For The Record
Staying in the Loop
I think we all can safely say that the way we do our jobs is different today from the way we did them 10 years ago. Journalism, for instance, is vastly different.
Blogs that may or may not be factually correct are abundant, and social media have become the best ways to deliver a newsflash. While Twitter seems to be the right-hand man to every politician and celebrity out there, it’s no stranger to our industry, either. Masonry has hundreds of followers on Twitter, and we follow many of you as well. It’s a great way to get that “by the way” information that can lead to breaking news or provide an inside scoop.
I receive about one mailed press release per month now. News is emailed, Tweeted and posted onto various platforms. But that was not always the case. My first job out of journalism school was at a large publishing house in Atlanta. The company published more than 100 trade magazines. The day after a magazine went to press (that process also was much different!) was referred to by the editors as “mail day.” It was the day we spent eight hours sorting through, opening and filing a stack of 9- X 12-inch envelopes containing a press release, a hard copy image and – maybe – a 3.5-inch disc containing the same information. Since the work was mindless, it was a good way to transition from the issue that had just been Fed Ex’d, to the issue we were about to begin producing.
Today, of course, a magazine issue is sent to press by pressing “send.” Downtime is minimal, since technology has created a 24-7 work environment for journalists. It’s convenient, but never-ending. I get emails until midnight; whether I choose to respond is my challenge. When is one really ever “off” from work anymore?
To stay atop of the latest technological tools available to journalists and learn to incorporate those tools into my daily routine as a writer and editor, I recently attended a national conference in Chicago held by ASBPE (American Society of Business Publication Editors), of which I’ve been a board member for years. Not only is it healthy to share best practices with others in my field, but also spending a day or two focused on my trade recharges my enthusiasm for what I do.
I highly recommend that you continue your education in any way you can, and encourage your employees to do the same (and make it available to them). Investing in education for you and your employees is always a good thing. And, considering how fast the rules change around us every day, it’s more important than ever to stay abreast of how advancements affect you, and how you can use them to your advantage.
Aside from the actual laying of the bricks, blocks and stone, nothing will stay the same. Use education to bring you power.
In the “Making the Grade” story (August 2011), the instructor for the secondary/high school competition winner was identified as Christopher Nappi, who actually is the skills advisor. The instructor is Michael Kern, who has been the masonry instructor at Berks Career and Technology Center East in Oley, Pa., for 19 years. Masonry regrets the error.
- 35Companies and organizations of the masonry industry joined together to support the 51st annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference and the National Masonry Contest on June 25, 2015. After being held in Kansas City, Missouri for decades, the SkillsUSA Conference has returned to the Bluegrass state where it will…
- 33October 2015 Technology Advances of Robotics in Masonry By Scott Peters Robotics and automation have gone through a few periods of rapid growth and expansion. We are in one of those periods now. There are many different types of robots out there, everything from industrial robots, such as those used…
- 32August 2015 Workforce Development By Amy Saxton According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the masonry industry will need 35 percent more masons by 2022, which is 5 percent more than what was predicted in 2012. Numbers like these show the industry’s workforce shortages only continue to…
- 32For the sixth consecutive year, NCCER is sponsoring the SkillsUSA Carpentry Competition at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held June 22-26 in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, NCCER is sponsoring the SkillsUSA Masonry Competition for the third consecutive year. More than 15,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners…