Predicting the future

NRCA CEO Reid Ribble shares his thoughts about the upcoming year and decade

Happy New Year! Welcome to a brand-new decade. Time is moving so fast, it is nearly impossible to predict what will happen. Yet that’s exactly what I will try to do.

First, here are my predictions for the first year of the upcoming decade:

  • Although the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Trump, the Senate will not remove him from office. In a strictly partisan vote, the Senate will find him not guilty and leave it to the voters to decide his fate in November.
  • Speaking of the election, I predict President Trump will win re-election based on the strength of the economy, Republicans will lose the Senate majority and Democrats will gain seats in the House of Representatives. So we can expect four more years of gridlock.
  • The economy will continue to grow but at a slower rate, setting the table for a recession in 2021.
  • The government will continue its expansion. It will be this expansion in federal spending that will keep the economy chugging along in the short term and ultimately force a recession.
  • In 2020, inflation finally will begin to creep up as the economy gets even more starved of workers.
  • The 2020 International Roofing Expo® in Dallas will break another attendance record, making it the largest ever.
  • NRCA ProCertification™ will boast 1,000 workers enrolled in the program, and roof consultants and roof system designers will begin to include certified workers in their design criteria.
  • NRCA will recruit more than 500 new members.

For the decade, I predict:

  • The turnover in roofing workers in the U.S. will reach a crisis level as more than 45% of the industry’s workers retire.
  • The global automotive industry will move strongly to electric-powered cars, and virtually every major manufacturer will produce electric vehicles throughout their lines.
  • An entire new industry will emerge to provide quick-charging stations for electric vehicles and dramatically reduce the number of gas stations around the U.S. Plus, the days of “free” charging will come to an end as companies will learn how to monetize the trend.
  • The use of fully integrated solar roof systems will dramatically expand in the U.S. More people will seek to “get off the grid.”
  • Coal as an energy source in the U.S. will go the way of whale oil, and by 2030 no coal-fired power plants will remain in the U.S.
  • Fluid-applied roof systems will go mainstream as more manufacturers develop high-performance systems that not only last but also can be installed with less labor.
  • Building code bodies will embrace resiliency in construction and the demands for roofing to withstand high-wind, hail and earthquake events will increase.
  • NRCA will reach 10,000 members by 2030 as more contractors and industry stakeholders understand the importance of standing together for the betterment of all.

I had fun making these predictions, and you will likely laugh at how wrong I was when we look back on the year and decade. It was only 12 years ago the first iPhone appeared, and the idea that nearly everyone would use a smartphone was unthinkable a decade ago. So who knows what the future will bring? One thing I know for sure is NRCA will be in your corner. That’s one prediction you can count on!

Reid Ribble is NRCA's CEO.

This column is part of News + Views. Click here to read additional stories from this section.


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