By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
Korellis Roofing and Reliant Roofing are two contractors leading the way in solving the labor shortage by taking matters into their own hands and training the next generation of workers.
Last fall, we wrote an article about Korellis Roofing after they opened a dedicated training center for continued development and supplementing their apprenticeship program. Nearly one year later, they have drawn the attention of Indiana state leaders and recently had a visit from Congressman Pete Visclosky and his Chief-of-Staff Mark Lopez.
The Korellis Training Center utilizes inclement weather days to deliver in-house training for continued development, in an effort to attract and retain tradesmen and women. The visiting officials were given a tour by Workforce Development Manager Dan Stella and watched some of the apprentice training.
Reliant Roofing of Jacksonville, Florida was invited to speak at the International Roofing Expo last month in New Orleans to teach other contractors how to build their own skilled labor force. After CEO Sean Shapiro and President Cameron Shouppe were having trouble finding enough skilled roofers to fill their workforce, they designed a program to train motivated people.
“We started to look for people with good soft skills and a strong work ethic, not necessarily experience in roofing,” Shapiro explains. This strategy has proven successful for them. They’ve even been showcased by the Mike Rowe Works Foundation, a public charity that rewards people who train for skilled labor jobs that are in demand.
The construction industry as a whole is struggling with labor and workforce development and some of the industry’s biggest players are stepping up to address the issue. The Home Depot Foundation recently committed $50 million to train 20,000 new tradespeople by 2028 to fill the labor gap.
Tradesmen International reports that there are 143,000 vacant construction positions available nationwide and says filling the gap is going to take a concentrated effort on all fronts.
With labor being the number one issue facing roofing contractors, as reported in both the RoofersCoffeeShop.com trends report and the Roofing Contractor State of the Industry Report, it’s time to start taking matters into our own hands and developing the next generation of roofing professionals.
Photo credit: Korellis Roofing
Note: This article first appeared on the RoofersCoffeeShop.com blog and can be viewed here.