21st century homes incorporate sustainability | Homebuilding data suggest solid US economy | US consumers' economic optimism grows
March 20, 2017
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21st century homes incorporate sustainability
More homebuilders, community planners and homeowners are investing in 21st century technology, including roofing materials with reflective qualities to save energy. Maintenance-free green roofs are also a sustainable choice growing in popularity.
Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) (3/17) 
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News & Trends
Homebuilding data suggest solid US economy
Data suggest solid US economy
(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
Homebuilding increases in February and a drop in the number of initial unemployment claims suggest a strong US economy, says JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver. Housing starts were up by 3% in February, while initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 2,000 for the week ended March 11.
Reuters (3/16) 
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US consumers' economic optimism grows
Consumer sentiment regarding finances and the US economy has reached its highest level in 16 years, according to data from the University of Michigan. The preliminary March reading from the university's sentiment index was 97.6, up from February's 96.3.
Bloomberg (3/17),  U.S. News & World Report (3/17) 
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A look inside a thatched roof
Tom Allan describes what it's like to make repairs to the interior of thatched roofs. He investigates a collapsed rafter on a home in Hope Cove in South Devon, England.
The Guardian (London) (3/20) 
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Energy & the Environment
N.Y. utility regulator works to price solar
N.Y. utility regulator works to price solar
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
New York utility regulators are working to put a price tag on solar power's worth. The process involves starting with a wholesale price and factoring in "value stack," which includes the environmental benefits of renewable energy, in an effort to encourage growth of the solar industry.
The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (3/17) 
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The top US solar companies
SolarCity leads this list of the most promising US solar energy companies due to its manufacturing division. SunPower, PetersenDean and Solar World USA also make the list.
The Merkle (3/18) 
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In the Office
Don't apologize for being busy
Don't apologize for being busy
(Pixabay)
People shouldn't feel guilty for telling friends they're busy because it's up to you to decide what is most important, writes Taylor Lorenz. "Prioritizing my schedule and keeping busy with the things that are most important to me has been key to my mental health," she writes.
Harper's Bazaar (3/15),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/12) 
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Hot Topics
Government & Regulatory
Congress releases cybersecurity guide for small businesses
Congress releases cybersecurity guide for small businesses
(Pixabay)
The House Small Business Committee has issued anti-cyberhacking guidelines for small businesses, which include suggestions for better data security. While the issue of cybersecurity is more commonly associated with large financial institutions, the committee points out that nearly 60% of small companies go out of business following a hack and 71% of cyberassaults target businesses with fewer than 100 workers.
Financial Advisor online (3/10) 
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Trump budget plan would cut Labor 21%
President Donald Trump's budget blueprint contains a $2.6 billion cut to the Department of Labor. The plan proposes reducing the department's budget by 21% and shifting much of job training and employment support funding to the states.
Bloomberg BNA (free content) (3/17) 
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NRCA News
NRCA offers fall-protection course
NRCA will offer Roofing Industry Fall Protection from A to Z April 20 in Rosemont, Ill. The course satisfies a requirement for NRCA's ProForeman Certificate Program, updates participants regarding fall-protection systems, and includes current Occupational Safety and Health Administration state-plan requirements. The one-day class also features hands-on equipment demonstrations and techniques for self-rescue and relief-of-suspension trauma. Find more information here.
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NRCA announces 2017 FEI graduates
NRCA's Future Executives Institute (FEI) has announced its graduates for 2017. FEI is a three-year educational program designed to develop the management and leadership skills of future and current roofing company leaders. The participants gathered in Chicago at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and at NRCA conventions for the past three years. Find a list of FEI Class 7 graduates here.
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Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life.
E.M. Forster,
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