MCAA Regional Report, Region B
Presented at the 2018 MCAA Convention
By Gary Joyner
Alabama - Roy Swindal
Florida - Danielle Larson
Georgia - Brooke Steele
Kentucky - Joe Correll
Mississippi - No State Chair
North Carolina - Calvin Brodie
South Carolina - No State Chair
Tennessee - Brian Proctor
Virginia - Melvin Hinton
Workforce Development ActivitiesThe major workforce development emphasis in North Carolina continues to be high school masonry classes. Presently, there are about 95 high schools offering masonry instruction in the state. There is a correlation between the most effective school programs and the involvement of local masonry contractors. Pushing for this sort of involvement has been a recent priority. NCMCA continues to be a major partner in apprentice and student masonry competitions across the state. The competitions have proven to be an effective means to keep interest in masonry at high levels. The North Carolina State SkillsUSA Masonry competition produced the 2017 National SkillsUSA Masonry Champion, Kelby Thornton, who won the national title two years in a row. In the fall, NCMCA and the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association partnered with Ryan Shaver and Johnson Concrete Products Company for the second annual Masonry Education Day at Gold Hill, North Carolina. More than 400 students from nineteen high schools across the state spent a day exploring masonry careers with hands-on installation demonstrations and equipment demonstrations. The students enjoyed hotdogs and watching the Carolina Qualifier competition for the MCAA “Fastest Trowel on the Block.” NCMCA is presently exploring several ideas for more effective recruitment of young people (and their parents) to the masonry industry. Stay tuned.
Economic Conditions/ForecastsMost all regions of the state are doing well. Masonry contractors are almost all very busy but there remains loss of market share to competing building systems, most notably, multi-story wood framing.
Masonry Marketing ActivitiesThe Carolina masonry industry made a concerted effort to draw attention to the catastrophic fires that destroyed multi-story word frame projects under construction around the country, in particular, a large apartment complex project in North Carolina’s capitol city, Raleigh. However limited resources kept the effort from gaining significant traction. NCMCA and its member firms have been major donors to the Masonry Foundation, recognizing that resources must be pooled, and in a significant way, if we are to maintain and develop market share. In 2016, NCMCA created a committee to study rebranding for the Association. In the fall of 2017, a new Association logo was adopted. The committee says the new logo gives the Association a fresh new look and will appeal to the younger generation which the association and the industry need to recruit. NCMCA Central Regional Vice President Brandon Hartsell makes it his mission to keep NCMCA and the Carolinas masonry industry at the forefront of social media, making multiple posts most days.
Competitor/TrendsMasonry remains strong in the Carolinas and is generally perceived to be the building system of choice. But as in other parts of the country, competitive systems are dedicating large amounts of money and resources in promoting their products with much success. Steps have been taken to counter the assaults but masonry is still outgunned on every front.
About the Author
Gary Joyner is the President of Joyner Masonry Works, Inc. in Greenville, N.C. He has served as the Region B Vice President for the Mason Contractors Association of America.