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Suggestions to Combat the Roofing Labor Shortage

Cotney Consulting Labor Training
May 30, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

By Cayden Wemple. 

While this nationwide labor shortage has impacted the roofing industry, additional training and empowering workers can help retention.  

There’s no doubt that the nationwide labor shortage has been detrimental to the roofing industry, and there are some jarring numbers to back that up. John Kenney of Cotney Consulting Group sat down with RCS’s Karen Edwards in a recent RLW: Beyond the Labor Shortage With Field Leadership Training to discuss some of those statistics, as well as ways to help retain workers.  

Roofing contractors are in high demand right now. John stated that he “did a couple surveys over the last six months from size of companies of a million dollars and to 5 million in revenue up to over a hundred million in revenue, no one answered they could use less than five to 10 workers and most of them were above 20.” The report that is out right now is that per every one million jobs, we’re losing between 15,000-20,000 of them every year, but John fears that “we are probably down more than most people want to admit.”  

John continued to explain, “This is just in the field. So, if you take that and multiply that out as a base of what we took in the industry, I think roofing right now could put a half a million more people to work throughout our industry and not just in the roofing contractor, but manufacturing in truck driving and everything involved with it.”  

One of the biggest challenges with the workforce is the low retention rates. “A lot of people come into the industry and they start out and they leave within the first month,” John said. Part of the reason that roofers are leaving their positions, is because they do not feel empowered. “There are roofers that will hop from company to company for more money because they don't feel there's any way they can better themselves so they have to take advantage of the extra dollar or two an hour to better their family and you can't blame them for that. That's just part of getting ahead in life,” John said.  

That being said, John believes it’s important to have a clear path outlined for workers to know how they can progress in the company and that workers feel empowered. To do this, he suggests that there should be more leadership training integrated into the training. John explained, “[Leadership] should be part of the training and how they can mentor and work with their crews, how to do all this and understand production and efficiency and all the things that go along that they've never really been taught.”  

Read, Listen, or Watch the full conversation to learn more about how to combat the labor shortage.

Learn more about Cotney Consulting Group in their Coffee Shop Directory or visit www.cotneyconsulting.com.

About Cayden

Cayden is a reporter for RoofersCoffeeShop, MetalCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When he isn’t writing about roofs, he’s usually playing guitar or writing songs for his musical endeavors.

About Cotney Consulting Group

Unlike other “business” consultants, Cotney has 65+ years’ experience solving the problems of roofing companies. With real experience running 8-figure, multi-million dollar companies, our consultants did not learn about business consulting from a book — we have experienced the same problems that you have, solved them and moved on to create a storied history of success. We can share our experiences with you and help you achieve success. Learn more at www.cotneyconsulting.com.     



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