From the Desk of Gary Peifer:

Brothers and Sisters

     2019 has again found BAC Local 3 apprentice bricklayers competing in the Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Masonry Skills Challenge. The event is held annually during the World of Concrete Conference (WOC) in Las Vegas Nevada and is designed to display the skills of both Union and non-union bricklayer apprentices from throughout the country. BAC Local 3 apprentices competed in the regional contest at the Basalite block plant in Dixon on October 6, 2018 to determine who would represent each year of apprenticeship at the finals in Las Vegas. While the event resembles our Unions local and regional contests in some respects, it is judged more on the finished project than the skillset required building it combined with the quality of the project.

     Each level of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year apprentices are given an appropriate project designed to test their skill. The real challenge being that they don’t know what the project is until the briefing just before the start of the contest. The apprentices were given 3 hours to build their projects and most used all their time wisely with only one of the 35 contestants not completing the project. I want to thank all our apprentices for their confidence in displaying the skillset they possess, as it is truly the result of the mentoring they receive on the jobsite and a direct reflection of the Union’s journey level craftworkers, signatory contractors and apprenticeship school training.

     And while the Masonry Skills Challenge would be reason enough to attend the MCAA World of Concrete and Masonry, it was not the only competition at the event. Once again, a BAC Local 3 journeyman bricklayer would compete in the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 and strive to earn the coveted title of the “World’s Best Bricklayer” or “Top Craftsman.” This years contest challenged 27 teams of bricklayers and mason tenders in an hour long competition to determine not only the “Worlds Best Bricklayer” (highest production) and the “top Craftsman” (best workmanship), but also the ”Toughest Tender” (project set-up) to help them earn a chance to win those titles.

     BAC Local 3 Journeyman bricklayer Robert Miller, a foreman for signatory contractor John Jackson Masonry was awarded both the “Best Bricklayer” and “Top Craftsman” at the regional contest held at Silverado Building Materials Sacramento location on September 23, 2018. Brother Miller with the support of mason tender Jerry Contreras, also employed by John Jackson Masonry, laid 488 brick in 60 minutes to qualify and advance to the 2019 world finals in Las Vegas.

     At high noon on January 23, 2019, BAC 3 Union Brother Robert Miller, tended by Jerry Contreras, challenged the masonry trades best for 60 minutes in a heart pounding showdown of skill, strength and stamina. When the judges completed their tally, brother Miller had laid 496 brick and although he had not won, he was very close behind the “Top Craftsman” who won with a brick count of 537. His brick tender Jerry Contreras had also done very well in the “toughest Tender” contest by setting up 4-16’ scaffolding plank, mud boards, 57-8x8x16 concrete block, and stocking 1000 common red brick in 18 minutes with the winning time at 13 minutes 52 seconds.

     In closing, I know I speak for the members of BAC Local 3 in expressing our gratitude to Brothers Robert, Mason, Jose and Alex. You’ve made us proud and we Thank You for representing us well with the commitment to craftsmanship and endurance you displayed as UNION Bricklayers.

Be Well.