News + Views

Clemson University wins Roofing Alliance student competition

Students from Clemson University received a first-place award.

The Roofing Alliance has announced the student team from Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., is the first-place winner of the seventh annual Roofing Alliance student competition. The student team from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, placed second. Awards were presented to the winning teams and best individual presenters during an April 16 virtual awards ceremony.

The teams were tasked with submitting a qualified bid package for a new roof system on the Las Vegas Raiders practice facility, part of the new Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center in Henderson, Nev. Working with Dennis Conway, former owner of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, and founder of the student competition, the Roofing Alliance student competition committee prepared the bid packages for the schools. The project was originally reroofed by Commercial Roofers.

The first-place award was presented to the Clemson University students for their outstanding written and oral presentations of the team’s bid package proposal. The team will receive a $5,000 L.B. Conway Scholarship for their school. The team consisted of team captain Luke Skertich and his teammates Declan Fay, Allison O’Toole, Hannah Smith and team alternate Hendrix Smith. Awarded a firstplace position for Best Individual Presenter was Allison O’Toole. Clemson University’s faculty coach is Dhaval Gajjar.

The second-place student team from Colorado State University will receive a $2,500 Fred Good Scholarship for their school. The team consisted of team captain Joshua Houser and his teammates Kendall Carter, Jacob Schneider, Mackenzie Voshage and team alternate Terry Copperman. Joshua Houser received a second-place award for Best Individual Presenter. The Colorado State University faculty coach is Nicholas Rubino.

Student teams from Texas A&M University, College Station, and University of Florida, Gainesville, also competed this year.

Register now for NRCA’s legal conference!

NRCA is inviting roofing industry professionals to register for its legal conference, Roofing Issues: Decks to Dockets, which will be held in Austin, Texas, Oct. 14-16.

During the three-day event, attendees will receive 13 hours of in-depth information about current legal, contractual, technical and business programming to help improve your company’s operations.

NRCA member and nonmember CEOs, owners, COOs, human resources professionals, safety directors, training directors, on-staff legal counsel, office managers and project managers are encouraged to attend. Participants will hear from the industry’s brightest experts and thought leaders, including Ben Briggs, partner at Cotney—Attorneys & Consultants, Tampa, Fla.; Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney—Attorneys & Consultants and NRCA general counsel; Mark Graham, NRCA’s vice president of technical services; Stephen Phillips, senior partner with Hendrick Phillips Salzman & Siegel P.C., Atlanta; Gabriel Pinilla, partner at Cotney—Attorneys & Consultants; Philip Siegel, partner with Hendrick Phillips Salzman & Siegel; and Rich Trewyn, an NRCA director of enterprise risk management.

The registration fee is $1,295 for members and $1,595 for nonmembers; you can save $200 on registration fees for each additional registrant you bring from your company. The fee to bring a guest is $195.

Registration is available at education/conference. For more information about NRCA’s legal conference, contact Alison LaValley, NRCA’s vice president of strategic partnerships and development, at, or Anne Schroeder, NRCA’s director of operations, at

Vaccinated construction workers may not need to wear masks

Construction employers and workers have more options at job sites as new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states a fully vaccinated person can “participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues,” according to Bloomberg Law.

Although the CDC guidance does not address workplaces, labor safety stakeholders say it gives construction employers the choice of allowing fully vaccinated workers to remove masks when they are outdoors and more than 6 feet away from other workers and the public or working near other fully vaccinated workers. The guidance does not apply to workers who are not fully vaccinated or vaccinated workers in crowded settings.

Travis Parsons, associate director of occupational safety and health for the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America, says groups of workers traveling together likely know each other’s vaccination statuses, but it is more difficult to know who has been vaccinated at construction sites with multiple employers. He suggests workers continue to practice social distancing as much as possible.

As the weather heats up, some are in favor of relaxing mask requirements for fully vaccinated workers when working outdoors; however, construction trade associations such as the National Association of Home Builders are hesitant to tell their members to do so. Local and state health and building departments may have their own requirements, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 emergency rulemaking was under review at press time so it is unknown how it may address mask mandates.

OSHA’s current guidance “generally recommends that employers encourage workers to wear cloth face coverings at work to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.” It also says employers with workers in hot conditions should “allow workers to remove cloth face coverings when they can safely maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others.”

Standard Industries Holdings to acquire W.R. Grace & Co.

W.R. Grace & Co., Columbia, Md., a leading global specialty chemical company, and Standard Industries Holdings Inc., New York, the parent company of Standard Industries, a privately held global industrial company, have entered into a definitive agreement under which Standard Industries Holdings will acquire W.R. Grace, according to globenews The all-cash transaction is valued at about $7 billion and includes W.R. Grace’s pending pharma fine chemistry acquisition.

W.R. Grace will operate as a standalone company within the portfolio of Standard Industries Holdings, which includes Standard Industries’ businesses BMI Group, GAF, GAF Energy, Schiedel, SGI and Siplast.

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by W.R. Grace shareholders and the receipt of certain regulatory approvals. The parties expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. Upon completing the transaction, W.R. Grace will become a privately held company, and its common stock no longer will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Construction industry must hire 430,000 workers to meet demand

A recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released by the Associated Builders and Contractors shows construction companies will need to hire 430,000 more workers in 2021 than they employed in 2020. The analysis also revealed every $1 billion in extra construction spending generates an average of 5,700 construction jobs.

“According to forecasts analyzed during the COVID-19 pandemic, an impressive 430,000 more construction workers still need to be hired in 2021 to meet the demand, evidence that the construction industry is powering America’s recovery and economic engine,” says ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman.

ABC’s annual forecast reportedly incorporates several variables that could affect U.S. construction spending and employment demand during the next few years, including inflationary pressure; rising commodity costs and other global supply chain concerns; and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

According to estimates from economic consulting firm Markstein Advisors, construction spending is likely to reach $1.45 trillion in 2021—up 1.3% from 2020. This would result in employment demand increasing by 430,000 in 2021 from actual employment of 7.829 million in 2020. A higher growth rate scenario could increase the number of additional construction workers needed in 2021 to nearly 1 million.

NRCA updates resources for Spanish-speaking professionals

NRCA has updated its Spanish offerings to provide useful information for Spanish-speaking roofing professionals.

The redesigned NRCA en Español landing page on NRCA’s website,, features resources available in Spanish, including products in the bookstore and information about membership, NRCA Procertification® and Training for Roof Application Careers. New sections specifically tailored to roofing workers and business owners and news stories in Spanish also are available.

In addition, NRCA has launched E-News en español, an enewsletter for Spanish-speaking roofing workers and roofing company owners. The biweekly e-newsletter offers roofing news, tips, training opportunities and other updates to keep roofing professionals informed and entertained. E-news en español stories and a subscription link are available at

NRCA Procertification® receives Award of Excellence

NRCA Procertification® recently received an Award of Excellence for Outstanding Human Performance Intervention from the International Society for Performance Improvement.

The ISPI Awards program is designed to showcase the people, products, innovations and organizations that represent excellence in the field of Human Performance Technology. <NRCA Procertification® is a key element of improving workers’ performances.

The award scoring criteria is based on the 12 domains of ISPI’s certification program, the Certified Performance Technologist, and NRCA Procertification® met all 12 criteria standards.

The award reflects the collective effort of the roofing industry to improve its workforce. NRCA rallied all roofing industry stakeholders around a vision of improving and overcoming the industry’s workforce crisis, and other NRCA initiatives—such as Training for Roof Application Careers, NRCA’s One Voice initiative, and work involving career and technical education—contributed to the effort.

What would you say to encourage someone to join the roofing industry?

“Whether you enjoy working with your hands and being outdoors, are skilled at detailed planning and management, or are a true ‘people person’ who loves building lifetime customer relationships, there is a fulfilling career waiting for you in the roofing industry.”

— CJ Martin, president and CEO of Showalter Roofing Service Inc., Naperville, Ill.

“The roofing industry is a great place to make a living. The comradery and sense of being part of something bigger are incredible. Our teams work to make sure we are helping our customers succeed throughout each project. There also is a real sense of job security and recession resistance. Getting things done in the right way and making improvements every day are rewarding.”

— Geoff Mitchell, CEO of Mid-South Roof Systems, Forest Park, Ga.

“I would say there is incredible opportunity in roofing that is unlike any other industry! There is opportunity for career growth, to work in the field or in an office environment, and to work with field personnel and business owners. This industry is made up of people who want to see you succeed and is built by hard-working, high-integrity individuals. If you have a strong work ethic, you can be successful in the roofing industry.”

— Monica Murphy Mittel, vice president of Ray Nolan Roofing Co., Louisville, Ky.


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