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From the Editor

The New Year is in full swing, the construction shows are on a roll, and I'm ready to make 2006 a monumental year.

Given the questionable economy, many people have their heads stuck in the sand, waiting out the possibilities. I've heard experts say time and time again that the best time to make a well-planned advancement is when others are holding back. And Masonry is taking that to heart, with this being the first of many issues where we will increase our efforts to bring the best of the best for those in the industry.

First, we have brought back the ever-popular "Contractor-to-Contractor" series, which features a different mason contractor from across the nation (see page 10). Kate Parrott, Masonry's new assistant editor, has made it a mission to include one "Contractor-to-Contractor" article in every issue, so don't be surprised if she calls you sometime soon.

Second, after a short holiday hiatus, the equally popular "Legal Issues" column has also returned (see page 40). During the break, Tim Hughes of Hughes & Associates, PLLC, celebrated the birth of his son, Thomas Raymond Hughes, born on Oct. 11, 2005. While Tim continues to spend some time with his family, Brad Hansen, also of Hughes & Associates, joins us for an informative piece on mechanic's liens.

Gerald A. Dalrymple, P.E., a principle at Whitlock Dalrymple Poston & Associates Inc., shares some expert technology insight on surface-penetrating radar and infrared thermography testing methods (see page 30). This article is a precursor to Dalrymple's seminars at the Mason Contractor Association of America's (MCAA) Masonry Showcase in March. This article is also foreshadowing an increase of similar articles in Masonry that will keep you and your business on the leading edge of technology.

Finally, Melissa Polivka, MCAA's director of Workforce Development and director of Membership, joins us for a thorough report on masonry training from various schools across the United States (see page 16). It's amazing to see the projects that these students are producing. Just imagine what we could accomplish if we got more "Check Out a Career in Masonry" kits to schools, more programs initiated like the ones featured, and more students learning masonry skills. Not to be dramatic, but if you want your business to continue in the next 10 years, you need to get involved in training the workforce that will help carry your business into the future.

Speaking of which, not only are masonry students important, but quality, well-built schools are equally essential. And now is the perfect time to get involved in School Building Week, sponsored by CEFPI Foundation & Charitable Trust, held April 17-21.

School Building Week is the opportunity to draw national attention to the importance of well planned, high performing, healthy schools that foster student achievement and well being, and provide centers for the community. Various programs, lectures and seminars are held throughout the week, with certain days focusing on a particular topic, such as "Historic Schools Day," and parents, professionals and other community volunteers assist schools in providing learning opportunities for students and citizens. Some of the schools even have a mentoring program and student design competition.

For more information on School Building Week, visit http://sbw.cefpifoundation.org, or call CEFPI at (480) 391-0840.



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