How Roofers can Overcome the Labor Shortage

Victoria Christensen
Oct 1, 2018 4:28:00 PM

Labor Shortage

The demand for roofing contractors in Texas has been growing rapidly. Unfortunately, the current labor force is failing to meet this demand. 86% of construction firms have been facing difficulties when hiring skilled workers. Without enough workers, new projects won’t get started. The ones that do get started, will be extremely understaffed or staffed by workers who are under-qualified. As any roofing lawyer in Texas will tell you, the former could cost your company money and the latter is a recipe for disaster.

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How did we get here?

There are many factors that have contributed to the current labor shortage in the roofing industry. This includes:

  • The mass exit from the roofing industry that followed the recession in 2008.
  • Poor perceptions of the roofing industry.
  • The cultural shift away from skilled trades as a career option for new generations entering the workforce.

What can we do?

The demand for houses, apartments, and office buildings will only increase. So, solutions need to be created to move the roofing industry into a position where they can find capable workers to meet this demand. Here are a few ways your business can overcome the labor shortage:

Government Advocacy

Organizations like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) are advocating to push congress to approve new legislation like the Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act (H.R. 6536), which will help introduce more workers into the roofing industry.

By supporting initiatives like these, we will see many more roofers enter our workforce. To do your part, contact your members of Congress and urge them to support legislation like this.

Change the Perception of the Roofing Industry

Roofing can be perceived as “dirty work.” Other trades at times can be more revered, but a roof is an essential aspect of any structure. Work done improperly can result in people getting injured.

Adding to this perception is that a basic internet search of the roofing industry will produce several news articles about fraudulent roofers. To fight this narrative, the NRCA is working to create a professional certification program for the roofing industry.

Implement Training Programs

To get more workers to the roofing industry, roofers need the proper initial training to get the job done correctly. This is why many companies have teamed up with high schools and colleges to not only recruit new candidates but also to provide formal training to future generations.

Look for Candidates Elsewhere

There are many areas where roofing companies can find new candidates. For example, our veterans have the skills, work ethic, physical stamina, and fearlessness to achieve great things in the roofing industry; not only as contractors but as company owners. It would be wise for roofers to tap into this pool of talent.

We won’t see change overnight, but if we work together, maybe over time the current trend will shift and younger generations will consider the roofing industry as a viable career option.

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