The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) commends the U.S. Congress for its bipartisan approval of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The legislation is designed to reform and reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act of 2006.
The legislation will now be sent to President Trump’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law.
NRCA believes the legislation will provide expanded opportunities for work-based learning and incentives to encourage the development of industry-recognized credentials. The legislation also will provide for more effective engagement between roofing industry employers and educators in the development of CTE programs in the future.
“Workforce development is one of the most difficult challenges facing our industry,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “Reforming career and technical education is critical to helping our members address their future workforce needs. I commend Congress for coming together to pass this important bipartisan legislation.”
About NRCA: NRCA is one of the construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the voice of roofing professionals and leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy. It represents all segments of the roofing industry, including contractors; manufacturers; distributors; architects; consultants; engineers; building owners; and city, state and government agencies. NRCA’s mission is to inform and assist the roofing industry, act as its principal advocate and help members in serving their customers. NRCA continually strives to enhance every aspect of the roofing industry.
Rosemont, Illinois – The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is urging communities to recognize the significance of roofs to every home and business during National Roofing Week, which takes place June 3-9. NRCA also is reminding consumers National Roofing Week comes at the beginning of summer storm season and encourages them to prepare for severe summer weather by identifying a local roofing contractor before a storm hits.
Severe summer weather often is followed by fraudulent contractors who show up and attempt to prey on the emotions of homeowners and business owners whose roofs have been badly damaged by a tornado, hail storm or hurricane.
During National Roofing Week, NRCA is urging consumers to research and find a reputable local roofing contractor ahead of the storm. Having this information in advance will protect storm victims from also becoming the victims of a fraudulent contractor.
“National Roofing Week comes at a time when knowing your local roofing contractor is more important than ever,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “Homeowners and business owners should protect themselves by putting their roofing contractor’s phone number on their refrigerator or in their cell phone in case of emergency.”
The roof is one of the most important components of a structure. It is the first line of defense against natural elements such as rain, snow or wind, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair. During National Roofing Week, NRCA also encourages its members to participate by engaging in their communities and informing the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community.
NRCA will recognize National Roofing Week by highlighting the work, training and good deeds of its members and their employees on its various social media outlets.
NRCA is one of the construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the voice of roofing professionals and leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy. It represents all segments of the roofing industry, including contractors; manufacturers; distributors; architects; consultants; engineers; building owners; and city, state and government agencies. NRCA’s mission is to inform and assist the roofing industry, act as its principal advocate and help members in serving their customers. NRCA continually strives to enhance every aspect of the roofing industry. For information about NRCA and its services and offerings, visit www.nrca.net
To help members share in National Roofing Week, which will be held June 3-9, NRCA will be using Thunderclap, a crowdspeaking platform that allows people to tweet or post a Facebook message on the same day—and at the same time—to achieve the maximum effect and rise above the noise on social media. Think of it as an online flash mob in support of the roofing industry. NRCA is using Thunderclap to flood social media with a message promoting the roofing industry and National Roofing Week!
It is a good day when you can meet a group of technology thought leaders and exchange notes. The occasion was the meetup of Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a consortium of thought leaders exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry at the U.S. Capitol on March 6, 2018.
Showing the power of networking, Heidi Ellsworth of RoofersCoffeeShop.com and co-founder of RT3, reached out to Sasha Bernhard, Legislative Aide to Senator Cantwell and created a program of talks from inspiring leaders. Thank you both very much. Of course, it wouldn’t have happened without the persistence of the amazing Laura Bartolozzi who made sure everyone got to this meetup in one piece and David Huval, both from National Roofing Partners (BTW, thank you to NRP for sponsoring the startup costs of RT3 and for the lunch and coffee, and RoofersCoffeeShop.com for sponsoring the reception.)
High level takeaways:
Sasha Bernhard – Legislative Aide to Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
At a previous visit to the House and Senate a few years ago, I was amazed at the smartness, intelligence and enthusiasm of the staff of the House of Representatives and Senators. I am confident that this is a very good reason why America is such a great country. The people we elect for the most part surround themselves with excellent people. I was very impressed by Sasha’s talk where she laid out all the ways that a group like RT3 can influence the conversation both to the public, contractors, media and the legislature. Everyone can make their voice heard if they take the initiative to reach out.
Congressman John Delaney – D-MD, 6th District
Rep. Delaney launched the AI cause and acknowledged that there will always be disruption “In my view, there is tremendous potential for AI to be a positive transformational force, but also understandable concern about the impact that disruption could have on existing jobs.”
This is a good position, almost every speaker acknowledged that the nature of jobs will change and it is important to think about how to “upskill” the workforce to make them suitable for the new jobs that will be created and some jobs will disappear.
Reid Ribble – Executive Director, National Roofing Contractors Association
Reid is the new executive director of the National Roofing Contractors Association and this week about 400 roofing professionals flew into Washington, D.C. to make their voices heard. Reid mentioned a few areas where roofing professionals can make changes. The perception of the roofing industry in the Congress and Senate is driven by the opinions in the media, homeowner complaints about a few bad players. In order to change the perception all around, all professionals have to join together. Showing up in strength definitely helps. Technology advancement in the roofing industry should be highlighted and professionals should think of more innovation. Reid mentioned a thought of how roofing contractors control the roofs where so much of rainwater touches. IF there was a way to collect and use this water this would help with such a rare resource in the world “water” ( Water according to Reid is costlier than oil)
Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee – Fellow, Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution
Dr. Turner-Lee started her talk with a stark truth that half the population on this earth is still not online. While there is a rapid change in digital platforms, predictive analytics, automation, and machine learning, small and medium businesses are finding it hard to keep up. Over 66% of the new jobs in the US are created by small and medium enterprises. The rise of automation and AI will dismantle jobs and render some positions obsolete.
Specific to the roofing Industry:
Major goals are productivity and the application of innovation
“Masonry robots” – speed up brick pattern courses
Wearable robotics, including exoskeletons for mobility to robotic arms for strength
Drones for equipment delivery and to check on inventory
Big data analytics
Jobsite efficiencies & optimized equipment
Showing up in cranes for improved layering of concrete
Mapping & design
Remote management and design
Pre-fabrication through digitization
Overall these speakers inspired the group to take back thoughts and work into their businesses and the community.
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about “Unmanned Aerial Systems,” more popularly known as drones. From hobbyists to cinematographers to hunters to roofers such as National Roofing Partners, the technology, which allows small, unmanned and remotely controlled flying machines to get a bird’s eye view of everything below, is fascinating to users but vexing to privacy and air-safety advocates.
For every drone advocate, there is someone below it who resents the intrusion of these pesky machines. To make matters worse, federal, state and local authorities are confused about their respective roles in managing this new technology because there are no regulations in place at the present time. According to a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal, at least 17 states have “passed laws to restrict how law enforcement and private citizens use the devices – preemptive policies that many drone users say are heavy-handed.”
The federal authority – the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – says it alone has the right to regulate U.S. skies. However, this has not stopped cities such as Austin, Texas from banning the devices during the annual South by Southwesttechnology and music event. Since the 1930’s, planes have been prohibited from flying below 500 feet and this space was relatively free of traffic, save for a kite or model airplane. Now, there are thousands of drones in this airspace; some being used to spy on the neighbors next door and some being used for commercial purposes such as investigating the source of a leak on the roof of a building.
Drones: A New Tool for the Roofing Industry
“Even though the use of drones in the roofing industry is not yet legal and requires specific permission from the FAA, we have heard that there are contractors actively employing this tool,” noted Heidi Ellsworth of EagleView Technologies, a company which specializes in visual analysis of roofs for the insurance and roofing industries. “Once these legal issues are clarified, we see drones as being an excellent tool for gathering video and incorporating imagery into current workflows.
The roofing industry trade organization, The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), recently submitted comments to the FAA regarding its proposed regulation that would allow for the commercial use of drones. NRCA generally supports the proposed regulation, which is designed to incorporate the commercial use of small drones (those weighing 55 pounds or less) into the national airspace in a safe manner under a consistent set of rules for all commercial users.
Among other things, the proposed FAA rules would require operators of small drones to be certified, and their flight would be limited to a maximum height of 500 feet. NRCA’s comments contained several suggestions for changes in the proposed rule to maximize the use of small drones for roof inspections. It is expected the FAA will issue a final regulation sometime during the next two years.
Aerial Imagery Provides Much Needed Data on Roofs
Safety and privacy issues aside, the best commercial use of drones for the roofing industry will involve the efficient capture of the aerial imagery. This requires the cameras and processes that enable the high-resolution and geo-coded accuracy, according to Heidi Ellsworth.
“EagleView Technologies, utilizing our patented Pictometry® image technology, continues to focus on image capture and the subsequent data extraction from that imagery,” she noted. “The use of drones holds potential for capturing higher resolution imagery than ever before.”
The company uses its fleet of 85 planes to capture this roof-top imagery across the United States and works with National Roofing Partners. It has also created an industry group to help determine the best practices for the use of drones in the roofing industry.
EagleView has led the formation of the Property Drone Consortium (PDC). This group represents a collaboration among insurance carriers, construction industry leaders and supporting enterprises that have agreed to work together to promote research, development and the establishment of regulations for the use of drone technology across the insurance and construction industries.
As an independent, third-party technology provider and industry innovator in the capture of aerial imagery, EagleView has agreed to provide its research and development expertise to the consortium. “With over twenty years of developing aerial solutions that capture property information, EagleView believes it can utilize patented Pictometry image technologies to further the safe, efficient and scalable use of drone technology for property data collection,” stated Chris Barrow, president, and CEO of EagleView.
There is no doubt drones will eventually be used in the roofing industry. The only questions concern the rules and regulations associated with their use. When this happens, National Roofing Partners will add this technology to its arsenal and customers will reap the benefits of this eye in the sky.
This blog first appeared on National Roofing Partners’ blog and can be viewed here.