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How to Find Success in Hiring Workers in the Roofing Industry

It’s no secret there is a major labor shortage in the construction industry and this can be a serious problem to a business and its bottom line, especially at the height of roofing season. Roofing companies need to take every opportunity to find workers to handle the demand — and now there is help to overcome this issue.

GAF has partnered with the National Institute of Training & Education (NITE) and U.S. Military Pipeline (USMP) to develop the Hire A Hero Roofing Academy program to help put military veterans back to work as they transition into the civilian workforce through training for a career in roofing.  Recently, the program was done in conjunction with the Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Western Washington (see the blog post “Educating and Training for a Career in Roofing”). The program was a big success and GAF invited a few Master Elite® and Master Select™ Contractors to attend and meet with the participants, who went through the week-long training. As an added bonus, some were even offered jobs!

Jennifer Stone, president of Nations Roof NW Division, hired two participants from the Roofing Academy program and is now putting them through safety training and education in the commercial roofing market. “We try to get involved with as many programs like this as possible, because labor is so hard to come by,” says Stone.

She said they have turned to unconventional methods to finding workers, like pulling people off the street and considering forklift drivers or warehouse workers; but this program offers a better way to find employees, as it provides the initial skills and training so they wouldn’t start from the ground up. “They had a good base and knew what questions to ask,” Stone said.

John Achten, president and owner of Achten Quality Roofing, had also tried a variety of methods to attract workers since he says all the good ones are taken.

Achten hired one of the veterans he met at the Hire a Hero Roofing Academy and was honored to participate in the program, as he’s a great supporter of the U.S. military and feels they are a great fit for a roofing career. “They are ideal candidates with the right training. They are trained to be a certain way and I think they would be great assets with the right company, the right management, and the right opportunities,” says Achten.

Stone said things are changing in the industry and programs like this to help contractors find employees are starting to crop up with help from the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and big roofing manufacturers like GAF. “That kind of switch right there is monumental,” she says.

Learn more about the GAF Hire A Hero-Roofing Academy program.

Related blog:
Educating and Training for a Career in Roofing 

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