GEN NXT: Maurice Stringer

Words: Isa Stein

Sponsored By:

Editor’s Note: MASONRY Magazine had the chance to talk with Maurice Stringer, 1st Year 3rd Place at the Masonry Skills Challenge this year. Maurice works hard and has a passion for the masonry industry. Thank you, Maurice, for taking the time to talk with us. 

Masonry Magazine: Tell me a bit about yourself.

Maurice Springer: My name is Maurice Stringer. I’m currently twenty-five years old, born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Tampa, Florida. I’ve been locked in the trade going on three years strong. I work for Wavecrest Masonry in Inverness, Florida. That’s two hours from home, but my passion for masonry overlooks that.

M.M.: How did you get into the masonry industry?

M.S.: My Father, Sidney Mcgarr, introduced me to the trade when I was 14. I didn’t want to do it after the first day of laboring, but I gave it another shot when I was twenty years old. Even after trying again for the second time, I still told him I didn’t want to do it after that first week. When I was 22, I decided to try it one last time, and ever since then, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.

M.M.: Have you competed in competitions before? If so, tell me about them.

M.S.: I used to play football in high school, but I never got much playing time. Everyone always told me I had potential, but I was just too lazy to put the work in and did not have enough support. Today I grind hard to make up for lost times. I gain strength from the masonry competitions I’ve participated in because I’m laying my best work in a timely manner. The more and more I critique my craft, the better I become.

M.M.: What was it like winning 3rd place at the 2023 Skills Challenge?

M.S.: I was honored to take third in the nation for my first year. My anxiety level was at an all-time high on that cold morning before I went in for my first scoop of mud. I wanted to win, and that was the only thing on my mind. I felt a release of stress after they called my name. It’s a good feeling knowing my hard work wasn’t going unnoticed. Now I have raised my expectations even higher.

M.M.: Do/Did you have a mentor or someone that has helped you in the industry? If so, how was that experience?

M.S.: My instructors Mr. Dennis Hall, & Brian Giddens, both played a big role in helping me prepare for the competition. All the practice they put me through really paid off, but my father is my biggest mentor. Every time I pick up a trowel, I think of him. When I’m laying brick, all I hear is him saying, “see son, level, plump straight edge.” I’ve learned most of my tricks from my father. He’s helped me with my appearance at work, my attitude, and my respect for masonry. I’m blessed to have him in my life; because of him, masonry saved me.

M.M.: What are your goals for the future?

M.S.: My long-term goal is to become a project manager or general contractor. I like what I do now, but in the near future, I would like to be on the other end as a project manager or general contractor. It takes time, but that’s all I have.

M.M.: What has been your favorite experience of the community and industry?

M.S.: The World of Concrete 2023 was the best experience I’ve had since I’ve been in the industry. The networking with all of the brand ambassadors was absolute. I would give that experience a 10/10 rating.

M.M: What is something or someone that keeps you motivated?

M.S.: My kids and my soon-to-be wife keep me motivated. I have a two-year-old and a 6-month-old baby. I see far beyond today's time when I think about them. I want nothing but the best for them, so I had to start preparing for it. When I'm 50 years old, one day, I know I'll be a very proud father.

M.M.: Do you work in the industry now? If so, what does your routine look like?

M.S.: I work for Wavecrest Masonry, as I’ve mentioned before, 5-6 days a week from 6:30 am to 3:30 pm. Most days are pretty fast because we come in and get straight to it. I’m thankful for Wavecrest; I’ve learned so much here just in the past few years. From masons to laborers to carpenters, I’ve got something to take with me for the rest of my journey doing masonry in hopes of learning more. Thank you, Wavecrest.

M.M.: What advice would you give to someone looking to join the masonry industry?

M.S.: I would advise anyone looking to join the masonry industry to stretch. Stretching is very key to laying your best work because you aren’t aching or cramping. I stretch every night that I possibly can. I would advise them to be a sponge and soak up all of the knowledge that they possibly can because they will need it at some point. I would advise them to also be as clean as they can be and start practicing as a laborer; cleanliness will help you on the way to laying clean work. And also, be precise in every stroke you make laying your unit because wasted moves are costly.  I would advise them to also be as clean as they can be, and start practicing as a laborer; cleanliness, and that will help you on the way to laying clean work. And also be precise in every stroke you make laying your unit because wasted moves are costly.

M.M.: Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

M.S.: First, I want to thank God. I would like to thank my family for supporting me. I’m thankful to have a family here that keeps me going. Without them, I wouldn’t have been in a stable enough mindset to compete. It was an honor being able to show my skills in Las Vegas, NV.

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