The Virginia Masonry Association (VMA) has announced its new Masonry Apprenticeship Training Program. In July, members of VMA met with representatives from the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) who approved VMA’s proposal for its apprenticeship program curriculum.

The Virginia Masonry Association is composed of masonry contractors and manufacturers who promote masonry construction in central Virginia by providing education for trade school programs, architects, contractors and homeowners.

Workforce development is a growing concern for all building trades, including masonry. With the average age of masons increasing each year, the industry needs to increase recruitment and training efforts substantially. VMA partnered with DOLI to create a certificate program that is expected to draw and excite potential masons for its attainability and financial reward.

The VMA Masonry Apprenticeship Training Program can be completed in 2.5 years, while working full-time for a qualified masonry contractor. Apprentices with previous masonry education or experience may have the opportunity to bypass some of the classroom related instruction. This competency-based program allows for a heavier focus to be placed on hands-on training while on-the-job (OJT) rather than hours in the classroom.

Upon completion, Apprentices will receive Masonry Certification from the Department of Labor and Industry, which is recognized nationally, as well as certification from the Virginia Masonry Association, and will begin earning a Journeyman Bricklayer’s full wage.