Speaking of Education…It May Be Back to Class for Contractors

It’s no surprise that almost all states require general contractors and some subcontractors to register with regulatory boards and pass a qualifying exam in advance of bidding, contracting, and certainly physically undertaking construction work. That’s not new. However, there is an emerging trend towards requiring general contractors, and even some subcontractors, to participate in continuing education. Depending on the jurisdiction, some contractors and subcontractors are now statutorily obligated to complete a certain amount of continuing education — similar to what has been historically required only of doctors, lawyers, and accountants — to maintain licensure.

For instance, this summer, North Carolina became the most recent state to impose continuing education requirements for general contractors. Effective January 1, 2020, general contractors will be required to complete 8 hours of continuing education per year. Because roofing contractors in North Carolina performing work in excess of $30,000 are required to be licensed as general contractors, they will now be subject to the new continuing education requirements.

This recent legislation and its impact on the roofing industry raises questions about what is required for roofing contractors nationwide. Does roofing require special licensure and registration or continuing education? The answer is entirely dependent on the jurisdiction where the work is to be performed.

The following states currently require licensure for roofing: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

Other states don’t require licensure per se but do require roofing contractors to register. For instance, Oklahoma requires roofing contractors to register with the Construction Industries Board. Failure to register is a misdemeanor, and registration and endorsement as a commercial roofing contractor requires 4 hours of continuing education every 36 months. Similarly, Idaho does not require a state license, but requires roofing contractors to register with the Idaho Contractors Board.

As seen in Figure 1, even among the states which require continuing education, the requirements vary greatly both in the amount and type of education required. For instance, Florida law requires contractors holding a roofing license to take 1 hour of wind mitigation methodologies as part of the 14 annually required continuing education hours. In Massachusetts, construction supervisors within the roofing industry are required to take 2 hours of continuing education in code review and four one-hour courses in topics of workplace safety, business practices, energy, and lead safe practices.

Figure 1. Licensing and continuing education requirements by state.

Finally, in those states which don’t require licensure or continuing education, some industry groups have developed self-regulation. These industry groups are aimed at consumer protection and seek to secure public confidence in the roofing industry. In Georgia, which does not require a state roofing license, the Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Georgia (RSMCA) provides a voluntary licensing program. Similarly, Kentucky has no license requirements for roofing contractors. However, the Kentucky Roofing Contractor Association (KRCA) is a nonprofit and professional organization which certifies roofing contractors. To obtain and maintain KRCA certification, roofing contractors must complete 10 hours of continuing education per year.

But just because a state legislature or professional association has not enacted regulations necessitating continuing education does not mean contractors are free from such requirements. While not mandated by the state itself, many cities have imposed their own directives. States such as Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania each contain at least one municipality that compels contractors to take board-accredited continuing education courses. For example, Idaho Falls, Idaho, requires 8 hours of continuing education.

Regardless of where you are engaged in the practice of roofing contracting, it is imperative that all contractors exercise due diligence and review and comply with all state and local regulations before undertaking any project.

Contractors and trades are seeing a rise in regulation through the government by way of mandated continuing education courses. Do you think contractors should be required to take continuing education classes? Is this a necessary void that needs to be filled by the government intervention or is this just another example of unnecessary government regulation? Tell us what you think.

About the author: Lindsey E. Powell is an attorney with Anderson Jones, PLLC practicing in North Carolina and Georgia. Questions about this article can be directed to her at lpowell@andersonandjones.com. Special research credit is given to Kyle Putnam, Juris Doctor candidate and summer law clerk with Anderson Jones, PLLC.

Author’s note: This article is intended only for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.

GAF Provides Programs and Training in Support of Military Members and Veterans

GAF announced that it has signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. The document recognizes the pivotal role played by the National Guard and Reserve in strengthening our nation and our communities. The signing sends a strong message of support to GAF employees (and non-employees) who have served our nation.

The ESGR Statement of Support complements other key initiatives GAF has undertaken to benefit military veterans, servicemen and servicewomen. They include:

  • The Roofs for Troops military rebate program, launched in 2012, provides active military members, veterans and retirees a $250 rebate on a Lifetime Roofing System installed on their roof by a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor. GAF is now approaching 20,000 homes successfully helped by this program.
  • Last year, GAF went live with its Hire-A-Hero military job board. The job board provides a platform for employers in the roofing industry to connect with transitioning troops and veterans as they seek to fill key positions within their companies. GAF contractors and distributor partners are posting jobs, viewing applicants and connecting with ex-military job seekers.
  • GAF is rolling out GAF Roofing Academy, a roofing installation training program to help veterans transition to a career in the roofing industry. Pilot classes have been successful as nearly 80 percent of class attendants were placed in roofing jobs. We are currently planning classes in various regions over the next year, including a class this month at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. The course includes access to a professional and comprehensive steep-slope roofing primer and a high-level commercial roofing introduction. Veterans win by learning a valuable trade with solid earnings potential. The knowledge that they acquire from this course could possibly lead to other careers including sales, estimating, installation supervision, maintenance and project management.
  • GAF regularly reaches out to veterans’ organizations to assist with fulfilling recruiting needs. For example, GAF has worked with employment agencies such as the Lucas Group, which have a focus on connecting those who have served in the U.S. military with jobs upon their return from service.

“The men and women who have served in America’s armed forces have demonstrated remarkable character, work ethic and dedication in their service,” says Bob Tafaro, president and CEO. “They represent a tremendous opportunity for GAF, for the roofing industry and for the broader private sector. We want to help veterans leverage the talents and leadership skills they have acquired through their service to transition into civilian careers.”

METALCON Offers Education Sessions to Improve Techniques and Skills

For construction professionals in the field and those in the front office, METALCON 2015 has education sessions to improve their field techniques, management skills and business success. Each year METALCON attracts metal building, residential and roofing contractors, architects, engineers, developers, facility managers, fabricators and building owners from more than 52 countries who want to learn more about metal.

An impressive lineup of experts in metal, construction, leadership and business development will share their knowledge with these attendees at the 25th annual METALCON. This conference and exhibition takes place at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., from Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. It is the only event focused on the application of metal in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and municipal construction.

Leading the group of experts at the 2015 METALCON is keynoter Clyde Fessler, retired vice president of business development for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Fessler led the turnaround that brought the company back from the brink of disaster to its place as the leading motorcycle brand in the world. He will take attendees on an exciting journey of how he achieved this feat. He’ll share how the five P’s: People, Passion, Product, Price and Promotion can bring success to anyone in a competitive environment. His fascinating session takes place Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.

“We’re thrilled to have Clyde Fessler at METALCON. He has an amazing story to tell and his forward thinking philosophies fit perfectly with companies involved in our event. Since METALCON began in 1991, we have seen a continuous stream of product innovation and manufacturing development at this event. And the industry experts in the full conference program will add ideas about business development and field techniques to complete the cycle of knowledge,” notes Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON show manager.

Learning begins early at METALCON with special sessions on Tuesday, Oct. 13. General education programs run Wednesday through Friday mornings. The exhibit hall is open Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 14 and 15, from noon to 6 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The round-up of programs on field techniques starts with the popular STUD University on Tuesday and Wednesday. This combines classroom and hands-on workshops that offer an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive exploration of framing with cold-formed steel.

Returning popular programs include: Understanding Metal Roofing, the Devil is in the Details, and Successful Flashings for Standing Seam Roofs. New offerings give attendees insight on the newest benefits of retrofit roofing; what chemicals in metal construction products might be dangerous; and how recent research findings prove metal roofing’s long-term value.

This year’s schedule has an extensive offering of business topics, such as dealing with emerging trends, legal issues, leadership techniques, and business succession strategies. Some specific management topics are:

  • Learn How to Think Like Your Clients
  • How to Win More Customers and Contracts
  • How to Compete on Value in Any Marketplace for Greater Profitability
  • Change Your Business Strategy to include Retrofit Metal Roofing
  • Get Your Business to Work for You! 7 Steps to Earning More, Work Less & Living the Life You Want
  • Developing Today’s Managers and Tomorrow’s Senior Executives.

A unique group of specialists come together in the comprehensive, two-part A/E/C Emerging Leaders Workshop: Developing the Best Project Managers into the Best Principals.

Residential roofing contractors will learn new strategies in the two-part program on the 12 Easy Steps to Closing More Sales of Residential Metal Roofing.

More specialty programs highlight the newest practices and equipment in roll forming for the metal construction industry; copper installation techniques and procedures; IAS accreditation and an AC478 workshop. For steel industry insiders the Focus on Steel Conference on Tuesday evening provides market intelligence and vital, targeted information that attendees can use in making thoughtful business decisions.

The education continues in the exhibit hall where attendees can learn about the latest products from the companies who make them. Attendees can also delve into a wide spectrum of topics at Learning Zones, mini-theaters located throughout the exhibit hall. These free 15-minute sessions focus on subjects such as roof details, field techniques and product applications.

Contractors can also apply their skills in the popular MCA Metal Roofing Championship Games. In this Battle by the Bay feature, contractors sign up each day to compete for $100 prizes in a number of different challenges. This year’s games will allow three individuals or teams of two people to compete in each of five games. The games will be held each of the three show days during exhibit hall hours. This year’s expanded game line up is:

  • Triangle Fastener’s Screw Gun Challenge (three individual competitors)
  • Roof Hugger’s Retrofit Challenge (three competing teams)
  • New Tech Machinery’s Standing Seam Install with DI Metal Works’ Panel Seaming Challenge (three competing teams)
  • The S-5 Snow Retention System Install Challenge (three competing teams)
  • Triangle Fastener’s “JJ’s Give it a Boot” Challenge (three individual competitors)

These games are great to watch and even better to participate in and win. Judges for the competition will be members of the local Florida chapter of the Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association (MBCEA).

METALCON is sponsored by the Metal Construction Association and produced by PSMJ Resources Inc. It is supported by 60 participating associations and 20 media partners.