mason training laying brickAccording to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, shortages in 15 construction-specific occupations continue to grow. The shortage of bricklayers and masons is fourth in severity, which is bad enough, but shortages in other areas, like carpenters who set the forms for home foundations, and excavators who prep the job for the foundation work, means a mason’s job may be held up due to shortages in trades the mason depends on to prep the job. The good news here is that if you’re a skilled mason, you are pretty much guaranteed a job wherever brick is being laid. The bad news is that, if it’s harder to get a masonry building built because of a lack of workers, designers will turn to other veneer types. So if you’re a masonry contractor, support your local apprentice programs and your industry organizations like the Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA – and the International Masonry Institute (IMI – These industry groups help promote the use of masonry and are excellent resources for helping masons keep up with latest trends and information in the industry. Promoting masonry to designers and building owners helps ensure the masonry industry will stay healthy and your livelihood will be preserved, so go to local AIA meetings and other industry meetings and talk up the benefits of masonry. See the link below for a closer look at the construction worker shortage.

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