Investing in our future
From the editor
The MCAA, Skills USA, and many other organizations are digging in deep to assure the masonry industry will be stocked with skilled, talented mason contractors. I hear it from contractors over and over: There’s just not enough skilled labor out there to cover the jobs. Companies have identified lots of opportunities for work, but are having a hard time finding qualified hands to hold the trowels.
During various events at World of Concrete/World of Masonry – in combination with Masonry Madness Day – I saw evidence of an enthusiastic young crowd of masons – good masons. Precision and attention to detail were evident during the MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge competition.
As for the masons who have been around a little longer, they were able to showcase their skills and abilities during both the MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition (see MCAA Convention coverage in the March 2014 issue of Masonry), and the SpecMix BRICKLAYER 500 competition (see our April 2014 issue for more on this event).
On a very sad note, we lost one of our prized masons, Kris Belinte Chee, on Feb. 16, 2014. Kris graduated from the AMCA Apprenticeship Program in 2001 and, since that time, regularly volunteered his Saturdays to work with apprentices and assisted with various apprenticeship community service projects throughout the years. He was a regular competitor in masonry competitions, including the Arizona's Fastest Trowel on the Block competition and the SpecMix BRICKLAYER 500. Kris represented Arizona many times on the winners’ podium during the MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition, held during the World of Concrete/World of Masonry Convention, including:
- 2014 - 2nd Place
- 2012 - 3rd Place
- 2011 - 1st Place
- 2010 - 1st Place
- 2009 - 3rd Place
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author
Jennifer Morrell was the editor of Masonry magazine. She has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry as a writer and editor, covering such topics as real estate and construction, insurance, health care, relationships and sports. A graduate of The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazines and is an award-winning newspaper columnist.