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Training can be a differentiator for your business for recruiting and retaining employees

Training- Ellsworth
November 28, 2018 at 2:38 p.m.

RCS Influencer Heidi J. Ellsworth says that the NRCA has made a huge commitment to training through its ProCertification program.

As a partner with RoofersCoffeeShop® and an industry consultant, I do not have first hand knowledge of every day training in a roofing company.  I know how critical it is and that the companies that focus on training will not only win against their competition but will also win in the recruitment of employees.  In today’s market with the labor shortage influencing everyday business, every differentiator a company can embrace is critical.

In working with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), I have watched as the association leadership has made a huge commitment to training.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share with the RCS audience what the NRCA is working on and why it is going to be so important to the roofing industry.

According to the NRCA ProCertification page http://www.nrca.net/NRCA-ProCertification, “NRCA's national certification initiative, NRCA ProCertification, is designed to create a competent, sustainable and high-performing roofing industry workforce. Experienced roofing workers can demonstrate their skills and knowledge to become certified roof system installers in specific roof system applications and disciplines.  Through a series of assessments, NRCA will certify workers who have met all the requirements for each type of roof system installation allowing them to earn professional credentials while also certifying foremen and other mid-level roofing company personnel.”

The goals of NRCA ProCertification are to:

  • Create a career path for industry field workers
  • Elevate the roofing industry to be on par with other trade professions that currently offer national certifications
  • Address the workforce shortage by making the roofing industry more appealing
  • Protect consumers by providing national, professional certifications for those doing work on their home or building
  • Educate consumers on the value of hiring an NRCA ProCertified roof system installer
  • Increase consumer confidence that workers have the knowledge and skills to do the job well

Certifications, offered in English and Spanish, available in late 2018 and early 2019 include:

  • NRCA ProCertified Thermoplastic Systems Installer (e.g., TPO, PVC)
  • NRCA ProCertified Asphalt Shingles Installer
  • NRCA ProCertified Roofing Foreman

So why is this type of training and certification important.  The NRCA http://www.nrca.net/NRCA-PRO-benefits-of-certification notes that, “The roofing industry is constantly evolving, and as roofing contractors look for ways to grow their business, they also need to find ways for your workers to grow. This holds true for existing, experienced workers and new employees. Labor shortages and worker retention continue to be a struggle in the roofing industry, and NRCA is helping address this issue through its national certification program, NRCA ProCertification™.”

“When you invest in your workers, you show them you appreciate their knowledge and skills set and want them to have successful careers with your company. By certifying your workforce, you demonstrate your commitment to professionalism, quality and your employees' futures while also providing your company with a significant competitive advantage,” continued the NRCA.

And for the employees, “There always will be a strong demand for people who can install roof systems properly and safely. Roofing work allows people to work with their hands to build and create roofs—the single most important component of a home or building that is essential to protecting customers' most valuable possessions. NRCA ProCertification provides experienced roofing workers the ability to demonstrate their skills and knowledge and become certified by NRCA in specific roof systems installations. Professional certification offers workers the opportunity to take pride in and be recognized for their skills and expertise—recognition that can stay with them forever. The demand for skilled roof system installers is real, and the opportunities are limitless.”

For those of you who have been following Reid Ribble, NRCA CEO, he has been focused on training since starting with NRCA in 2017.  In a recent message to membership he gave this update on ProCertification.

“The first phase of NRCA ProCertification™ has launched. We are accepting applications for individuals seeking to become NRCA ProCertification Qualified Assessors. These individuals will observe and assess installers and determine whether they can perform roof system installations at a high enough level of quality to become certified. Our industry currently has no unified, national standard for workmanship quality or installation performance. This results in quality control issues, added costs for contractors and manufacturers, and slower installations and ultimately exacerbates the workforce shortage issues already gripping the industry. If we can certify our workforce, the public is better served, and deficient roofing operations will have difficulty presenting themselves to the public as professionals. This long has been done in a vast majority of competing trades and allows new hires to be presented with career paths and goals to work toward. NRCA soon will begin accepting applications for NRCA ProCertified Installers in asphalt shingles and thermoplastic systems.”

What the NRCA is doing is creating a program that will not only help roofing contractors and their employees but also elevate the industry.  As Reid noted, many other trades already have these type of programs.  If you are interested in participating, become a member of NRCA (another important part of a good roofing company) and reach out to signup your employees.  It is good for you, your employees and the industry.

For more information, call (866) ASK-NRCA (275-6722) and ask for NRCA's Certification Department or email certification@nrca.net.

 Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop. See her full bio here.


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