In February 2017, NRCA launched its One Voice initiative to unite the roofing industry and speak with one voice about matters critical to the roofing industry's continued success. NRCA believes the roofing industry has matured to the point where the views and concerns of contractors, manufacturers, distributors and others in the industry align on the vast majority of issues they face. There is a clear consensus to move the industry forward together, and NRCA is reaching out to manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers and consultants with the goal of having them become fully engaged with NRCA, as partners.
To ensure more industry sectors are given an opportunity to participate fully, NRCA's board of directors amended the association's bylaws at its Feb. 27, 2017, meeting in Las Vegas to grant a minority position on NRCA's board of directors for manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers and consultants who desire greater partnerships with the organization. NRCA also is committed to involving more people from the supplier and design communities in NRCA committee and task force work.
NRCA believes there are several reasons to launch its One Voice initiative now. For one, the roofing industry faces compelling workforce challenges that require collective efforts to address them effectively. At the top of that list is the need for qualified labor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the roofing industry lost close to 30 percent of its workforce during the recession, and though the economy has rebounded in recent years, a significant portion of those lost workers have not returned. NRCA members are struggling to attract millennial workers to replace a workforce that is steadily aging.
"If the roofing industry is going to be successful in attracting field workers, technicians, plant workers, warehouse workers, foremen, estimators and managers, it will do it best through a concerted and coordinated effort," says NRCA CEO Reid Ribble. "NRCA is developing a structured, credentialed national worker training program for roofing workers. NRCA's ProCertification Series will help attract and keep workers, improve and increase their productivity, provide a demonstrated career path through certification and enhance professionalism of the industry. It also allows our industry to demonstrate a commitment to training as we compete with other trade groups."
Another reason for launching NRCA's One Voice initiative is there is a unique window of opportunity to effect meaningful change in Washington, D.C. Although representatives from various industry segments undoubtedly will disagree with some of the policies proposed by the new administration, there are many all industry parties will agree on—and we now have the opportunity to become active participants as those policies evolve.
Some of these policies already have been identified, and work has begun on them. They include tax policy, regulatory reform and immigration policy. The roofing industry needs to be at the table as these policies are debated and new laws and rules are developed.
"One of the greatest lessons I learned as a member of Congress is that the most effective lobbyists are those that represent an industry with a unified position," says Ribble. "Nothing is worse for a Congressman than hearing opposing opinions from representatives from the same industry, and nothing is more compelling than knowing your vote will have unanimous support from all segments of an industry. I believe our chances for success improve when we foster relationships in our industry that are more inclusive and collaborative."
To achieve success with the government relations efforts, NRCA is repositioning its Washington, D.C., office as the roofing industry's Washington, D.C. office. NRCA plans to add three additional full-time staff members there to increase the roofing industry's footprint, move its agenda forward and take steps that will ensure the involvement of all interested parties in the industry.
Finally, there are a host of additional activities where the industry will benefit from NRCA's One Voice initiative. For example, the industry needs better collaboration and representation for building code issues, and it needs continued discussion and representation for insurance concerns. And the industry needs to work together to increase professionalism throughout all aspects of the roofing profession, which will, in turn, helps improve the industry's image, enhancing every industry segment.
"We think this is exactly the right time in the evolution of the roofing industry to unite and make this important move," Ribble explains. "And we know it only can be accomplished with significant contributions from industry leaders. Through NRCA's One Voice initiative, we have the opportunity to develop a transformational approach to addressing the roofing industry's issues and concerns now and in the future."
NRCA wishes to thank the following member partners for their vision and commitment to its One Voice initiative to unite the roofing industry and speak with one voice about matters critical to the roofing industry's continued success. Click here to view the a list of all current One Voice members.
For more information about NRCA and its One Voice initiative, please contact Alison LaValley, NRCA's vice president of strategic partnerships and development at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Carl Good, NRCA's vice president of marketing at email@example.com.