"What we all do is like riding a bicycle. We are moving forward or we're falling down."
President of Meredith's Publishing Group
The masonry industry has been a relatively unchanged tradition throughout the ages. From the Egyptian pyramids to the local, modern-day public school, the masonry trade has been as solid as the buildings themselves. While the heavy equipment and power tools may be new and improved every year, little has really changed in the industry itself. However, this year, the industry will realize momentous changes that will create a new, solid foundation for years to come.
First, the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) has announced a change in leadership. Jeff Buczkiewicz has accepted the position of executive director of the MCAA. Prior to accepting this position, he was executive vice president of the Building Stone Institute; prior to that, he was the marketing director for the MCAA. He is quite familiar with the masonry industry and its strengths, as well as the areas where it could improve. In speaking with him, he talks of changes for the better, and envisions an even stronger Association and a more unified industry.
Second, comprehensive immigration reform is a controversial, yet crucial, source for change in our industry. As I write this column, the Senate is heading back into session to try to seal a compromise on this very issue, knowing full well that if they don't succeed, the window of opportunity will most likely not come again until after the presidential election. Hopefully, lawmakers will be able to set aside partisan politics and agendas to do what's best for the country. Whatever the resolution, the masonry industry will need to remain flexible in moving with the outcome.
During the next six months, our industry will see other changes as well. I urge you to stay involved and help make these changes a positive step.
About the Author
Jennie Farnsworth is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and editor. She is a former editor of Masonry magazine.