling the story of all the opportunities that exist in this industry," says Brian Turmail, director of public affairs at the Association of General Contractors. "It's not your father's industry anymore."

National Roofing Week 2019 will be June 2-8!

National Roofing Week 2019 will take place June 2-8 to raise awareness of the significance of roofs to every home and building.

Celebrated each year during the first full week of June, National Roofing Week serves as a reminder that the roof is one of the most important components of every structure. It is the first line of defense against natural elements, yet it often is taken for granted until it falls into disrepair.

In celebration of National Roofing Week, NRCA will host the We are Family Raffle, sponsored by A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply, Aurora, Ill. NRCA member companies are encouraged to take a group photo of all employees—their "roofing family"—and submit it to NRCA for a chance to win a prize. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 29.

National Roofing Week also promotes the good deeds of the roofing industry and stresses the value of professional roofing contractors and the importance of making informed decisions about maintaining or replacing any roof system. During National Roofing Week, NRCA encourages its members to participate by engaging in their communities and informing the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community.

Additionally, in the spirit of the industry's generosity, the first NRCA Giving Day will be held June 7 to raise funds to benefit the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program and help shape the future of the roofing industry. NRCA's goal is to raise $100,000 to provide scholarships to college and vocational-technical school students who plan to pursue careers in the roofing or building construction industries.

NRCA also will share its members' stories through social media outlets and Professional Roofing magazine. Members are encouraged to share their stories of charitable giving, crew and staff appreciation, and signature roofing projects with NRCA.

National Roofing Week 2019 is sponsored by ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis.; A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply; Carlisle SynTec, Carlisle, Pa.; FlashCo, Santa Rosa, Calif.; GAF, Parsippany, N.J.; National Women in Roofing (title sponsor); Polyglass U.S.A., Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla.; and Sherwin-Williams, South Lyon, Mich.

For more information about National Roofing Week, go to



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