Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) issued an alert to its members regarding the roofing industry's severe labor shortage. The NRCA estimated that about 40,000 roofing-related jobs were available due to surging demand, but there weren't enough tradespeople to fill them.
As we look forward to peak roofing season in 2021, the ability to find and hire talented team members will be one of the factors that determine whether contractors can meet rising customer demand and grow their business.
"There's a shortage of labor as far as installers, estimators, and project managers," says Justin Shirley, the Operations Manager for Achten's Quality Roofing in Tacoma, WA.
This skilled labor shortage impacts property owners too, delaying projects all across the United States.
Josh Nancarrow, Operations Manager for TriState Roofing in Seattle, WA, has felt this issue impact his business directly. "My biggest challenge? Getting roofers and anyone that wants to learn our trade," he says.
The NRCA estimates contractors could complete up to 20 percent more roofing jobs if skilled laborers met the demand—that's a huge lost opportunity.
Training the Next Generation of Roofers
The GAF Roofing Academy is helping lead the way in recruiting and training new and talented labor that will help fuel the growth of the roofing industry.
The hands-on training program is designed to help get new talent qualified and ready to take on an entry-level roofing position in commercial or residential roofing, including solar installation. GAF provides the training at no cost to participants.
"GAF set up this program to help people learn a trade, learn our skills from the ground level and build an interest in what we do," says Nancarrow.
GAF-Certified Contractors seeking new, qualified talent that are ready to begin a growing career in roofing can draw upon GAF Roofing Academy graduates who have completed introductory coursework and hands-on training.
"If we can start at the ground level with an installer trained at the GAF Roofing Academy, we know they have received quality training," says Shirley.
Upon completing the program, graduates gain access to the new GAF WorkBelt platform, which connects them to job opportunities with GAF-Certified Contractors* across the country.
Learn more about how you can use GAF WorkBelt to search for and recruit roofing talent in your area. Set up your hiring profile today to attract quality candidates so you can staff up and be ready to meet customer demand this roofing season.**
* Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.
** Terms and conditions apply.