MCAA moves ahead on workforce development
MCAA moving forward with several workforce initiatives
The Mason Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA) Workforce Development Committee is rejuvenated, re-energized, and working to make a positive impact on our industry. This January Moroni Mejia, lead instructor for the Arizona Mason Contractors Apprenticeship program and Project Manager for Rhino Masonry, Inc., accepted an opportunity to chair the committee and is committed to making a difference, “Raising the level of professionalism of our workforce is critical to our industry’s success and something I am very passionate about.” His passion is shared by many others and support and participation with the committee has been strong from the start. Prominent members of the National Concrete Masonry Association, the MCAA Executive Board, the Masonry Association of Florida, and the SPEC MIX team are among those that have pledged to contribute.
The committee quickly identified and prioritized its objectives and is moving forward with several initiatives. The introduction of a national mason tender training and certification program is at the top of the list. Contractors and trade associations from Florida and Tennessee, among other organizations, have already eagerly shared their programs as building blocks for MCAA’s curriculum. The committee is working towards adapting, expanding, and distributing the program to its members through a nationwide network of education providers.
As a means to expand, unite and communicate information to masonry enthusiasts, developing MCAA membership categories for individuals and student levels is another area of focus. The skilled craftsmen and relentless mason tenders that power the industry deserve the opportunity to be personally involved in our initiatives. By offering individual memberships, the committee hopes to promote a sense of belonging and pride within the workforce while providing a platform for members to participate in MCAA initiatives.
Attracting young people to explore masonry careers and replenish the workforce is also a high priority. The current strategy is to establish a High School Recruitment Task Force subcommittee within the Committee to develop a complete set of cost effective marketing materials and plan that utilizes social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube that young adults use daily. The inherent value of digital-based promotional tools is they can be cross marketed by numerous masonry industry manufacturers, distributers, contractors, training institutions and associations across the U.S.
These different groups identified have already begun to pull together for joint Workforce Development meetings and initiatives. On August 30, 2011 the MCAA held the first nationwide Workforce Development Forum online. All MCAA, NCMA, BIA, and NMIA members were invited to participate in this open discussion.
Vision 2020 continues to gain traction across the country and its success is poised to increase the use of masonry significantly. As this growth occurs, one thing above all must be recognized: the quality of our workforce will make or break the masonry community. The individuals swinging the trowels and placing the finishing touches on our product are the cornerstone of our industry.
Your voice and participation are needed for workforce initiatives to succeed. Let your voice be heard to support the mission: KEEP THE TRADE STRONG.
About the Author
Jeff Farmakes is the Marketing Communications Manager for SPEC MIX®, Inc.