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Making the Grade

Matthew Botts of Cherryville, N.C., is our Masonry Apprentice of the Month. Nominated by his employer, Masonry Unlimited, Botts finished first in the third-year category of the Masonry Contractors Association of America's International Masonry Skills Challenge.

Botts is serious about his career. "I graduated from high school on a Friday and started working full-time on Monday," Botts says. "No beach trips for me."

Botts spent three years in the masonry program at Burns High School in Lawndale, N.C., learning under 20-year instructor Danny Gantt. He's been employed another three years at Masonry Unlimited, where Supervisor Martin Browne says, "Matt is one of the best young masons to come through here. I've been in the business 27 years, so I've seen quite a few!"

Browne continues, "He's progressed really fast. We've pushed him along because of his natural ability, but he's eager, too. He's eager to learn leadership and management. My guess is he'll soon be a supervisor. Then, we'll see him in management and ultimately in ownership."

Obviously proud of this young man, Browne described him as "punctual and a self-starter who works every day."

The International Masonry Skills Challenge was held during MCAA's Masonry Showcase at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 23, 2004.



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