In July, as part of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's (N.C. DPI) Annual Conference for Trade and Industrial Education, the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association (NCMCA) hosted the state's high school masonry instructors for an afternoon of hamburgers, hotdogs and homemade ice cream. Some 35 instructors joined NCMCA, the Brick Association of the Carolinas and the Carolinas Concrete Masonry Association at McGee Brothers Company facility at Pleasant Garden, N.C., just south of Greensboro.
The highlight of the afternoon was a presentation by five NCMCA mason contractors updating the instructors on the state of the industry and what the future holds for young people who choose masonry as a career. Contractors addressing the meeting were Red McAdams of McAdams Masonry in Elon, Calvin Brodie of Brodie Contractors in Raleigh, Ashlee Moore of Koontz Masonry in Lexington, and Kent Huntly and Sam McGee of McGee Brothers Company. Presenters were selected to represent the different types of masonry contractors (i.e. "commercial" versus "residential," and "large" versus "small").
In the discussion that followed the contractors' presentation, it was suggested that contractors and industry spend more time visiting high school masonry classes. Instructors asked NCMCA to develop a video featuring mason contractors explaining what qualities they seek in prospective employees and how they think young people can be more successful in job interviews with prospective employers. NCMCA is presently investigating that possibility.
The N.C. DPI Trade and Industrial Education Conference brings vocational instructors together each year for a week of continuing education and interaction with industry representatives.
In upcoming news, the NCMCA will hold its 12th Annual State Golf Tournament on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004, in Graham, N.C. More than 100 NCMCA members and guests are expected to participate in the "modified best ball" tournament, as the Kelly Carver Masonry Team defends its two-year claim on the NCMCA Golf Championship. This year's tournament will be played at the site of the 2001 and 2002 tournaments, "The Challenge at Hide-A-Way Farms," a course designed to test the best of masonry's golfers and confound the hackers.
Golf Chairman Bill Reed of Arrow Equipment Company is seeking tournament sponsors and teams. Sponsor fees start at $100 for a "Hole Sponsorship" and registration costs $100 per golfer. A Lull forklift is expected to be offered as a "hole-in-one" prize.
Proceeds from the tournament fund the NCMCA Sigmon Memorial Scholarship Fund for architectural students at the North Carolina State University College of Design. Students earn the scholarship money by competing in an annual masonry design competition as part of a required construction systems and materials class at N.C. State.
At the conclusion of play, participants will enjoy a barbecue chicken dinner courtesy of Danny Batten and the Lafarge North America mobile kitchen. For information, call the NCMCA state office at (828) 324-1564.
NOTE: NCMCA would love to host teams from other state masonry associations, perhaps as an ongoing annual challenge!
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.