6-8-17 Masonry FeatureThere is a high demand for skilled construction and manufacturing workers in the Central PA region, and where the masonry trade is concerned, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsman Local 5 Union is where companies obtain a steady flow of trained bricklayers. A mason that is part of this union is essentially guaranteed job security—and three students in Scott Weber’s Masonry program have passed the entrance exam with flying colors.

Gabriel, a Red Land student; Anthony, a student at East Pennsboro; and Bruce from Susquenita all earned first and second place on the union’s entrance mathematics exam. Anthony, who scored first, is also a cooperative education student working at Stephen F. Peters, Inc. in Newport, PA.

“Everyone goes through a certified mason’s training program, which is about 144 hours over three years,” said Gabriel. “They train you to be skilled masons.”

This training is a state-recognized certification program that teaches everything from job supervision to glass block laying to material safety data sheets; apprentices emerge from this training as certified masons.

There is a shortage of skilled construction workers in Central PA, which includes a need for quality bricklayers, and contracting companies are hurting for qualified employees. “Getting students into the union is something that I think will help,” Mr. Weber said. “These local companies know they have a fresh supply of new, young workers they can draw from the union, and right now the industry is hurting for good, trained workers.

As for Gabriel, his prospects are looking up now that he has gained this opportunity. Not only is he guaranteed steady work, but he has access to great training programs through the International Masonry Institute (which is opening a new location in Harrisburg in the near future).

“I think being at Cumberland Perry gave me an advantage on life, really!” said Gabriel. “It gives you the skills and tools you need to get out there and start working, and I think this apprenticeship will only further that.”