Acme Brick Backs New UT Arlington Masonry Courses
Acme Brick Co. is providing funding for the new Brick Block Masonry Certificate course offered through the University of Texas at Arlington, at facilities in Grand Prairie and Houston. Acme Brick has donated $50,000 to start the schools and has also offered to match another $10,000 for scholarships that the university hopes to raise from other businesses and corporations. Contractors and manufacturers from across the state, along with the Waco-based Texas Masonry Council, have donated money and in-kind contributions, including Acme’s investment, totaling more than $225,000 to kick-start the schools.
The Brick & Block Masonry Certificate course is the first comprehensive, hands-on training program to be offered by the new UT Arlington Trade Education Center. The Brick & Block Certificate course consists of a single, eight-week course that runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Courses are now underway. Brick & Block courses will run in both Houston and Grand Prairie simultaneously and are taught by bilingual instructors. With only 11 students per course, masons-in-training will receive personalized help with course tasks and projects from a mason instructor with years of contracting, construction, and teaching experience.
The curriculum was developed with the assistance of the Texas Masonry Council to address a critical shortage of skilled masons that now exists in the industry. In recent years, the lack of skilled masons and other builder trades workers has become an acute problem as these workers have left the construction industry during the severe housing downturn.
“As the industry leader, Acme believed it needed to help initiate a program to provide the training necessary to move interested job-seekers into a career in masonry,” said Dennis Knautz, president and CEO. “The staff at UT Arlington has been extraordinarily receptive, helpful and creative in putting together this program that should help ease our industry’s shortage of masons by developing candidates who will be qualified for these good-paying jobs. We are excited about partnering with UTA, and we hope others in our industry will follow our lead and help support this effort.”
Students who successfully complete the program will graduate as Level 1 Masons accredited by the Texas Masonry Council.
For more information visit www.brick.com.