In May, masonry students and their instructors from South Caldwell, West Caldwell and Hibriten High Schools in Caldwell County got together to build the base for a “Charters of Freedom” monument under construction at the courthouse in Lenoir. According to instructor Matt Woods, Caldwell County students are the first in the nation to construct their own “Charters of Freedom” monument. “Charters of Freedom” monuments around the country display copies of the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. Among the participants from the masonry programs, Brady Shehan, Hunter Ervin, Owen Fox, Hunter Davidson, Ethan Surgeon, Scott Settlemyre, Matt Woods, Ben Winkler, Luke Norris, Riley Shoemake, Issac Duncan, Trenton Ford, Iseral Hendrix, Dlan Moretz, Samuel Ace and Eric Stamey.  Photo courtesy of Matt Woods

Nineteen-year-old Huntley Brothers Company apprentice Jace Huntley is the 2019 Champion of the NCMCA Annual Samuel A. McGee Memorial Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest and takes home the prestigious David R. Sigmon Award for best score in the competition. The May contest was held at Triangle Brick Company in Durham, the host for the event. The “third time is the charm” for Jace. He competed in the 2017 and 2018 contests, finishing in eighth place in 2018. 2019 completes his eligibility for the McGee contest. Winning the McGee competition earns Jace the opportunity to represent North Carolina at the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) International Skills Competition in February 2020 at the Las Vegas World of Concrete. Jace is the son of Chet and Donna Huntley. Jace began working for Huntley Brothers at age sixteen when he graduated high school. His supervisor is Robbie Watson and Chaney Huntley is his foreman. Jace works as an assistant foreman. 2019 marks four consecutive years that Huntley Brothers Company has fielded the McGee Memorial winning apprentice. 

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The 2019 NCMCA Annual Samuel A. McGee Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest is in the books! Thirty-one contestants from eight NCMCA member firms competed in mid-May, hosted by the NCMCA Raleigh Chapter and Triangle Brick Company at their company headquarters in Durham. The top–ten finishers are pictured. Bottom, left to right, NCMCA Workforce Development & Training Coordinator Ryan Shaver; Errol McGee, McGee Brothers Company, sixth place; Rex Huntley, Huntley Brothers Company, seventh place; Ashton White, Gates Construction Company, eighth place; Esequiel Gayton, Brodie Contractors, ninth place; and Harron McGee, McGee Brothers Company, tenth place. Top row, left to right, Contest Chairman and NCMCA President-Elect Danks Burton; Justice Isenhour, McGee Brothers Company, fifth place; Grant Helms, Helms Masonry, fourth place; Drew Huntley, Huntley Brothers Company, second place; Jace Huntley, Huntley Brothers Company, 2019 Champion and winner of the David R. Sigmon Award; Reece Hallman, McGee Brothers Company, third place; NCMCA Raleigh Chapter President Bo Black; and NCMCA President Kent Huntley.

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In May, NCMCA President Kent Huntley was in Bolton Landing, NY to accept the Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate Institute (ESCSI) prestigious 2019 Frank G. Erskine Award in recognition of NCMCA’s “outstanding contributions to the use of lightweight aggregate.” The award is named after Frank Erskine, the first Managing Director of the Institute and was presented at the ESCSI’s Midyear Meeting awards banquet. President Kent (pictured) says, “It was a privilege to represent our Association. I accepted the award from (ESCSI Chairman) Jody Wall… At the dinner, it was expressed by all of the members of ESCSI how much they appreciate our support and promotion of their product. Thank you for allowing me to represent the NCMCA and to accept this award on behalf of our Association.”  An interesting note: The base of the plaque is a composit of lightweight aggragate made by all of ESCSI producer member firms. 

Left to right, Oldcastle’s Byard Stevens, past NCMCA President Gary Joyner, NCMCA Workforce Development & Training Coordinator Ryan Shaver, and NCMCA President-elect Danks Burton joined masonry industry leaders from across the country in May for the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) annual Washington, D.C. legislative “fly-in” to call on congressional offices about issues of concern to the construction industry.  Photo courtesy Ryan Shaver

Masonry students from West Stanly, North Stanly, East Montgomery and Forestview high schools visited McGee Brothers Company's shop at Midland for demonstrations, competitions and lunch featuring pizza and homemade ice cream on May 14, 2019. Seventy students participated. Timed competitions earned the students cash prizes. Jaclyn Britt of East Montgomery was the big winner for the day. Jody Little of McGee Brothers says, “It was a great day of laying brick and giving out cash prizes of over $400. After the brick laying we had a lunch where 44 pizzas and 9 gallons of ice cream were consumed. All in all, it was a great success and we hope to see some of the bright faces in the future on a job site.”

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The 38th Annual Butch Hardy Memorial Masonry Competition including “Top Trowel” and “Line Burner” contest took place in May at the Adams/Oldcastle facility in Goldsboro. Hundreds of students participated from thirteen eastern North Carolina schools. Pictured left to right, bottom row, Fred Mason, instructor, Columbus Career & College Academy with his student Maria Torres who finished Second overall, finished First in the ladies’ division of “Top Trowel” and tied for First in the Line Burner contest; Noah Lausterer, White Oak High, Third place, Top Trowel; and Jennifer Key, Columbus Career & College Academy, Fourth place, Top Trowel. Top row, left to right, Keith Toomer, Second place, Top Trowel next to his instructor, Daniel Bright, at Swansboro High School next to his student Jacob Jones who finished First in the Top Trowel and tied for First in the Line Burner; White Oak instructor Jeff Lausterer; Pender County High School Instructor Roland Dixon with his student Hygenio Ramirez, who finished Fifth in the Top Trowel contest. Dylan Potter (not pictured) of Pender HS won the Masonry One/First Year competition. Columbus Career & College Academy won the best overall team award.  

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