On Thursday, July 29, 2010 Woodstock’s Brick Masonry shop enjoyed a visit from a seasoned brick mason worker. Mike Byers, CEO/President of Masonry & Tile Contractors Inc. in Pikesville, came to Center to speak to the Brick students about working in the field, how to prepare themselves and what to expect in their first job.
Byers, who learned the trade at age 16, has owned his own company for five years and credited students for taking the first step in the Job Corps program.
“What you learn here you are going to need when you get out,” he said. “I commend every one of you for making the choice to be here.”
As an apprentice just starting out in the field, Byers told students to expect to make around $12 to $14 an hour.
He also advised students to “get a little dirty” before heading out to their first job.
“Take those new tools and throw them in some dirt and water or everyone will know you are an apprentice,” said Byers.
Byers stressed the importance of being punctual and doing your job without complaints.
“You come to work late, you go home,” he said. “You do it again, you are unemployed.”
Byers said most owners like himself just want a hard worker.
“We want you to come to work, give us eight hours and we give you a paycheck,” he said. “I don’t like excuses and people that complain about it’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s raining, etc. aren’t employees of mine.”