Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

On March 2, 2024, I had the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony for all the apprentices who became Journeymen for our Masonry crafts in 2023. This is a very special day for those who completed our apprenticeship program. Not only do we get to congratulate our members on their success, but we also got to see them receive their diploma from the MDC instructors that have worked with them over the years.

The Masonry crafts consist of Brick, Marble, Terrazzo, and PCC [Pointer Cleaner Caulker]. Each of these trades are a specialty craft that requires years of experience and training to advance. Our students get the on-the-job training out in the field with the contractor they are employed by, in addition to the much-needed instruction and training from our Masonry Development Center in Tracy Ca. This is the only training center in Northern Ca where you can be a state certified Journeymen in these fields.

Being able to see the accomplishment on their faces reminded me of how I felt when I became a Journeyman. Knowing I can go anywhere in the world with this diploma gave me a great sense of pride. Some of these men will go on to be Foreman, Superintendent, or some may start their own business and become signatory contractors with our union. Whatever path they take in their professional lives, the cycle started here as an apprentice.

As with all the recognized affiliate trades, we implement safety to the highest degree and I’m confident that this group is not only skilled and trained, but safety in the workplace has been deeply embedded into their daily functions.

Our members received a nice dinner and a Journeymen jacket as well as some kind words of encouragement from their instructors. The relationships and friendships forged by the students and the instructors can indeed last a lifetime. I would like to congratulate everyone who graduated from the program, and I wish you well in your future with our union.

In solidarity,

David Calderon