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2009 Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony & Celebration Highlights

The 2009 AMCA Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony and Celebration was held on September 26, 2009 at the Glendale Civic Center with the largest graduating class since the program’s  inception in 1994. 185 guests were in attendance, including 14 apprentices who made their way to the podium to receive their credentials as fully graduated journeymen.

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“This class of 2009 is an outstanding class. They have made their presence felt on the local and state levels. Their contributions will be felt in our industry in the years to come,” shared Glenn Hottmann with G & G Enterprises and Master of Ceremonies for the evening.  “Although money is tight and it’s difficult to even imagine sponsoring an apprentice or contributing to the program, we all must remember that without educating our future workforce there will be a lack of journeymen to support the needs of our industry. I’m a firm believer that without sacrifices, it’s difficult to achieve your goals.”

Encouragement was a common theme throughout the evening’s speeches. Mike Meskimen with Thunderbird Masonry and AMCA President encouraged all apprentices to not give up and to keep going to class. “Apprentices here tonight who are still in the program, we need you to go to class. Even with the current economic conditions, and when your employer tells you there’s no work out there right now, don’t lose the passion and commitment that is required to succeed. The work will eventually come. Stay in school and continue to learn—and take yourself all the way to graduation like these graduating apprentices have.”

Lori Maximenko, Executive Director for the AMCA, concluded the evening’s speeches by acknowledging how hard the graduates have worked to achieve their goal. She talked about character and how achieving success as a mason develops character and strength.  “At this particular time in history the fight is bigger than ever. So, as an industry, we have to be stronger than ever.  Part of that strength comes from training more masons than we ever have.”  Lori encouraged everyone to get involved in workforce development efforts.  “We can’t train more masons without contractors putting apprentices into the program and suppliers providing materials and funding and people serving on committees and volunteering at events. We can’t do it without all of you.”

Highlights Continued

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