In July, NCMCA Workforce Development & Training Coordinator Ryan Shaver (to the left of “Batman”) visited the regular Thursday evening apprentice training session of member firm “Creative Masonry” in Greenville, Tennessee, assisting company owner Fred Campbell (to the right of “Batman”) with instruction utilizing NCMCA’s new EZ Manufacturing training rack. Photo by Krista Campbell.

Past NCMCA President Doug Burton regularly refers to Patrick Rand as “The Professor of Masonry.” Indeed, NC State’s Professor J. Patrick Rand has proven to be among the Nation’s leading authorities on masonry performance, research, and design. He is a past president of The Masonry Society, has authored several books, received numerous professional awards and recognitions, and has been an instructor for the NCMCA Masonry Contractor Certification Program since the program’s inception in 2006. Some twenty years ago, Professor Rand and Doug Burton created the Sigmon Memorial Design Scholarship at NC State, also now awarded at Appalachian State University. In June, after forty-four years, Rand retired as a Distinguished Professor of Architecture in the College of Design at NC State University. Masonry association officials joined Professor Rand and NC State College of Design faculty and staff in July for a lunch to discuss masonry-supported scholarships as Professor Rand steps away from his teaching role. Left to right, Doug Burton; NCMCA Executive Vice President Lynn Nash and President Danks Burton; Professor Rand; Frank Werner, retired from Adams/Oldcastle; David McQueen, Adams/Oldcastle; and Southeast Concrete Masonry Association President James Cain. Photo by Lauren Hipp.

Tucker-Kirby Company in Charlotte along with iQ Power Tools hosted the NCMCA Metrolina Chapter in early July for a training workshop and barbecue chicken dinner. Pictured left to right, Metrolina Chapter President Brandon Hartsell; Abigael Newton, Industrial Hygiene Consultant, NC Department of Labor; and James Cameron, Regional Sales Manager for iQ Power Tools. Ms. Newton made a presentation on the latest research concerning crystalline silica exposure in masonry, which indicates masonry job sites are generally performing well at staying under permissible exposure limits. Some of the newest technology for dust control in sawing was demonstrated by the iQ Power Tool Team.

Grant Helms of Helms Masonry competed in two Las Vegas competitions at the World of Concrete in June and won them both! He won the SPEC MIX Junior Brick Layer 500 and placed “First” in the Third Year Division of the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) International Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest. (The project pictured.) Grant qualified for the MCAA contest by winning the 2021 NCMCA Samuel A. McGee Memorial Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest at Midland. Pictured left to right, retired South Rowan High School masonry instructor Ronnie Miller, West Rowan High School masonry instructor Rodney Harrington, The Helms Family, father Scott, Grant, sister Holly and mother Jodi. In the MCAA Third Year Division, Mason Lovell of New Mexico won Second Place and Jordan Back of Ohio finished in Third Place. Ryan Clark of Ohio won the Second Year Division and Oscar Montano of Arizona finished in First Place in the First Year Division. Helms was the only entry from North Carolina.  Photo by Makayla Gergeni

Seventeen-year-old Reilly Mahoney (center,) a senior at Tuscola High School in Waynesville, is the Champion of the 2021 NCMCA Land of the Sky Chapter’s Annual High School Masonry Contest. Like most everything else, the contest was different this year. On April 30th, contestants were synchronized and allotted three hours to build their projects in the shops at their own school. A team of chapter judges was dispatched to each school to tabulate results. Pictured with Reilly are NCMCA Western Regional Vice President Don Caldwell (left) and Land of the Sky Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Jake Brogdon. Finishing in second and third place respectively were Braden Mackey of Brevard High School and Jackson Sawyer of Madison High School. Johnny Chub of Tuscola High School finished “First Place” in the first year division. Photo by Joan Kennedy.

Some fifty apprentices from NCMCA member firms participated in the Annual Samuel A. McGee Memorial Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest May 15th at McGee Brothers Company in Midland. Pictured bottom, left to right, Carter McGee, Seventh Place, McGee Brothers Company; Anderson Pruett, Sixth Place, Helms Masonry; Salvador Cruz De Leon, Eighth Place, Creative Masonry; Maria Torres, Ninth Place, Carolina Masonry Unlimited; and Annayeli Dionisio, Tenth Place, Fred Mason’s Masonry. Top row, left to right, NCMCA President Danks Burton; Mason Saunders, Second Place, Huntley Brothers Company; Cyress Lance Brown, Third Place, McGee Brothers Company; Grant Helms, Helms Masonry, First Place and the “David R. Sigmon Award” winner; Christian Kluttz, Fourth Place, Huntley Brothers Company; Bayden Huntley, Fifth Place, Huntley Brothers Company; and Contest Chairman and NCMCA President-Elect Bo Black. CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL PICTURES

Nineteen-year-old Grant Helms of Helms Masonry is the 2021 Champion of the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association’s Annual Samuel A. McGee Memorial Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest and takes home the “David R. Sigmon Award” for “top-score” in the competition. Grant built a rare “perfect project” with no deductions for a perfect score. His win also earned a cash prize and a large selection of masonry tools. As a student, Helms won the Annual North Carolina State Fair Masonry Apprentice Contest and in 2019 as a junior at West Rowan High School, Grant won the National SkillsUSA Masonry Championship. He finished in fourth place the last time the McGee contest was held in 2019 at Durham. Grant is the son of Scott and Jodi Helms of Concord. The event took place at the McGee Brothers Company maintenance facility at Midland May 15th. Some fifty apprentices participated. The apprentice that finishes with the top score is presented the “David R. Sigmon Award” as first-place finisher of the Annual NCMCA Samuel A. McGee Memorial Apprentice Skills Contest. The award is named in memory of David Sigmon, a journeyman mason from Hickory who passed away in 1998 while serving as NCMCA president-elect and who had been active in promoting this contest and other programs around the state to recruit and develop young craftsmen for masonry careers. CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES FROM THE EVENT

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