At South Coast Shingle Company, we have always been very active in our local association, Roofing Contractors Association of Southern California (RCASoCal). I’ve been a board member for longer than I like to admit but that is because I truly believe in the difference that being part of an association can make.
When it comes to governmental issues and regulations, I think that associations need to be always looking ahead at what could come down the road and be ready for changes. For instance, we as a board are considering if it makes sense for us to piggyback off the new certification programs that the National Roofing Contractors Association developed and bring that to California.
Today, the union shops offer a program for their employees to obtain a certification and once 30 percent of the crew obtains it, they are looked on more favorably for public works jobs. Our state legislators are not known for being the friendliest toward businesses and they tend to really support the unions. It wouldn’t be inconceivable to see legislation introduced that would require some sort of certification for roofing contractors. This is one of the reasons that we are exploring if we should do something first to be ahead of the curve.
I’ve experienced the power that being part of a group brings to the table. South Coast Shingle Company is an independent distributor and we are part of a buying cooperative. On our own, we wouldn’t be able to have a seat at the table with the larger manufacturers, but together as a cooperative we’ve harnessed the power to begin dialogues with them.
This same effect happens when the industry comes together through the NRCA’s Roofing Day in D.C. When you bring hundreds or thousands of people from our industry together in the nation’s capital, the legislators are going to listen. They have to listen because that is how they get votes.
Everyone should be part of an association not only to help affect change for the betterment of the industry but also because you’ll be surrounded by like-minded, positive, hard-working people and that’s a lot of fun.
Ross Riddle is the president and CEO of South Coast Shingle Company. See his full bio here.