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August 2014: From the Editor

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From the Editor

Footsteps to the Future

Jennifer Morrell

This issue of Masonry examines efforts to develop our masonry workforce. I have had this conversation repeatedly with mason contractors around the country. It’s a common theme: We don’t have enough skilled labor. The time to rebuild our workforce is now, and the MCAA is making strides in a progressive initiative to do just that (see “A Masonry Workforce for Tomorrow,” p. 32).

This issue also covers SkillsUSA winners (p. 14). Our own MCAA chairman, Mark Kemp, was a keynote speaker at this fantastic event that showcases the skills and hard work of our young and future masons.

And now, more good news: I received a note from Beverley McCauley who, with her husband, Don, owns and operates Hunt Country Masonry Inc. in Leesburg, Va.

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Shown is Tyler McCauley as a Colonial “brick maker” during Colonial Days at his school in Virginia.

Beverly asked her local rep, Lynne Dewitt from LC Smith, if she could provide samples of handmade bricks from Old Carolina for her son’s school project about Colonial Days. Nine-year-old Tyler decided he wanted his Colonial occupation to be a brick maker.

Don worked with Tyler for a while, showing him the technique of building with bricks. Tyler made a brick planter, all by himself. He also made a display to share with his class showing the different way that bricks were made in the Colonial Days.

Tyler explained to his classmates how bricks stand the test of time and are truly the most green, reusable, long-lasting, valuable, and cost-efficient material, and how masonry truly is a craftsmanship trade.

“He had a speech and demonstration, and he really did an amazing job,” Beverly said. “We were so proud that he wants to follow in his Dad’s footsteps in masonry at the age of 9.”

I am happy to know we have a mason in the making, who will have excellent instruction at the hands of the McCauleys and Hunt Country Masonry. Every skilled mason counts.

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