August 2016: From the Editor

Words: Dan Kamys

Excellence in Masonry

Karen HickeyKaren D. Hickey, Editor -

There’s always something big happening in the masonry industry. In June, the 52nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., featured a masonry competition. Gold, silver and bronze awards were bestowed at both secondary and post-secondary levels. Regional qualifiers for the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500™ have started taking place and will continue through October, in preparation for the World Championship at World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas on Jan. 18, 2017. Training programs for both students and journeymen masons are offered year-round. Check with your state’s masonry contractors association or the MCAA for the next webinar or seminar near you. Though not without its challenges, the masonry industry is indeed “alive and well” (see the Special Report), and it’s progressing. Masonry-related organizations in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin have already presented their awards of excellence for outstanding projects for 2016, while the AIA Montana, AIA Nebraska (sponsored by the Nebraska Masonry Alliance), and the Arizona Masonry Guild are currently judging entries. The 2016 Brick in Architecture Awards Competition has also released the names of its winning projects. To my knowledge, two 2016 Excellence in Masonry Awards programs are still open for entries:
  • Masonry Institute of Washington, deadline: Aug. 5.
  • Ohio Masonry Association, deadline: Nov. 30.
Even the Masonry Contractors Australia Ltd. is accepting entries until Aug. 1 for its “Excellence in Brick and Blocklaying Awards” — proof that programs like this aren’t limited to North America and that excellence in masonry is being recognized around the world. If you would like Masonry magazine to help promote your organization’s events, seminars or awards programs, email me at Let’s spread the word!
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