The Fechino Files: Looking For Entries

Words: Steven Fechino

Steven Fechino

Summer has just begun, and the workload is ready to go.   As you work with all the young talent in your work force, please consider your most trainable employees for the Masonry Apprentice Scholarship.  

This year Mortar Net Solutions will be giving 36 Masonry scholarships and 4 stucco scholarships to individuals that have at least one year of training remaining prior to topping out.  We offer the scholarship as a tool for the apprentice to use as they complete their training.  The scholarship will be awarded in Myrtle Beach in Early November with the entry closing date of August 31, 2022.

The scholarship is in its fourth year, beginning in 2019 with 4 awards, then in 2020 we bumped it up to 20 awards.  In 2021 we offered 30 awards with 40 awards in 2022.  The awards have been given across the United States from Washing State to Florida, Arizona to Massachusetts with many states in between.  This year we open the awards to Mexico and Canada for students enrolled in a certified training program. 

Mortar Net Solutions has a page dedicated to the scholarships on their website, https://mortarnet.com/mason-apprentice-scholarship/ .  On this page you will find the application and a few tabs that will allow you to see several photographs of previous winners as well as the spread of gifts that are provided and donated for the tool bag award.

Mortar Net Solutions is the host for this program; however, we cannot do it alone.  We have some fantastic industry partners:

  • Keene Building Products
  • Kapro
  • Bon Tools
  • TrueFast Walls
  • Prosoco
  • Arizona Masonry Council
  • Advanced Building Products
  • Hollmann& Barnard
  • Jag Clamps
  • US Tape
  • Risinger Builds
  • Knipex Tools

Mortar Net Solutions and all of our sponsors donate items to fill the tool bag with tools and items that the apprentice will use over the course of their career.  

As the current workforce becomes as old as me, yikes, we all know the value of training the younger generations to fill our spots.  Realistically, to earn enough income to make ends meet while you are learning and training to become a mason is difficult at best.  This Masonry Apprentice Scholarship is designed to give a little help to the apprentice.

If you are an industry partner, we would encourage you to contact us to learn how you can become an additional partner to the program.  If we can continue to grow program sponsors it allows us to continue to give scholarship awards to even more students, making our industry even stronger a little at a time.

If you are seriously considering applying for a scholarship for one of your apprentices, we ask that you fill out the application in the link above and then give us a bit of time to go through the applications and make our selections.  We also typically ask that if you apply, keep it a secret from the student in case the list of applications far exceeds the awards, that way the student will not feel left if not selected.

If you do apply for the scholarship and the student either decides not to pursue the trade of is no longer employed, please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer the award to the next student in line.

I say this all of the time, we did not get here all by ourselves.  One of my mentors, Ricky Jones a retired superintendent at Wasco, Inc, in Nashville, Tennessee would often say that “everyone needs a win once in a while”, well the program is a win and I encourage interested individuals to either submit or consider becoming a sponsor so this program can benefit as many folks as possible.

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