By Karen D. Hickey

Spectators walk into the Masonry Madness area of the Gold Lot to watch the 2016 competitions.

Spectators walk into the Masonry Madness area of the Gold Lot to watch the 2015016 competitions.

The 2017 World of Concrete (WOC)/World of Masonry exposition will be held Jan. 16–20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This annual international event, dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries, will feature indoor and outdoor exhibits, an extensive education program, and exciting competitions like MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block. It’s a can’t-miss event for every masonry professional.

As in past years, the 2017 MCAA Annual Convention will be held jointly with WOC.

At the 2016 World of Masonry, Franklin Wagner demonstrated a saw from IQ Power Tools that collects nearly 100% of the dust while it cuts.

At the 2016 World of Masonry, Franklin Wagner demonstrated a saw from IQ Power Tools that collects nearly 100% of the dust while it cuts.

Here’s what’s in store if you attend:

World of Masonry

World of Masonry will showcase more than 40,000 square feet of technology, tools and equipment pertaining to masonry. New for 2017 will be a Concrete Masonry Area in the North Hall. This area will feature everything for producers of concrete masonry, including admixtures, pigments, and equipment and supplies. The World of Masonry exhibit will start on Tuesday, Jan. 17 and continue through Friday morning, Jan. 20.

Topgolf Night

Join MCAA for a fun evening at Topgolf Las Vegas at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on Monday, Jan. 16. Topgolf is a golf entertainment complex where players hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while also awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield.

All proceeds from this event will help support MAC PEC (the MCAA political education fund) and MCAA political issues.

Don’t miss this new and fun event!

Bill Lula of Masonry Estimating Service taught the Advanced Masonry Estimating Class during WOC 2016.

Bill Lula of Masonry Estimating Service taught the Advanced Masonry Estimating Class during WOC 2016.

Educational Courses

WOC offers dozens of educational courses, as well as certification examinations, hands-on training and interactive train-the-trainer workshops.

MCAA will host two special courses, the Masonry Foreman Development Course on Jan. 16–17 and the Silica Train-the-Trainer Course on Jan. 17. OSHA rolled out the new silica rule in 2016, and one of the components of the rule is to have a competent person on each jobsite by June 23, 2017. Attendees of the Silica Train-the-Trainer Course will learn not only how to create the required written program for the new silica rule, but also the essentials to pass along to the foremen who will be the competent people on jobsites.

Other seminars for which MCAA members can receive special pricing include a Masonry Wall Bracing Seminar and a Storm Shelter Program. The Storm Shelter Program was created partially in response to the new code requiring schools to have storm shelters. This program is broken down into five different courses: Introduction and Background, Anchoring Dowels, Connections, Quality Control and Assurance, and Reinforcing and Grouting. Classes can be taken as a series or individually. Upon completion of all five courses, the participant will earn a Credentialed Storm Shelter Installer (CSSI) credential.

In addition, The Masonry Society will present its popular Special Inspection of Structural Masonry Construction course on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Attendees will learn code inspection requirements, proper placement of materials, mortar and grout, how to determine the compressive strength of masonry and appropriate severe weather procedures. This course is excellent preparation for the ICC/TMS Structural Masonry Special Inspectors Certification Examination.

Visit www.worldofconcrete.com and www.masoncontractors.org for more details or to register for these educational events.

MCAA Committee Meetings

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the MCAA Committee chairs will meet to present a brief overview of accomplishments from the past year and goals for the upcoming year. Members of the MCAA are encouraged to attend as many committee meetings as they would like. The MCAA will also host a Union Committee meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19 for all MCAA members who are signatory to union contracts.

South of 40

MCAA’s South of 40 Committee will offer a fun event for its membership on Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Señor Frog’s Las Vegas. Look for new entertainment at this year’s event. Appetizers and drinks will be served throughout the evening.

Matt Cash of Huntley Brothers Co. won the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Carolinas regional qualifier. Along with his tender/coach Chet Huntley, he will be making a return trip to Las Vegas in January.

Matt Cash of Huntley Brothers Co. won the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Carolinas regional qualifier. Along with his tender/coach Chet Huntley, he will be making a return trip to Las Vegas in January.

MCAA Annual Meeting

The MCAA will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19. The meeting is structured to allow interaction and participation from members. Members of the MCAA are asked to attend and take an active role in shaping the future of the association and the masonry industry. An update on activity of The Masonry Foundation will be given as well.

MASONRY MADNESS™

The MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge, the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block and the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® will once again take place on Wednesday during MASONRY MADNESS™.

Ranked as a top attraction during the World of Concrete/World of Masonry tradeshow, this “trowel and mortar party” takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Gold Lot. Spectators and webcast viewers will witness an amazing display of human skill and endurance as more than 75 masonry warriors fight for the champion title in their respective competitions.

Darian Douthit, who won the title of SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN® in 2016, will return to World of Concrete in 2017 to compete against the regional winners.

Darian Douthit, who won the title of SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN® in 2016, will return to World of Concrete in 2017 to compete against the regional winners.

The Masonry Skills Challenge is an annual competition of masonry apprentices in their first, second and third years in which their building skills are tested after seeing drawings just moments beforehand. In 2016, contestants had only three hours to complete the project with the given materials. To find out more about the competition and the prizes, visit www.masonryskillschallenge.com.

The annual MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition pits journeyman masons, accompanied by their favorite tender, against one another in a show of speed. They have 20 minutes to complete as much of a 30-foot-long wall as possible with the most accuracy. More information is available at www.fastesttrowel.com.

Prior to the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® competition, each team’s tender proves who is the fastest in the Toughest Tender contest. The world’s top mason tenders compete for the fastest time setting up their SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® workstation. They haul tons of brick, block, equipment and materials to beat their peers and take home $2,500 in cash and prizes.

Finally, the nation’s best bricklayer is crowned each year during the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® competition at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas. Each team consists of a mason and mason tender building a 26-foot, 8-inch, double-wythe brick wall. The most bricks laid in one hour and counted under the quality rules wins the event.

The 22 regional winners from this past summer and fall will compete against the returning 2016 World Champion, Scott Tuttle of Utah, and SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN®, Darian Douthit of Oklahoma.

More than $100,000 in cash and prizes will be given away, but the champion will be awarded the title “World’s Best Bricklayer” and handed the keys to drive home in the grand prize, a new Ford F-250 4×4 SuperDuty Truck.

For more information on the competition, the prizes and the sponsors, visit www.specmixbricklayer500.com.

At World of Concrete 2017, new faces will join these 2016 Masonry Hall of Fame inductees (left to right): Robert V. “Buddie” Barnes Jr., J. Gregg Borchelt, Richard Matthews, Harry E. McGraw, Ryan M. O’Brien and John J. Smith Sr.

At World of Concrete 2017, new faces will join these 2016 Masonry Hall of Fame inductees (left to right): Robert V. “Buddie” Barnes Jr., J. Gregg Borchelt, Richard Matthews, Harry E. McGraw, Ryan M. O’Brien and John J. Smith Sr.

Closing Dinner

The MCAA Convention will close with a dinner on Thursday, Jan. 19 at Fogo de Chão, Las Vegas, where the newest members of the Masonry Hall of Fame will be inducted. The Masonry Hall of Fame was created by the MCAA to recognize and award those individuals who have dedicated their lives to the masonry industry. This night of fellowship with fellow mason contractors is truly memorable.

Registration

Registration for WOC/World of Masonry and the MCAA Annual Convention is available online at www.masoncontractors.org/convention. Register today!

Combine all of the above with four days of business-boosting benefits and opportunities to connect with the industry’s top pros and visionaries, and you’ll see why World of Concrete is the masonry industry’s flagship event. See you there!