The North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association (NCMCA)’s most recent newsletter reflects several opportunities the industry has taken to engage with youth, spotlight the trade to young people and draw interest to the profession.
The Southeast Concrete Masonry Association (SCMA) hosted engineering and architectural students from the University of North Carolina Charlotte for “BlockFest” at the Adams/Oldcastle facility in Charlotte in early November. As part of the event, the students toured the CMU manufacturing plant and tried their hand at laying block.
SCMA was also present at Appalachian State University in October at an event that demonstrated masonry products and installation for students and instructors in the university’s Building Sciences and Architecture Technology & Design School. Students here had hands-on opportunities to lay block masonry and learned about the masonry industry at their lab in Boone.
Some 200 masonry students, instructors and school administrators participated in High School Masonry Day in November. Johnson Concrete Company and Carolina Stalite hosted the event at their Ben Ketchie Park in Gold Hill and provided tours of the Stalite lightweight aggregate manufacturing plant and demonstrations of masonry materials, accessories and equipment.
Masonry professionals from McGee Brothers Company and Gates Construction Company guided the students through the exhibits and answered questions about careers in masonry.
A keynote by Gary Embler, president-elect of the North Carolina Home Builders Association, was also part of the day’s activities.
63rd Annual North Carolina State Fair Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest
The contest, sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Commerce in October, featured four sets of brothers competing for top honors.
The champion in the competition was sixteen-year-old Zackery McGee, an apprentice with McGee Brothers Company in Monroe. His older brother Grayson, 18, also a McGee Brothers Company apprentice, finished second. Rounding out the top ten respectively were: Jamison and Patrick Huntley of Huntley Brothers Company; Haren and Kaleb McGee of McGee Brothers Company; Janson Huntley of Huntley Brothers Company; Ellis Baucom of McGee Brothers Company; and Jace and Rex Huntley of Huntley Brothers Company. Kyle McCune of Davie High School won the pre-apprentice division.