Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) new Masonry program began Monday, Jan. 11 but is still registering students through Wednesday, Jan. 20. It is held on the college’s Volt Center campus, located at 205 First Street near downtown New Bern.
Training is provided through a combination of classroom instruction and practical experience. It will be delivered in two parts: Masonry Level 1 (current), and Masonry Level 2, which will begin May 24.
“New Bern has a lot of historical buildings, and the need to find masons that can refurbish some older homes is proving to be a challenge,” said Jeff Schulze, director of Trade Programs. “As a result, many contractors have been seeking masons to assist in such renovations. This brought out the need for having a masonry program at the college. Even the masons have a need for trained labor. We hope to fill that void and bring into the field of masonry some future brick artisans.”
Students that enter this program of study will have to complete 75 hours of Core Curriculum training and Masonry Level 1 in order to earn their NCCER Level 1 certification. Upon successfully completing the skills in Masonry 1, students will be able to identify the tools and equipment of the masonry trade, apply calculations for construction drawings common in masonry work and explain the specifications, standards and codes. Masonry 1 will also teach the characteristics of block and brick; how to set up, lay out and bond block and brick; how to cut block and brick; how to lay and tool block and brick; and how to clean block and brick once they have been laid.
Level 2 will expound on the aforementioned skills and will also show students how to work with residential plans and construction drawings and convert that information into action on the job. Other topics include reinforced masonry, which focuses on the use of grout and other types of reinforcement, such as reinforcing steel to strengthen and support masonry structures. Advance Laying techniques describes the construction of masonry wall systems, weep vents and joints. Construction Inspection and Quality Control, including the effect of climate on masonry, is also taught in Masonry Level 2.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, the median salary for local brick masons was $53,100 as of May 2019. Schulze noted that New Bern has long been known for training some of the finest brick layers in the area, with many historic structures such as Tryon Palace constructed by handmade bricks as far back as the 1760s.
“Employment opportunities in the construction industry are plentiful, especially after a student learns a skilled trade,” he added. “In North Carolina and throughout the country, there is a shortage of masons amid a construction boom, which has forced some contractors to schedule lots of overtime to meet job deadlines with limited staff that they have on payroll. Our masonry program hopes to encourage more students that are not interested in a college degree to head towards a path what professionals say is a steady and quite rewarding job.”
For more information, contact Schulze at 252-638-5467 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To register, contact Antoinette Williams at 252-633-0857 or email@example.com.