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

NCMCA’s Workforce Development & Training Coordinator Ryan Shaver (standing,) who constructed his own home with CMU masonry framing, leads a discussion at the May Southeast Concrete Masonry Association’s (SCMA) roundtable held to share ideas and concerns about promoting masonry frame residential construction. The benefits of masonry-framed homes are numerous and undeniable, and skyrocketing increases in lumber prices are making the costs more competitive. A number of NCMCA contractors participated in the roundtable, several of whom have either built or plan to build their own homes utilizing masonry framing. For more information about the SCMA residential masonry framing initiative, CLICK HERE

Anderson Pruett of West Rowan High School was the winner of the May 7th competition between masonry classes at South Rowan, West Rowan, and Jesse Carson High Schools. Twenty-one students participated at South Rowan High School. Finishing respectively from second to fifth place in the advanced category were O’Conner Leonard and Carter Barclay from West Rowan followed by Austin Cook of Jesse Carson High, and Aaron Russell from West Rowan. In the first year division, Mason Lee of West Rowan finished first, followed by Max Jones, Jesse Carson High, and Byron Allmon, West Rowan. West Rowan masonry instructor Rodney Harrington said the students were disappointed that the pandemic canceled the usual Cabarrus-Rowan competition and the annual North Carolina SkillsUSA State Masonry contest but everyone enjoyed the scaled-back May 7th event and the opportunity to compete. Winner Anderson Pruett, a high school junior, competed in the May 15th NCMCA Annual Samuel A. McGee Memorial Apprentice Contest, managing a very respectable sixth-place finish (pictured.)

NCMCA associate member firm EastWest Products hosted the annual “Butch Hardy Top Trowel” competition in May at their manufacturing and retail facility in Kinston. Masonry students from Pender County High School, North Lenoir High School, and Columbus Career & College Academy participated, a somewhat smaller number of schools than usual because of pandemic school travel policies. Students competed for cash and tool prizes and enjoyed a hotdog and hamburger lunch courtesy of Manning Masonry. Columbus Career & College Academy had a “clean-sweep,” with their team winning the top three places. Pictured left to right, Parrish Hoffman, EastWest Products; Third Place finisher Kalyn Stover; Brantley Rivers, EastWest Products; Second Place Finisher Israel Bugarin; Columbus College & Career Academy masonry instructor Fred Mason; 2021 Winner and Champion Annayeli Dionisio; and Brett Hardy, EastWest Products. CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL EVENT PHOTOGRAPHS

With the delivery of materials at the end of April, Pitt Community College in Greenville, NC is ready to begin its new masonry instruction program in May.  With coordination by the NCMCA Eastern Carolina Chapter, Manning Masonry’s Tim Manning says, “All start-up cost for tools, equipment, and supplies were donated.”  The Eastern Carolina Chapter expressed special appreciation to Manning Masonry, Joyner Masonry Works, Adams/Oldcastle, Tucker-Kirby Company, and Whitecap Construction Supply.  Pictured left to right, student Robbie Waugh; Tim Manning; Gail Nichols, Pitt Community College Coordinator of Technical Trades; Steve Mathews, Dean of Construction and Industrial Technology; and Ernis Lee, Pitt Community College Vice President of Outreach.  Photograph by Rob Waugh, who will be the instructor for the new program.  Mr. Waugh is also the masonry instructor at North Lenoir High School.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

In April, Custom Brick & Supply Company in Raleigh hosted apprentices from NCMCA Raleigh area member companies for a morning of training with NCMCA Workforce Development & Training Coordinator Ryan Shaver (kneeling, left) along with Pinnacle Masonry's Dennis Little (standing, left.)  NCMCA is conducting training for apprentices from NCMCA member companies across the state.  As he has done at many of the training sessions, Stabila representative Kirk Figan provided Stabila products as gifts and prizes for the Raleigh participants.


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Contact Information NCMCA
PO Box 3463
Hickory, NC 28603-3463
United States of America