August 2013: From the Editor


From the Editor

Facing the Future

Jennifer Morrell

I remember those dreary reports, week after week, of tumbling construction employment numbers. For several years, the statistics grew increasingly dismal.

Now that our industry finally is seeing growth, we are faced with a construction workforce that may not be able to answer the call for workers. How do we build our depleted workforce? We continue to educate the workers we have, but more important, we attract young, vibrant workers to our craft of masonry. Skilled labor currently is in shortage.

So, it’s no surprise that the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) is working swiftly and diligently to address the problem. The MCAA has several efforts in the works. In the article “Rebuilding Our Future,” written by MCAA President Jeff Buczkiewicz (p. 28), you’ll read about the MCAA’s initiatives and plans to help bolster our crippled workforce. It truly will take a nation to rebuild a quality masonry workforce.

Jeff also updates us on the many ways the MCAA continues for work for you in the article “MCAA Key Accomplisments” (p. 14). There, you can learn the statuses of the MCAA’s many efforts to build and protect our industry.

Other can’t-miss articles in this issue include expert insight to the manufactured stone industry (see “Manufactured Stone: Industry Snapshot,” p. 16), and an overview of the mast climbing work platform industry as it mobilizes (see “An Industry on the Move,” p. 22).

Good Reading

Trilogy Publications just launched a new book “Those Amazing Builders,” to interest middle and high school students in careers in construction, just in time for the construction hiring boom.

The book comes at a time when the construction industry is on an upswing. More than 2 million jobs were lost between 2007 and 2011 during the economic downturn – a period during which hundreds of thousands of laid-off construction workers left the field or retired. Add to that the fact that Baby Boomers are retiring, and fewer high school graduates are entering the field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the next decade will see a dramatic uptrend in construction industry employment. Jobs for industry professionals such as architects, construction managers, engineers, and construction laborers are expected to show double digit increases between 2010 and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, with some segments of the industry expected to increase by as much as 24 percent during that timeframe.

The launch event happened June 26 and kicked off a campaign in the New York metropolitan area and nationally to get the book into schools for use by teachers and guidance counselors. School districts, guidance counselors and teachers nationwide can order free copies of “Those Amazing Builders” for their students by visiting

Skanska USA was a sponsor of the book at the highest Diamond level, supported by Ingersoll Rand at the Platinum level, RailWorks and Willis Group at the Gold level, and the General Contractors Association of New York, HOK, and the New York Building Congress all at the Silver level.

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