Building walls behind bars: A closer look at the FDOC CTE masonry program

The National Concrete Masonry Association's Weekly eNews
Thursday, April 30, 2020

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National Concrete Masonry Association

Building walls behind bars: A closer look at the FDOC CTE masonry program

In the state of Florida, 24.7% of inmates released have returned to the prison system three years later. However, there is one factor, in particular, that seems to make a marked difference in recidivism rates, as noted in the same report. Of the inmates released in 2015, those who were employed at release saw a recidivism rate of 17%, a full 8% lower than the overall average. Through a partnership with the Florida Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation (FMAEF) and the Masonry Association of Florida, inmates have a chance to learn the masonry trade through the FDOC Masonry Career and Technical Education Program. Students in the program learn a full NCCER masonry curriculum, which is a total of approximately 1,650 hours of training and education. Students are provided with all of the tools, supplies, and instruction they need to become successfully employed career masons upon their release. Read more.

Concrete block featured in Cypress home

This house in Nicosia, Cyprus, has not one but four gardens, and all of them are “secret.” The designers at Draftworks Architecture use that term loosely—the gardens in this house are simply enclosed and enveloped by foliage-covered concrete walls. Inside, the walls are built from concrete masonry units, while the wood and metalwork were made by local craftsmen. The designers imbued the hard-edged space with moments of softness thanks to patches of greenery sunken into the floor, which allow the family to grow plants indoors before transplanting them outside. Read more.

AIA index points to major downturn in commercial construction

Demand for design services from architecture firms recorded its largest-ever monthly decrease in March, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA).‚Äč Billings at architecture firms plummeted last month as the Architecture Billings Index fell by 20.1 points to a score of 33.3, the largest single-month decline in the index's nearly 25-year history, far surpassing the declines of 9.4 points seen at the start of the 2001 recession and 8.3 points seen at the start of the Great Recession. Read more.

ASTM International meetings for June canceled

ASTM has announced that all in-person meetings for technical committees are canceled through June. This includes the meetings scheduled for Committee C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units and C12 on Mortar and Grout for Masonry. Individual committees are currently discussing possibilities for alternative plans to continue committee business. Read more.

Direct Design software webinars from MIM

The Masonry Institute of Michigan will be hosting free webinars showcasing the Direct Design Software on May 6. See a demonstration of this powerful software and learn how it determines the most cost-effective solution for concrete masonry design. Two-time slots are available to attend. Register here.

HPD-Collaborative announces changes to their HPD Builder software

The HPD-Collaborative, who manages the Health Product Declaration open standard, has announced changes implemented in v2.2 of the standard. Learn about these changes , improvements in the HPD Builder and introduction of the new HPD Supplier Extension with free webinars. For more information and to register for the webinars, click here.

Quarantine activity: online games with friends

The typical get together with friends looks different after the outbreak of COVID-19. Instead of gathering at a friend’s house, we’ve been forced to congregate on FaceTime and Zoom. While it’s nice to be able to chat with friends online, it can get tedious when the coronavirus dominates most conversations. Luckily, technology also provides many online games to play with friends that distract from the chaos of the outside world. Here are five exuberant online games to play with your friends while in quarantine. Read more.


Achieve a Better Finish With New BackerBead® With E-Flange™
New BackerBead with E-Flange from ClarkDietrich provides 80% greater embedment with mortar and stucco than standard flat flange profiles, which can reduce chances of cracking and improve the long-term performance of the cladding. A factory-applied backer rod makes caulking easy, reducing labor and material costs. Learn more today.



Did you know...

NCMA has an R-Value/U-Factor spreadsheet-based calculator tool that determines the steady-state thermal properties of concrete masonry assemblies? The results can be used for determining energy code compliance and inputs for COMcheck and other energy modeling software. Check it out.

Deadline for Foundation grant submission tomorrow

Tomorrow is the last day to submit new grant applications to the NCMA Foundation for consideration this summer. Applications submitted by this time will be considered at NCMA’s Midyear Meeting, Aug. 4-6, 2020. Find out more information about the grant submission process here.


Plastic Lath

Perfect for rustproofing stone veneer and stucco installations, 1/4" self-furred Ultra-Lath Plus® plastic lath is safer, easier to use than metal. It lowers installed costs, meets ASTM C1764, C1780, C1787, C1788 - and passes the multi-story fire test (NFPA 285). Available in sheets, rolls, strips – it’s unaffected by moisture/chemicals.



What joint sealants should be used for concrete masonry?

Sealants used in concrete masonry construction must comply with ASTM C920, Standard Specification for Elastomeric Joint Sealants (ref. 6). Sealants used for concrete masonry joints and at penetrations in concrete masonry walls may be polyurethanes, polysulfides, acrylics, silicones, or even modified blends of each. For more information, see NCMA TEK 19-06A.

ICON EXPO 2021 plans in motion

Product demonstrations, Knowledge Bar, Boot Camp 101 for Production Personal and an Advanced Boot Camp 201 are some of the education programs in the works for ICON EXPO 2021: The Machinery & Equipment Show, February 12-13, in Nashville, Tennessee. ICON EXPO is held every three years and is the only event specifically for the manufactured concrete masonry and hardscape industry. Producers and exhibitors will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, collaborate and learn from each other. Visit to learn more. Mark your calendars!

Online education and webinars

NCMA hosted a webinar on Energy Code Compliance and COMcheck on April 29. You can access the recording of that session here. Join us May 13 at 11 AM eastern for our next free webinar CMU Testing 101 presented by Nick Lang, NCMA VP of Business Development. In the session, we will review common tests on concrete masonry, mortar, and grout for frequently seen mistakes. Learn to troubleshoot problem test results on future jobs.

NCMA masonry and SRW sales survey is now open

NCMA has opened the Masonry and SRW Sales Survey for this year intended to track the growth and directional movement of concrete masonry and segmental retaining wall block sales based on the association’s work and initiatives. The deadline to complete the Sales Survey is May 29. The survey can be found at and will provide extremely valuable information about the industry. CMU and SRW producers, as well as SRW licensors, are invited to participate. If you want more information, please contact Gabriela Mariscal.

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