The biggest issue we have been running into lately is the lack of skilled labor. What are some of the solutions you guys have discovered?
Look harder, pay more.
You make it sound easy…
I appreciate the reply…
I feel like we went thru 15 guys this month. I’m located in TN and pay good installers between $16 - $23. In the south that’s good pay.
Any suggestions or ideas as to where to look?
Due to the extensive number of storms across the entire country, the demand for roofers is extremely high. It’s the old relationship of demand, supply and price. Demand went up, supply stayed the same so the price is up.
I think authentic dad got it right when he says pay more and look harder. I’m in the central North Carolina market and we experience the same thing. A lot of times our crews come from other parts of the state that are experiencing a slump in roof installations. We have our own employees that do repairs and when need be we can break them up into 2 different crews. Best advice I can offer is to become friendly with your competition in the area. Invite them out for a drink or lunch. Building those relationships have helped me tremendously. Sometimes, when you are in a real jam, a phone call to a friendly competitor can yield some good advice.
I think there is an abundance of roofers available. The key is to pay them fair and treat them right. Roofers are often treated like, well, labor and not part of the team. Treat them right! Take them out for lunch, buy them some company logo gear, basically treat them like they matter. #RooferLivesMatter
Anderson your right i give my guys new t shirts with logo pay for gatorade lunches even let them use my cottage, pay well like 40-50 hr
You pay your guys $50 an hr?
What you pay your men and the hours of work you can supply them every month will attract a good labor force ,when I retired 5 yrs ago my hourly rate was $48 an hour plus $9 an hour vacation pay ,labor savings bonuses ,safe work days bonuses ,reduced fuel costs for crane and sky Trak bonuses ,excellent health insurance and great oension ,we paid greenhorn helpers $18 an hour and gave them a raise if they lasted 1 week ,so we woulrnt jump ship our management took care of everybody and allowed salaried senior foremans like myself to stay hourly .
Roofers here in Texas are contract labor. $65 a square is the current going rate. They prob make more than we do. Insurance pays about 250 a square if we are lucky. $300 if you beat it out of them…
When we built our house 20 years ago all of the workers on site were foreign born.
Our schools have nearly entirely given up on the idea that native born students would
pick up a trade at any wage level. The surprising realization is that for an increasing
portion of society no wage offer would induce them to do certain work.
Changing the nature of trades to make them more based on technology is perhaps
one of the only ways to attract the workers that are needed aside from increasing immigration.
It’s just my opinion, but it seems to me the issue or question may be “Where did all the good roofing companies go?”
Nearly a hundred years ago, (not really – but a know a lot will think so), I was gaining an education in the building trades from my Grand Father, my Father, my Uncle and a lot of people that hat the same background and training from their heritage. One of the old guys was named Clint and he could build anything from welding to fine cabinets, roofing, supper easy! It looks like those days are gone.
Our market, in Texas, is filled with 1st generation crewmen who have little real training, no apprenticeship and the work is showing signs of it all the time. Guys who have been on the job for 6 months or one hail storm think they know everything about roofing and often go out on their own. If you own a truck and a trailer you must be qualified, right?
Today a lot of our work is replacing new, poorly installed roofs on million-dollar homes, that’s crazy, don’t you think! Roofs are failing right & left and the manufactures and roofing companies are making big bucks here!
Does anyone else see a problem with this???
If the crews don’t exist, who should be finding, coaching and training? How many roofing companies have a training program, an apprenticeship program?
I say, it’s time for us all to step up and get this going the right direction! Roofing companies working with trade schools to extend the training to 4 years with an opportunity for on-the-job apprentice training.
Here’s a question the begs an answer from above! Do most companies have well enough trained people to train or coach others?
Check out Matt Construction, they are soliciting people to train from high school and college campuses. They are successful, check them out! https://www.mattconstruction.com/ If they can do it, we all can do it!
It seems our greed causes us to short-cut to hire anyone and everyone we can, thinking they know enough and after all, we’ve got to do make a buck today and there’s just no time to train. Let’s become better in our industry! Let’s become a better industry!
Paying more, doesn’t produce better workers and creating a bidding war for the few, doesn’t improve a growing industry!
Well put fellas. It’s the biggest issue I see from the inside.
This isn’t about quality. It’s about finding a crew period.
You hit it on the head. Let the young guys or gals experience the trades. Check out Mike Rowe and his work toward getting more “kids” into the trades. Good money and a lot opportunities to advance if they work hard and learn. I’d bet most of you guys started as a go-for and worked your way up.
I blame it on the “everyone’s gotta go to college or you’ll never amount to anything” stigma. It forces kids to start out their adulthood with 100k worth of debt (many times for no real financial gain in the future) so then the can’t afford to work a job that they’ll have to work their way up to getting a good wage.
Is this serious?
Four years in trade school and then they do co-op training for roofing?
Are there any opportunities for post-graduate research into the sociological and cultural meaningness of roofing as
it relates to post-modernism?
After all of this training do any of the students choose to stay in the industry?
I remember the crews that were there for me in October and September. Even though now I could pay less…the best crew gets the work and I don’t cut the pay. My roofing crew takes pride in there work and I treat them like human beings… today I bought my roofer a few tools… made his day… I pay for extra work…pay for starter…if he goes and gets materials because the supply house couldn’t get it done, I pay them what the supply house charges me. He always returns the leftovers… I usually pay him for what was delivered. Thinking about buying him a new compressor for Christmas. Without them Ian nothing!
I agree top pay, benefits and be treated well is important. We’ve got those things here and still get application!
Another part of the issue is getting the attention of those that aren’t actually looking for work. There are guys who are set in their job and aren’t looking, and they could be making more and getting better benefits with us just down the street. Also, how do you say to a young talented roofer in Maine that he could work year round in sunny California?