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July 2007

Workforce Development


Side Story:
MCAA Heeds the Call

Recruitment and promotion has long been a vital task of the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA). As the only national association representing all of the industry's mason contractors, the MCAA has focused much of its attention on the development of programs that will build the availability of a strong labor force.

Check Out a Career in Masonry
In April 2003, MCAA launched the national "Check Out a Career in Masonry" High School Recruitment Campaign by contacting the more than 17,000 high schools. The Association offered a free career kit containing a video, brochures, posters, worksheets and other information to any interested school, and the response was overwhelming. MCAA now has schools from every state asking for information about masonry for their career libraries and guidance offices.

Taking this program a step further, every quarter, more than 1,200 high school guidance counselors and educators receive the "Masonry Careers" newsletter. This quarterly communication serves to keep our industry in their minds as an option for their students' career paths. The newsletters often address the opportunities for the schools to participate in career days and establishing vo-tech programs locally. Most importantly, the newsletters further inform them of the benefits that masonry careers provide, and suggest that they and their students visit the MCAA website for more information.

The career day effort of the Workforce Development committee is one of the Association's most successful ventures MCAA received more than 90 requests for career days.

Masonry Training Series in Spanish
In August 2006, MCAA announced the release of the MCAA's Masonry Training Series Volume 2 translated in Spanish.

MCAA's Training Series is the industry-leading resource for training apprentices, and contractors and instructors who appreciate quality apprentice education use it nationwide.

To respond to the needs of contractors from across the country, the MCAA enlisted the help of its affiliates and members in Arizona and California to construct this new version. This translation will open the doors for many future masons to further their education.

Skills Contests
The ever-popular MCAA Masonry Skills Challenge and Fastest Trowel on the Block provide excellent opportunities for apprentices and journeymen to show off their talents and aim for the next level.

The MCAA International 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 across the United States to determine the top masonry apprentice at each level. This exciting competition spotlights the masonry industry's finest young masons and focuses attention on careers in the masonry industry.

The MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, sponsored by The QUIKRETE Companies, is a showcase of industry craftsmanship and a testament of both the speed and skill of our industry's workforce. Only those masons who have the skill, confidence and courage to face-off with the industry's best are invited to compete. This is a contest that also proves how important teamwork is in accomplishing a final product.

SkillsUSA
As a full, voting member of the national SkillsUSA Masonry Technical Committee, the MCAA also lends its support and participates in this national contest.

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving more than 250,000 high school and college students enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled and service occupations. The organization's training programs prepare America's high-performance workers through quality education experiences in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development.

SkillsUSA programs include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. During the annual, national-level SkillsUSA Championships, more than 4,600 students compete in 80 occupational and leadership skill areas. SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the classroom.

The Association works annually to help coordinate the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City each June with other industry partners.






 
 

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