Professional pride

There are many reasons we should be proud to be a part of the roofing industry. Certainly, we can take pride in the high-quality work of the men and women who install, repair and maintain roofs throughout the U.S. But that's not the only thing that should generate pride.

We also should be proud the U.S. roofing industry is distinctively an American experience. Our raw materials are sourced here. Our roofing products are manufactured here. And our roof systems are installed by our neighbors and friends. Unlike much of the economy, the roofing industry contributes at a uniquely local level.

As I have traveled throughout the U.S. speaking at regional and local roofing association meetings, I have witnessed the industry's generosity. I saw it as the Western States Roofing Contractors Association held silent and live auctions that raised more than $60,000 for the group's educational foundation. And I watched as the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association awarded several scholarships to college students. Scenes like these are repeated throughout the U.S.

At NRCA, I am lucky enough to have a front-seat view of our members' generosity and community service. Those who are a part of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress manage the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program, which was established in 2007. The goal has been to create a permanent scholarship fund of at least $2 million so a minimum of $100,000 in scholarships can be awarded annually.

The scholarship program is available to assist employees of NRCA contractor and supplier members. Employees and their family members 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.

Annual scholarships in the amount of $5,000 are awarded. When the 2017-18 school year begins, the Alliance will have touched the lives of 122 students by awarding $735,000 in scholarships.

The Alliance also gives back through a program called Helping Our Own, which provides aid to people in the roofing industry who have been burdened with a life-altering event, such as an injury, illness, disaster or death.

Through a nomination process, the Alliance can recognize and identify the challenges associated with life-changing events and help create sustainable solutions for individuals or families in need. To date, the Alliance has assisted eight families with $95,383 in financial support.

But that's not all. The NRCA/CNA Community Involvement Award recognizes our members' charitable giving efforts. In 2016, more than 40 companies submitted applications and during the past several years, members have won for contributing in diverse ways in their communities.

For example, in 2014, Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal, Oklahoma City, was awarded the Community Involvement Award for hosting more than 80 children of military personnel for a day of horseback riding, livestock and ranching education, and buggy rides during its Horseback Heroes event.

In 2015, Delta Exteriors, St. Louis, won for its support of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, a charity that helps rescue stray animals.

And Staight Line Roofing and Construction, Shingle Springs, Calif., won in 2016 for raising $16,330 to support the Food Bank of El Dorado County by hosting its annual Thanks and Giving Customer Appreciation event.

The depth of the roofing industry's generosity is limitless. (To read more about the roofing industry's generosity, see "When you wish upon a star.") When people ask you what NRCA is all about, you can say it's about a lot of things but mostly NRCA is about helping people see roofing from a different perspective.

Stay tuned.

Reid Ribble is NRCA's CEO.


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