Below are a few updates for May. Please pass this information along to your members and others within your association who might be interested.
I’d also like to remind you of our next affiliate orientation that will be held on Tuesday, October 29th at the NRCA office. This will be a great opportunity to refresh on all NRCA has to offer while meeting with NRCA departments and staff. Please let me know if you’re interested in attending.
1. NRCA’s midyear meetings
2. NRCA’s new affiliate program – Extend a 20 percent discount off the NRCA price for your members!
3. New from NRCA:
o This five-module program will feature content designed to inform workers of OSHA requirements for crane and hoist operations, signal person qualifications, qualified riggers, forklift operations and other rooftop powered equipment.
4. Coming soon from NRCA:
5. Below are upcoming public classes:
o May 16 - Seattle
o May 30 - Phoenix
6. Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE™)
o Application deadline: August 12, 2013
o Exam date: September 12, 2013
7. Attached is the May issue of NRCA’s 10@10.
8. I’d also like to introduce Jeff Jarvis, NRCA’s new director of business development. Jeff will be focusing on customized training and group education, among other offerings. If you would like information about how we can customize training for you, please contact Jeff at
As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need additional information.
Manager of Marketing and Affiliate Relations
National Roofing Contractors Association
10255 W. Higgins Road, Suite 600
Rosemont, IL 60018-5607 U.S.A.
Direct Line: (847) 493-7506
Direct Fax: (847) 493-7956
MOORE, Okla., May 22 (UPI) -- Cleanup crews fanned out Wednesday across Moore, Okla., devastated by a massive tornado that killed at least 24 people two days earlier.
Initial Oklahoma Insurance Department estimates pegged damage from the storm at $2 billion. The National Weather Service said the EF-5 tornado -- with winds exceeding 200 mph -- was on the ground for 40 minutes, cutting a 17-mile-long path, 1.3 miles wide.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano arrived in the Oklahoma City suburb Wednesday, pledging federal emergency workers would remain to help with the recovery long after the television cameras leave.
Napolitano's visit came as authorities said they didn't think any more survivors or victims were buried in the rubble and attention turned to clearing the tons of debris.
Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said he will push the city council to pass an ordinance requiring all new housing projects be built with storm shelters or safe rooms, CNN reported.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday President Barack Obama will travel to Oklahoma Sunday to visit with families affected by the storm and get a firsthand look at the damage.
At least 24 people, including nine children at Plaza Towers Elementary School, died in the storm. Gary Bird, chief of Moore's fire department, said seven of the dead children were found in a classroom, not a flooded basement as had been reported.
The storm damaged an estimated 2,400 homes in Moore and nearby Oklahoma City, and 10,000 people were directly affected, said Jerry Lojka of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
An official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday more than 1,000 people have already sought assistance from the agency, The Oklahoman reported.
About 400 FEMA employees have been deployed to Oklahoma to assist in relief efforts, the official said.
Gov. Mary Fallin said she was left speechless after taking an aerial tour of the violent tornado's path and inspecting the damage by car and on foot.
"There's just sticks and bricks, basically," she said in the lobby of Moore City Hall, which was powered by generators due to a widespread power failure.
"It was very surreal coming upon the school because there was no school. There was just debris," she said.
Fallin said 237 people had been injured in the storm "so far as we know." Officials said 70 of the injured were children.
One hospital, University of Oklahoma Medical Center, said it received 45 children.
The Department of Emergency Management said at least three tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma Monday, including in Oklahoma City, suburban Moore and Duncan, 80 miles south of Oklahoma City, but Moore was hit hardest.
Obama, who declared a federal disaster in five Oklahoma counties, said at the White House Tuesday the tornado was "one of the most destructive in history" and said he told aides "Oklahoma needs to get everything that it needs right away."
"For all those who've been affected, we recognize that you face a long road ahead," Obama said. "In some cases, there will be enormous grief that has to be absorbed.
"But you will not travel that path alone. Your country will travel it with you, fueled by our faith in the Almighty and our faith in one another."
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a leading federal budget hawk, said any disaster relief appropriated by Congress beyond an existing $11.6 billion disaster-relief fund would have to be paid for by cutting other spending.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., rushed to Coburn's defense, calling his remarks "real leadership," The New York Times reported.
But others said they were disgusted by the conversation.
"I think we need to all act like Americans, that we're all in it together, neighbor helping neighbor," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
"This is not the time for budgeteering battles. This is the time to respond with compassion and competence."
Topics: Barack Obama, Tom Coburn, Craig Fugate, Ron Johnson, Barbara Mikulski, The Oklahoman, Jay Carney
By Deena Shanker @FortuneMagazine May 22, 2013: 8:57 AM ET
According to the National Women's Law Center, in 2010 women held a tiny percentage -- 2.6 -- of the U.S.'s 8.4 million construction jobs, the same percentage they held in 1983. The NWLC faults "barriers such as gender stereotypes, sexual harassment, a lack of awareness about opportunities in construction, and insufficient instruction."
But while women may not be gaining ground in trades like carpentry and plumbing, they are increasingly getting involved on the entrepreneurial side of the industry. The U.S. Census Bureau counted 152,871 women-owned construction firms in 1997. Ten years later, that number had jumped by 76% to 268,809. Women are steadily chiseling away at that concrete ceiling. Or, as Lenore Janis, president of the National Association of Professional Women in Construction, put it, "Our fingernails are broken from scratching at it."
For the past 15 years, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) has compiled its Inner City 100 list, highlighting the fastest-growing urban small businesses in America. This year's list includes 28 women-owned businesses, a double in percentage since 1999, the list's inaugural year. While many of these businesses are taking advantage of the burgeoning "mommy market," several are breaking into industries heavily dominated by men, including construction.
In addition to the efforts of the women themselves, Janis sees the growth as a direct result of a 35-year-old goal set by the Office for Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Since 1978, federal contractors are required to employ women for 6.9% of the total construction work hours on any federal project. (For it's part, the NWLC says that considering the much higher rates of female participation in other typically male dominated fields like policing, butchering, and machine operation, 6.9% is still "not enough.")
Shandra Spicer, 32, CEO of the Spicer Group (No. 57 on this year's Inner City 100), has been running a full-service general contractor and construction management company since she was 18 years old. Coming out of bankruptcy, her father was unable to secure the capital to start a business, so he recruited his daughter to help. "Bright-eyed and bushy tailed," as she describes herself then, she agreed.
Spicer says she expected to handle only the business end, leaving the construction to her dad, despite the fact that he had no financial ownership stake in the company. But at 23, Spicer learned that she had to take the reins and fully integrate herself into the world of construction. "I was still allowing my father to influence a lot of my decisions," she says, until he persuaded her to submit a very low bid on a very large project. "At the time I didn't know enough and I was trusting in my father's opinion that we could do it even though it just didn't sit right with me." When the job was complete, "I ended up leaving by the skin of my teeth with nearly $300,000 in debt."
Married with a young son and another on the way, Spicer decided it was time to take full control of the business. Over the next 10 years, she learned everything she could about construction, earning certifications, taking courses, seeking assistance through professional networks and government organizations, and eventually working with a mentor to put together a feasible business plan.
Her once-fledgling company pulled in $2.2 million in 2011, but Spicer refuses to take full credit for her accomplishments, doling out gratitude to her mother, her husband (also her employee), and her team. "I ask for help a lot, and I try to hire people that know more than and are smarter than me," she says. And while she encounters a fair amount of sexism -- and as a black woman, racism as well -- she doesn't let it slow her down. "I have to try probably 10,000 times harder than my male counterparts. I can work hard all day long, and then I can drive down the street and say to my kids in the car 'Guess what, we built that building.' I have something that stands for a long time, something physical and tangible."
Genevieve Withers, 52, CEO of Pipe Wrap (No. 82 on this year's Inner City 100), also got into the construction industry out of financial necessity. "I was looking to start a business that would be able to provide for my two children," something she couldn't do as a single mother on a schoolteacher's salary. "I came across the idea of a quick fix pipe repair kit that could be used to quickly and easily stop emergency leaks."
It took time to develop the product but, crediting her father's zeal for experimentation as a research scientist, "instead of walking away and giving up, I just kept trying and trying and trying, until I got the leaks to stop."
Once Withers finalized her product, she incorporated her business. Since then, the company has moved far beyond low-pressure leaks, and has moved into structural reinforcement and corrosion prevention. Most recently, Pipe Wrap was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to incorporate nanotechnological enhancements to its products.
Like Spicer, Withers credits her staffers for her company's success. "I don't do it alone," she says. "I have surrounded myself with a team of men and women that are very highly qualified in their fields." She advises other would-be construction entrepreneurs to do the same. "If you don't know how to do it, get with somebody who does know how to do it and work together to make a better product, because nobody can do anything on their own."
Despite the low numbers of women in construction, Withers is hopeful that more will enter the industry. "Most men will listen," she says. "If a woman is in this industry and she has a good product and she knows she does, then there should be no reason on this green earth why she can't succeed."
New York (CNN) -- Construction workers bolted the last pieces of a 408-foot spire into place atop One World Trade Center on Friday, symbolically capping New York's comeback after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The spire brings the iconic building to a height of 1,776 feet -- an allusion to the year the United States declared its independence. It also makes the building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest in the world.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey confirmed the installation in a statement.
"This milestone at the World Trade Center site symbolizes the resurgence and resilience of our state and our nation," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in the statement.
Port Authority Chairman David Samson called the building "a national symbol of hope and strength in the face of tragedy."
While the building still has significant construction before its scheduled 2014 opening, the installation brought cheers from New Yorkers, and from people around the country.
"I think it's awesome," said Alen Presson, a firefighter visiting New York. "It shows our resolve. You can blacken our eye, but you're not going to kill us. We're going to come back. So, it's awesome."
"I'm still taking it in," said tourist Joyce Elter of Las Vegas. "I mean, it was such a devastation back then, and everything is progressing. It still has a long way to go, but it's phenomenal."
The pieces installed Friday morning were hoisted to a temporary platform atop the building last week.
The spire contains 18 steel sections and three communication rings. The first -- and heaviest -- steel section was installed in January. It weighs more than 67 tons, according to a statement from the Port Authority.
It will be an antenna for a television broadcast facility in the building, which rises from the site near the original World Trade Center towers, which fell in the 2001 attacks.
Last week, construction director Steven Plate told CNN affiliate WABC that the spire will be a "beacon that'll be seen for miles around and give a tremendous indication to people around the entire region, and the world, that we're back and we're better than ever."
Construction on the building began in April 2006.
Michael Pearson wrote and reported from Atlanta, and Kristen Kiraly reported from New York.
By Bob Vila
Spring brings to mind rituals of cleaning and planting, but it’s also the time of year when most homeowners decide what improvements they hope — or need — to make in the warmer months ahead. That list could include everything from a fresh coat of exterior paint to installing a new roof. If you are considering the latter, the effort you put into finding the right contractor will be as vital to the success of your project as the type of roofing material you choose.
A good roof is one of the most important investments you can make for your home. Certainly, you want a new roof to be attractive. It needs to complement your home’s architectural style and improve its curb appeal — and resale value, when the time comes. You also want it to be leak-free, fire-safe, wind-resistant, and capable of performing well for 20 years or more. While it’s tempting to start by shopping for materials, you should make finding a qualified roofing contractor your first order of business.
Your contractor can help you make the right decisions regarding materials, particularly as they relate to your house’s style and climate. A contractor can also make sure the roof you install will not only meet your personal requirements but also those of the roofing manufacturer and local building codes.
Here are five things to consider when you’re looking for a qualified roofing contractor:
One of the best ways to find any contractor is to check with people you know. Have any of your neighbors, friends, or colleagues had their roof replaced? If so, were they happy with the job and, most importantly, would they work with that contractor again — a sure sign that the experience was a good one? Likewise, if you know of a home in your area that just had a roof installed, ask the owners if they have a recommendation. Smaller lumber yards and hardware stores are also good sources for leads, as are any roofing distributors in your area.
Once you’ve identified a couple of qualified roofing contractors — ideally three — do some sleuthing. Verify their business address, phone number and email, make sure they are insured and licensed, and even run a credit check. How long have they been in business? Do they have a professional website that includes previous work, customer comments and references? Check with your local Better Business Bureau or chamber of commerce, as well as contractor review sites like Angie’s List, to see if they report any complaints.
Once you’ve narrowed the field, have each prospective contractor visit your home to discuss roofing materials, the extent of work to be done, and the amount of time and manpower that will be required to complete the project. Does the contractor seem enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional? Those qualities will be your assurance of a good find. Contractors have insights on best roofing materials and installation techniques, but it is your house — so be sure to ask questions and participate in the decision-making. Remember to get references and check them.
Do not let work begin until you have a signed contract that details every aspect of the job, from the type of roofing materials to be installed to the product warranty and workmanship guarantees. Make certain it covers safety procedures and liability — including workers’ compensation, when work is to begin and end, and how many workers will be on the job. The contract should also specify clean-up methods, payment amounts and schedule. You might even want to ask for a lien waiver to protect against claims that could arise if the roofer fails to pay the materials manufacturer or other vendor.
Don’t go for the cheapest bid in an attempt to save money. Your roof is an investment worth making, and the cost will be amortized over the lifetime of the roof. Your final choice should be based on a combination of cost and confidence.
Bob Vila is the home improvement expert widely known as host of TV’s This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, and Bob Vila. Today, Bob continues his mission to help people upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice online at BobVila.com. His video-rich site offers a full range of fresh, authoritative content – practical tips, inspirational ideas, and more than 1,000 videos from Bob Vila television.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
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