Women in Construction

Each year in March, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) designates a week as Women in Construction Week™, to promote the role of women in the construction industry. As a woman-owned and operated company, Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal knows first-hand the value and importance women play in our industry.

Overall, women accounted for 14% percent of the entire U.S. construction workforce in 2022, per the Washington Post. This number has been steadily growing over the past few years. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including the industry’s increasing demand for workers, industry-wide efforts to remove hurdles and actively recruit more women, as well as expanded skills training and education.

The construction industry is also leading the way for pay equality. On average, women in the U.S. generally earn 82.9 percent of what men make. In construction jobs, the gender pay gap is significantly smaller, with women earning 95.5 percent of what men make on average.

To learn more about events and activities happening during Women in Construction Week™ March 5-11, 2023, www.wicweek.org

For information about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Commercial Roofing 2023 Outlook

2023 is underway and we’re ready for a busy year ahead at Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal. We are working on and planning out commercial roofing projects in academic, industrial, healthcare and government sectors to fill the calendar. Despite ongoing challenges with inflation, staffing and the supply chain, the commercial roofing industry overall is booming. In fact, industry research indicates the global commercial roofing market is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.2% and reach $15.15 billion by 2027. 

This continued growth path for commercial roofing is likely a big reason the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Construction Confidence Index increased from 56.8 to 59 for sales projections and from 50.5 to 52.3 for profit margin expectations in last month.


Like many other colleagues in the industry, here at Cornell Roofing and Sheet metal, we are planning out 2023 with plenty of optimism. We’ve weathered many economic ups and downs over the past 96 years. With our strong leadership, smart business practices, and commitment to our customers and crews, we are confident in our ability to continue to rise above well into our 100th year and beyond.


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

NRCA: A Voice for the Roofing Industry

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has been a central source for roofing industry professionals for information, safety, education, advocacy and technical resources since the organization’s beginnings in 1886. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal is a proud member and knows the value they bring for giving our company and trades professionals a voice in our industry.


The NRCA has over 3500 roofing industry members spanning all 50 states and 53 countries worldwide. To ensure they are addressing critical issues impacting the industry, as well as the concerns of manufacturers, distributors, consultants, and contractors like Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal, the NRCA recently launched their One Voice initiative. The ultimate goal of this effort is to unite and support the long-term success of the industry and NRCA members.


Organizations like the NRCA are driving advances in the roofing industry. Here at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal, the resources and support we receive from the NRCA helps us in our efforts to continually improve safety, quality and service to our customers. We believe by working together, we can continue to drive improvements that will sustain our industry for generations to come. 


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

High Points: 2022 Project Review

Looking back at 2022 has us thinking “wow! We did all that!?!” This year sure had its ups and downs, and brought new challenges. But in Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal’s 95-year history we’ve become pros in perseverance, while always sticking to our values of delivering nothing less than excellence for every customer on every project. 


As we close out 2022, we’re showcasing 12 of those projects (in no particular order). These buildings span diverse uses and diverse areas of the Kansas City region – and we’re proud of them all!

Giving Thanks

In our 95 years of business, there has been much to be thankful for, but this year we’re overflowing with gratitude at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal. For one, celebrating 95 years is a feat in itself. We are thankful for all the skilled trades people, customers and partners who helped grow Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal into the company we are today. 


That leads us to our Owner and President, Mary McNamara. Under her leadership our company has grown exponentially. She has been bravely battling breast cancer this year, while still managing our operation with the support of our phenomenal leadership team. We are thankful for their guidance, collaboration and for Mary’s good prognosis looking ahead to healthier days.


We are thankful for our crews. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has the most talented and dedicated skilled trades professionals in Kansas City and we’re proud to have them on our team. Their commitment to delivering excellence for our customers on all our projects is unwavering. Kudos to you all – and a sincere thank you.


We are thankful for our customers and partners! Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal is fortunate to have wonderful relationships with so many Kansas City companies and organizations, as well as national groups. We are thankful for the trust they put in us to get the job done – and done right.


We are thankful for our vendors and suppliers. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal works with only the best and most trusted names in the industry. With their support, we are able to ensure top-quality for our customers.


We are thankful for our community. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has always been committed to giving back and supporting our community. But this year, so many community members have stepped forward to show their support for our Owner/President Mary McNamara in her fight against breast cancer. This means the world to not only Mary, but to all of us who work alongside her. Thank YOU for showing us you care. Together, we are making a difference.


Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Since 1985, October has been recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has participated in events and efforts to raise awareness in years past, but this year the commemoration holds extra significance for the team. This summer, our Owner and President, Mary McNamara was diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. Mary’s prognosis is good and she is a fierce fighter. All of us here at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal are looking forward to Mary’s full recovery.

This month, we celebrate breast cancer survivors and those with breast cancer and encourage them to share their stories. We also encourage you to take action to protect your own health and support efforts to raise funds for breast cancer research and other related causes. True to Mary’s generous spirit, she has initiated an effort to give back, even during her own battle. Mary provided special, limited edition t-shirts to the team and is donating all proceeds from sales of the shirts to KU Cancer Center to support research. You can purchase a shirt or donate online at https://cornellroofing.com/breast-cancer-awareness/.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance for all of us to take time and acknowledge those men and women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. For additional resources, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation at https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/. Together, we can knock out breast cancer!

Business as Usual – A Message From Mary

As many may already know, Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal’s Owner and President, Mary McNamara was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. Her prognosis is positive and, if you know Mary, you know she is a fighter who will fiercely battle the disease. Mary remains engaged with the business even during her treatments (no surprise there!), but is putting Senior Vice President, Paul Coussens at the helm to fill in when she is not available.

See below for a message from Mary McNamara on the support she has received and her commitment to ensuring “business as usual”:

“The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I am humbled by the outpouring of support and kindness I have received from my team, our customers, our vendors, the community and so many family and friends. It truly makes this difficult journey easier. I intend to battle breast cancer every step of the way and get back to business quickly. In the meantime, I am appointing Paul Coussens, our Senior VP, to oversee daily operations during times when I am unable to attend to business. Paul has been with Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal since 2012 and has the in-depth knowledge and expertise to ensure and maintain the company’s high standards of excellence for project management and customer care.

I want to thank our amazing, dedicated team at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal. You are all valued and appreciated. We are a family and that means the world to me. Thank you for doing what you do, and all the support you have given me. I have a job ahead of me to beat this thing and you have yours to take care of our customers. Now, let’s get to work!”

Cornell Projects Among 2022 Capstone Award Winners

Each year, a select group of notable real estate projects that represent excellence in our community are recognized with the annual Capstone Real Estate Awards presented by the Kansas City Business Journal. The field this year was competitive with several projects in the running before a panel of judges. To be honored, each project had to be move-in ready by the end of 2021. Ultimately, the 2022 Capstone Award honored 28 projects across the Kansas City metropolitan area. Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal proudly managed the commercial roofing for three of these projects:

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library Museum Renovation and Expansion
Category: Architectural Design

The Kansas City Museum Renovation
Category: Architectural Design Category

Kirk Family YMCA
Category: Adaptive Reuse

Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal congratulates all the winners and is honored to have been involved in the development, renovation and expansion of these projects and so many other Capstone Award-winning properties throughout our history. To see the full list of 2022 Capstone honorees, click here. To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Women in Construction

In March, we not only celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8), we also take time to recognize Women in Construction Week (March 6-12). This is a week sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women in our industry, as well as the enormous opportunities for growth.

Being a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal understands the important role women have in our industry. Our Owner and President, Mary McNamara has paved the way for many – women and men – in our rapidly growing industry. Under Mary’s leadership, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has broken records for revenue growth year over year – a huge accomplishment for a company that is nearly 100 years old.

While women make up 47% of the entire employed population, they represent just 10.9% of the workforce in the construction industry. However, we see that tide changing, not only in commercial roofing, but across the construction industry in general. Industry analysts are predicting an additional 2 million jobs will be added in construction in 2022 alone. This is a prime opportunity for women seeking positions in the skilled trades, management, and executive leadership. Women are encouraged to consider construction as a rewarding career path with an abundance of opportunities.

To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal and our team, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Celebrating 95 Years in Business

This year marks Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal’s 95th year of business in Kansas City. When we were founded in 1927, a lot was happening in the world that would change the course of history:

  • Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo flight across the Atlantic
  • The film, The Jazz Singer opened, ending the era of silent movies
  • Work began on the Mount Rushmore Sculpture of Presidents 
  • Ford Motor Company unveiled the Model A

It appears Cornell is in good company with those who set out to make history and start something great in 1927! 

While much has changed over the years, the values that our company was founded upon remain the cornerstones of our success. Cornell’s dedication to operating with integrity, staying innovative, taking care of our people and our customers, and delivering top-quality commercial roofing projects was, is and will always be what sets us apart. 

We may be in our 95th year, but Cornell is not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, our team has recently expanded by over 250% and we are continuing to break records for growth. With solid leadership and our amazing professional staff and highly skilled crews, we are excited for all the future holds – and the next 95 years ahead for Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal.

To learn more about Cornell, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.