Apprentices’ Skills On Display During MASONRY MADNESS
First, second and third year apprentices competed in the 2017 MCAA Masonry Skills Challenge
By Tim O’Toole
The eighteenth annual Masonry Skills Challenge, held January 18, 2017 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas, showed off the best apprentices our industry has to offer.
The Masonry Skills Challenge is a competition of masonry apprentices in first, second and third year skill levels. The contest is a showcase for skills training in the masonry industry, challenging winning apprentices from regional U.S. and foreign competitions to determine the top masonry apprentice at each level. This exciting competition spotlights our industry’s finest young masons and focuses attention on careers in the masonry industry.
Each contestant was presented with a project drawing appropriate to their skill level just moments before the competition began. Contestants only had three hours to construct the project based on the materials provided. The final projects looked great; the apprentices should be very proud of their three hours of hard work. The judges were impressed with the quality of the apprentices’ construction, and had the tough decision of choosing the winners.
The top-placing contestants for each skill level were:
First Year Apprentices
First PlaceJoseph Blanton
Second PlaceVictor Walls
Third PlaceRamon Vargas
G & G Enterprises
Second Year Apprentices
First PlaceLuis Marquez
Huntley Brothers Co. Inc.
Mint Hill, N.C.
Second PlaceAustin McEwen
Adams Masonry, Inc.
Third PlaceTravis Buda
Leidal & Hart Mason Contractors, Inc.
Third Year Apprentices
First PlaceDavid McWilliams
Second PlaceChris Dubief
R & R Masonry, Inc.
North Hollywood, Calif.
Third PlaceBen Grzegorczyk
Whitmore Lake, Mich.
All winners received trophies, cash prizes, Marshalltown Company tool bags, and concrete calculators from Calculated Industries. First place winners also received engraved trowels from Marshalltown Company. All contestants received a level from competition sponsor Stabila, a GROUT GRUNT masonry scoop, a safety kit from Beeline Purchasing, and additional prizes.
The Mason Contractors Association of America would like to thank the judges from across the country for donating their time and expertise:
- Curtis Hoover, Anne Arundle County Public Schools; Stevensville, Md.
- Tony Bishop, Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation; Brendale, Qld., Australia
- Calvin Brodie, Brodie Contractors, Inc.; Raleigh, N.C.
- James Brylowski, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2 Michigan; Otsego, Mich.
- David Eastham, Lurvey Supply; Volo, Ill.
- Michael Ellsworth, Schiffer Mason Contractors; Holt, Mich.
- Dan Flores, BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship; Granger, Ind.
- Brandon Hartsell, Gates Construction Company, Inc.; Mooresville, N.C.
- James "Hoss" Hoskinson , Lang Masonry & Restoration Contractors; Waterford, Ohio
- John Jacob, J. Construction Co. Inc.; Cleves, Ohio
- Eugene Johnson, Lake Marion High School/Technology Center; Santee, S.C.
- Dan Kwiatkowski, Kwiatkowski Masonry, Inc.; Crown Point, Ind.
- David Leon, Masonry Consultants; Naples, Fla.
- David Malone, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 MN ND; New Hope, Minn.
- Joseph Romesburg, Bon Tool Co.; Gibsonia, Pa.
- Richard Skaife, JH Findorff, MATC, BPA; Windsor, Wisc.
- Brian Smith, John J. Smith Masonry Co.; St. Louis, Mo.
- David Unger, Dee Brown, Inc.; Garland, Texas
- Tom Vacala, Restore Masonry, LLC; Des Plaines, Ill.
- Milton Young; Eutaw, Ala.
- International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)
- International Masonry Institute (IMI)
- Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)
- AZ Best Block
- The Belden Brick Company
- GATORBACK, Inc.
- SPEC MIX, Inc.
- Beeline Purchasing
- Calculated Industries, Inc.
- EZ Twig
- GROUT GRUNT
- Marshalltown Company
- SPEC MIX, Inc.
MCAA Strategic Partners
- EZG Manufacturing
- Federated Insurance
- Fraco Products, Ltd.
- Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
- Hydro Mobile
- iQ Power Tools
- Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
- Mortar Net Solutions
- Non-Stop Scaffolding
- Pullman Ermator
- SPEC MIX, Inc.
- Trademen’s Software, Inc.
About the MCAA’s Masonry Skills ChallengeThe Masonry Skills Challenge is hosted annually by the MCAA as part of MASONRY MADNESS® during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas. This exciting competition highlights our industry’s finest young masons and focuses attention on careers in the masonry industry.
The 2018 MCAA Masonry Skills Challenge will be held Wednesday, January 24, 2018 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas.
For more information about the competition, please visit www.masonryskillschallenge.com.
About the Author
Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing for the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA). He has a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and has worked in the masonry industry since 2003.