Page 44 - 2018 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship Magazine
P. 44

Arizona like many states across the nation was hard hit by the reces-
sion. Construction during this time was nearly at a standstill across
the state. As a result of the lack of work, many of masonry industry’s
skilled labor moved out of the state to pursue work or left the trade
completely to pursue employment opportunities in other industries.

With improving market conditions and the demand for new
construction now on the rise, the Arizona Masonry Contractors
Association (AMCA) and Arizona Masonry Guild (AMG) have made
Workforce Development a top priority. AMCA & AMG is focusing
their efforts in 3 main areas/programs:

• High School Outreach Program
• Partnership with Arizona Department of Corrections
• Mason Tender Training Program

High School Outreach Program

With support from block, brick and mortar manufacturer members and mason contractor members, the Arizona Masonry associations pro-
vide high school construction programs with CMU, brick and mortar needed to support masonry training. In addition, members volunteer
their time and provide hands-on instruction to students on the art of brick & block laying in classrooms across the state. In July of each year,
AMCA & AMG host a Masonry Train- the-Trainer Workshop for high school instructors. In most cases, high school construction instructors
do not have a masonry background. This “Train-the-Trainer” workshop provides these instructors with the opportunity to learn the basic
of masonry and the various resources available to them through AMCA & AMG so they can then return to their classroom and incorporate
masonry into their curriculum. As a result of this yearly Train-the-Trainer workshop, AMCA & AMG has not only seen significant growth in
the number of schools including masonry instruction in their programs but has also experienced a dramatic increase in the number of high
school students competing in local masonry competitions held throughout the year.

Partnership with Arizona Department of Corrections:

The relationship with AZ DoC began with hiring fairs for soon-to-be released inmates. AMCA matched interested inmates with AMCA
contractor members who were looking to fill open tender positions. Based on our success rate of placement of these former inmates, AZ DoC
approached AMCA to discuss ways in which both organizations could work together to expand masonry programs currently in place in 3
prisons in Arizona. These programs currently offer 8 weeks of masonry training to inmates. The goal of this newly formed partnership is to
expand the length of masonry training to a one-year program. The classroom hours that inmates accrue will then be credited towards AMCA’s
Registered Apprenticeship Program once the inmate is released in prison.

Mason Tender Training Program:

The Mason Tender Training Program is 6 day training program targeted to people who are looking to enter into the industry but have no
formal masonry experience. It is important to note that trainees are not paid for their time in the 6 day training program. AMCA & AMG
underwrite the cost of the entire training program.

The Tender Training Program was specifically designed to focus on four skill areas - mortar mixing & tempering, stocking masonry materials
& accessories, building scaffold and job site safety (OSHA 10 course). Participants spend approximately 75% of the time practicing mixing,
stocking & building scaffold. Various stations (mixing, stocking, and scaffold) are setup throughout the lab area and the trainees work in
teams of 3 and rotate through the stations multiple times throughout a day. Member volunteers are on hand to show trainees how to properly
perform the various tasks and provide feedback on their performance. The Tender Combine is held on the last day of the hands-on training.
The combine provides an opportunity for contractor members who are interested in hiring a graduate to see the candidates in action. The
trainees working again in small teams are timed as they rotate through the mixing, stocking and scaffold stations. The Combine provides ma-
son contractors with a good understanding of the basic skill level of each trainee and if the candidate would be a good fit for his organization.
At the conclusion of the Combine, a draft is held and mason contractors have an opportunity to select the candidate they would like to hire.
Mason contractors are then allowed time to present their job offer to each candidate. The Mason Tender Training Program is not only a great
tool for the industry to recruit new talent into the industry but will be the pipeline to help us continue to grow our apprenticeship program
and produce the craftsmen needed to sustain & build our industry in the future.

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