A coalition of leading roofing industry associations has launched an initiative – “Back to Work on America’s Roofs” – which recommends key policies designed to: create jobs for unemployed Americans; support homeowners’ investments; and encourage business owners to invest in capital improvement projects. In a statement outlining the goals of “Back to Work on America’s Roofs”, the group underscored the critical and essential nature of the roof to a building and the industry’s ability to hire the unemployed immediately, and put them to work safely.
The coalition notes that the roofing industry demonstrates a commitment to health and safety through industry specific guidelines to protect the health of its workforce, which has faced ongoing labor shortages even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coalition recommends that:
• As Congress considers investments in physical infrastructure to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic, the investments must reflect the protections that roofs offer to new and existing homes and buildings.
• In addition to incentivizing and rewarding businesses that keep employees on their payrolls, Congress should also reward those businesses that increase payrolls above pre-crisis levels by hiring the unemployed. It is also vital that the federal government provide support to the roofing industry to expand investments in the career and technical education needed to address the skills gap and provide the training that can lead to a rewarding career as a roofing professional.
• Congress should provide additional funding to programs created under the CARES Act, given its success at providing a lifeline to many small businesses, including roofing contractors. In addition, the coalition is advocating for improved access to critical programs so that entrepreneurs can serve as the economic engine of the recovery.
• Congress should adopt tax policies that incentivize improvements to existing homes and buildings. Expanding small business tax credits that allow for the immediate expensing of capital improvements and accelerated depreciation for resilient, energy-efficient roof replacements will put money back into businesses while protecting physical assets.
Participating organizations of the coalition include the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Chemical Fabrics & Film Association (CFFA), EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC), Metal Construction Association (MCA), National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), National Women in Roofing (NWiR), Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI), Slate Roofing Contractors Association (SRCA), Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), and the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance (TRI).