GAF and Acclaimed Actor Anthony Mackie Reach Goal of Repairing Roofs of 500 Homes in Gulf Region Previously Devastated by Natural Disasters
Extreme weather patterns continue to plague communities across the country. In 2022, it’s estimated that more than 1 million Americans were forced from their homes for more than a month due to severe weather. And, according to NOAA, 2023 is already setting records for the most billion-dollar disasters in the first seven months of any year since 1980. The road to rebuilding is a long and expensive one, which is often left incomplete, leaving families and communities overburdened and vulnerable to future weather events. As the intensity and frequency of severe weather increases, it is critical that communities have the support and expertise needed to prepare for and respond when disaster strikes.
In addition to delivering on the roof repairs commitment, GAF is training members of the community in essential roofing skills through the GAF Roofing Academy. The program is a pipeline for skilled labor currently in high demand and helps train a workforce to support future rebuilding efforts in communities hit by severe weather. Mackie joined the GAF Roofing Academy training in New Orleans, which consisted of both classroom and hands-on instruction.
“Born and raised in New Orleans, where I still live today, I know first-hand the devastating impact storm damage can have on families. The work that GAF has done here in the Gulf Region and across the country is helping make our community more resilient to severe weather in the future,” said Mackie. “As the son of a roofer, there is a sense of pride that comes with repairing a neighbor’s home. Helping to train people from this area in the roofing skills they need to not only earn a meaningful living, but to also help their neighbors when the next storm hits—that means everything to me.”
As part of the training in New Orleans, GAF Roofing Academy students put their new skills to work volunteering alongside Mackie and GAF team members to replace the roof of long-time resident Joe Capers, a U.S. Air Force veteran who has lived in New Orleans since the 1950s. Mr. Capers worked as an avionic mechanic and helped build the Saturn V, the first launch vehicle that carried humans to the moon. In 2005, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, he was displaced for three years before he could return to his home. After Hurricane Ida struck in 2021, Mr. Capers’ house was damaged again due to wind and has been in need of repairs.
This latest effort is part of GAF’s $25 million commitment to help create more resilient communities across the country in partnership with national and local non-profit organizations, including Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity, Team Rubicon, Good360 and St. Bernard Project (SBP). GAF Community Matters first launched in 2020 and to date has helped repair roofs on over 3,500 homes.
“Completing 500 roofs in the Gulf Region is a milestone for GAF Community Matters. More importantly, this commitment has made a meaningful impact on hundreds of families, allowing them to return to their homes,” said John Altmeyer, CEO of GAF. “Through the partnership with Anthony, we have been able to raise awareness of the needs of these impacted communities, and by applying our expertise, products, resources and partnerships we have been able to provide support and training to help communities across the country build the resilience they need to weather future storms.”
About GAF Roofing Academy
The GAF Roofing Academy is a free training program developed to help individuals, especially those in underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, build the necessary skills for an entry-level position in roofing. The program combines in-classroom and hands-on training to teach participants skills on all types of roofing without the need for prior formal education or experience. After the program, graduates are given access to job opportunities from GAF’s national network of more than 10,000 independent, certified contractors seeking talent.
About GAF Community Matters
GAF launched GAF Community Matters in 2020 to deliver on its promise to “protect what matters most” and make a real impact in the communities where the company operates. At the core of GAF Community Matters is the belief that resilience is the foundation of thriving, sustainable communities of the future. GAF leverages our expertise, resources, and products in support of the fundamental needs of resilient communities: Shelter, Families, and Workforces. The GAF Community Matters initiative has made a significant impact since its inception, helping to repair roofs of thousands of homes, training and educating hundreds of students exploring a career in roofing or manufacturing, providing support and resources for those who protect our communities, supporting local non-profit partners to provide critical resources and tools to prepare communities for when disasters strike, and leading initiatives designed to bring people together in shared spaces that help enhance economic and social health.
To learn more about GAF Roofing Academy and GAF Community Matters visit www.GAF.com/CommunityMatters.
GAF, a Standard Industries company, is the leading roofing and waterproofing manufacturer in North America. For more than 135 years, GAF has been trusted to protect what matters most for families, communities and business owners with its innovative solutions and focus on customer service. GAF's leadership extends to its commitment to making a positive impact on its communities, industry, and planet. Learn more at www.GAF.ca