In February, 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."
FiberTite Roofing Systems, Wooster, Ohio, is the first company to commit to NRCA's One Voice initiative, which
initially is focusing on developing a national worker training and certification program, legislative efforts and
advocacy. FiberTite announced its intention April 5. NRCA thanks FiberTite for its vision and support.
For more information about NRCA and its One Voice initiative, please contact Alison LaValley, NRCA's vice president of
member services and development at email@example.com, or Carl Good, NRCA's vice president of membership, marketing and
business development at firstname.lastname@example.org.