Our median age here at Pell Roofing and Siding is 33.15 years with the ages ranging from 72 to 19. The older group has been here for most of their working career, the longest nearly fifty years. All of them grew up around manual labor whether in the construction trades, farms or factory work.
The younger employees here are from widely varying backgrounds so finding their “niche” sometimes is difficult. Some don’t like heights, some haven’t done this type of intense labor before so there is a large learning curve. The physical aspect of roofing is certainly geared towards youth, as I can know after spending nearly 29 years in the trade.
During this time, we have had several guys that were enrolled in college and looking for work, this has done very well for all concerned. Unfortunately getting them to stay long term has been a little frustrating, most don’t see a career doing roofing projects either in the office or in the field. I continue to look for young men (and women) that not only can work on a roof but are willing to learn all the other aspects such as planning, ordering, sales, etc.
As far as education goes, we do lots of safety and onsite training. My goal is to have continuing instruction not only about application of roof systems but OSHA rules, proper interaction with customers, better driving skills, better job reporting skills, etc. I suppose my summary should read as follows- I am forever hopeful that our industry can find responsible, willing young people to fill the boots of our retiring employees.
Jon Stantz is a supervisor, salesperson and repairman for Pell Roofing and Siding in Brazil, Indiana. See his full bio here.