NRCA President Reid Ribble invited 400 roofing contractors from around the country to attend National Roofing Day in Washington, D.C. Thirty-five of those contractors were from South Florida. Best Roofing CEO Gregg Wallick was among the luck ones selected to join the group in the Nation’s Capital. The purpose of this event was to bring the roofing industry together. They met with members of Congress and their staff to deliver the message about the most important legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry. The goal was to have roofing professionals participate in this unique and exciting opportunity to take over Capitol Hill and speak as one voice representing the industry. The roofing contractors agreed the initial focus would be on; Immigration Reform, Workforce Development, and Regulatory Reform. The schedule was followed by meetings at the offices of; Representative Theodore E. Deutch, Senator Bill Nelson, and Senator Marco Rubio.
Immigration Reform addressed roofing industry employers to provide good jobs and qualified workers but face chronic workforce shortages because of an aging workforce and other demographic trends. Immigration reform that meets roofing industry employers’ workforce needs is vital to addressing this long-term problem and significantly boosting economic growth.
Sensible immigration reform should address the roofing industry’s workforce needs in a manner that ends illegal immigration without encouraging a black-market economy. The roofing industry supports increased border security, mandatory E-Verify for all employers (Legal Workforce Act H.R. 3711), providing a visa system to allow workers to end the U.S legally when our economy needs them, and addressing the existing unauthorized workforce in a balanced manner.
A fatal flaw of the 1986 immigration reform law was it failed to provide mechanism to allow for legal immigration in accord with economic demand for industries such as roofing. To rectify this problem, Congress should establish a visa system available to industries such as roofing that is governed by market forces; ensures employers undertake vigorous efforts to hire U.S. workers first and protects foreign workers; is easy for employers to use; and enables job creators to obtain the workers needed to meet demand and grow their business. We look forward to working with Congress to develop balanced solutions that fix our broken immigration system and grow the economy.
Workforce Development chronic workforce shortages are the top challenge facing roofing industry employers today. NRCA strongly supports the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). This legislation sponsored by Reps. Thompson (R-Pa.) and Krishnamoorthi (D-1Il). We urge the Senate to move forward and approve this legislation in 2018 to better enable roofing industry employers to address their workforce development needs. Because workforce shortages are the most difficult challenge facing roofing industry employers in today’s economy, reforming CTE programs under the Perkins Act critical, and Congress must act now.
Regulatory Reform roofing industry employers have been inundated with new regulations issued by federal agencies in recent years. During the past decade, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been particularly active in developing regulations that impose new burdens that neither improve safety nor address roofing industry concerns.
The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) has been designed to update the federal regulatory process that has been in place for more than 70 years under the Administrative Procedures Act. This legislation includes the following reforms that will improve the regulatory process:
- Increased public participation in shaping major regulations, including consideration of economic impacts, before the regulations are formally proposed.
- Improved cost-benefits analysis to minimize adverse economic impacts.
- Holding agencies accountable with more on-the-record administrative hearings.
- Providing more rigorous rules for the use of guidance documents by federal agencies.