October 18, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
By Alec Doniger.
University and roofing professionals discuss the many opportunities available for construction management students.
When people think of the career paths for future generations, they often overlook the roofing industry. They may not realize there are lots of opportunities there.
The Roofing Alliance and the National Roofing Contractors Association are two leaders in the industry when it comes to recruiting the next generation of workers. In Season 4, Episode 48 of Roofing Road Trips, Heidi J. Ellsworth sat down with the former NRCA CEO, Bill Good, and Roofing Alliance Executive Director, Alison LaValley, to get their thoughts about recruiting methods. Two other guests specializing in construction management education, Dhaval Gajjar of Clemson University and Tony Lamanna of Arizona State University, joined them. These experts shed light on what attracts the next generation to the roofing industry.
NRCA ‘s interest in working with construction management universities began with one NRCA member who had the courage to speak his mind.
“Dennis Conway, a long-time NRCA member and former NRCA president, asked if he could have five minutes at the end of a meeting because he had an idea he wanted to present,” Good recalls. “The idea was that we should take a look at getting involved with construction management schools. Dennis is an alumni of Colorado State University, and he thought the industry was missing an opportunity.”
Ever since Dennis brought this idea to NRCA, the association has made it a priority to work with younger generations. Around the same time — eight or nine years ago — NRCA had been brainstorming ideas with the Roofing Alliance. They agreed student competitions should be held during the annual roofing expo to get young people excited about the roofing industry. It has proved to be successful; there have been eight competitions held over the past eight years. The ninth competition will be held March 8, 2023. Alison LaValley explained what these competitions entail.
“We’re going to be featuring a 268,000 square-foot retractable roof on Globe Life Field,” LaValley explains. “Basically, the teams research the project. They submit a qualified bid proposal and complete an oral presentation to illustrate their roofing project management, estimating and safety knowledge, and then, after receiving all the details, we connect them with a roofing mentor within the Alliance.”
The competitions help connect roofing companies with schools across the country. LaValley is passionate about roofing competitions and believes in their networking power. These methods for connecting the younger generation to the industry are clearly effective. The shows and competitions will not be stopping any time soon. Come see the next one in action this upcoming March!
Listen to the podcast to learn more about networking with your local construction management schools.
Alec is a reporter for RoofersCoffeeShop, MetalCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When he isn’t entrenched in his roofing industry investigation, you might catch him playing drums around Denver with his bands!