Roofing Day 2024 in Washington DC was a significant event for the roofing industry, bringing together professionals to advocate for critical legislative issues. This year, we saw an impressive turnout of Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI) members and member companies, all ready to discuss policies that impact our industry with representatives and congressional staff. Below is a detailed recap of the event, highlighting the key issues discussed and the overall experience.

Day 1: Registration, Training, and Networking

Registration and Initial Training
The event kicked off on April 16 with registration and a quick training session for all attendees. The training provided an overview of the key issues categorized into two main topics: Supporting Pro-Growth Tax Policy and Supporting Solutions to Workforce Shortages. The first evening concluded with a reception following the training session. This provided an excellent opportunity for networking and discussions among industry peers. The camaraderie and shared purpose among attendees set a positive tone for the advocacy efforts ahead.

Day 2: Keynote, Sessions, and Capitol Meetings

Keynote Address
The second day began with a keynote speaker sponsored by SPRI. SPRI President Scott Carpenter provided a notable introduction to Representative Lisa McClain (R-Michigan, 9th District), who offered opportunities for a straightforward discussion and answered questions.

Political Outlook and Panel Discussion
Following the keynote, David Wasserman, senior editor and elections analyst for the Cook Political Report, delivered a 2024 political outlook presentation sponsored by Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA). This was followed by a panel discussion sponsored by Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) featuring four senior congressional staffers, which provided valuable context and viewpoints for attendees’ questions.

Capitol Meetings
The remainder of the day, all attendees headed to the Capitol to meet with their state representatives and senators. These face-to-face meetings were crucial for discussing the day’s key issues and advocating for the roofing industry’s needs.

Key Legislative Issues Discussed

Supporting Pro-Growth Tax Policy
Under this topic, two crucial bills were the focus of delegations’ discussions:

  • Main Street Tax Certainty Act (HR 4721/SB1706): This act seeks to make permanent the Section 199A deduction (Qualified Business Income deduction) currently temporary from the 2017 tax bill, benefiting many sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and S-corps.
  • American Innovation and R&D Competitiveness Act (HR 2673/SB 866): This act aims to permanently restore the ability of businesses to immediately deduct their research and development expenses, which must currently be amortized over five years for domestic companies (a change enacted in 2022).

Supporting Solutions to Workforce Shortages
Four key items were discussed under this topic:

  • Increased Funding for Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) State Grants: These grants support training programs preparing workers for the roofing industry but are currently funded at less than 1% of what is allocated to four-year colleges and universities.
  • A Stronger Workforce for America Act (HR 6655): This act aims to reform Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) training programs to benefit more job creators and workers by streamlining bureaucracy, increasing funding for skills training, and improving workforce boards.
  • Co-sponsoring the Essential Workers for Economic Advancement (HR 3734): This bill proposes establishing a new visa system matching willing employers with temporary workers to meet workforce needs.
  • Support for a Permanent Solution for Individuals Under TPS and DACA Programs: Although no current legislation addresses this, the industry supports any legislation allowing qualified individuals under Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to transition to lawful permanent status.

Reflections and Future Considerations
Overall, the topics discussed were well received by the representatives and congressional staff. However, moving forward, it might be beneficial to strategically work with organizers to better assign SPRI staff and members to districts with production/member locations. While the issues discussed were important for the roofing industry, most were more tilted toward contractors than manufacturers. SPRI would like to see more talking points addressing issues faced by manufacturers. SPRI welcomes feedback on how the organization can be more impactful in future events. By continuing to refine our strategies and talking points, SPRI can work to ensure even greater impact in future advocacy efforts.

Roofing Day 2024 in Washington DC was a successful advocacy event, bringing together SPRI members and industry professionals to discuss critical legislative issues. By continuing to refine our strategies and talking points, we can ensure even greater impact in future advocacy efforts. Thank you to all who participated and contributed to this important event. We look forward to seeing you next year on April 8-9, 2025!

Stay connected with SPRI for updates on future events and opportunities to get involved in our advocacy efforts.