Miron Construction hosts regional bricklayer competition

Masons and tenders work together to build the best wall for a construction competition held Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

MENASHA (WLUK) -- It takes a lot of brick and mortar to build the kind of wall that will get a team, made up of a brick mason and tender, to Las Vegas.

The event is called Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 where masons compete to build the biggest wall, in one hour. But there's a catch, the wall will be judged on its overall look and expertise.

"It's a combination of skill, speed and craftsmanship. And, the strategy is how much time do I put in? The speed aspect of it," said Brian Carney with Spec Mix.

Last year's regional winner was from Brock Construction in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The wall was made up of 488 bricks.

The more bricks the better but the wall still has to look good.

"The craftsmanship and the judges, that's what it all comes down to in the end," Carney said.

Miron Construction hosted the competition. But it's not just about who can build the best wall, it's also about attracting young people to a career in construction.

"The importance of having high school kids is because of the trade right now. We are low numbers in the industry and pretty much promoting it in the high schools getting them together. It's a great living, great opportunity, great retirement," said Todd Higgins with Miron Construction.

Among the high school students who watched the competition was Conner Scheibe, a senior at D.C. Everest in Marathon County.

"You gotta have the finesse with it. If you don't have that, you can't be a mason," Scheibe said.

He's considering a construction career.

"It depends on what the school year looks like but it is very interesting," Scheibe said.

Thursday's competition was one of 24 regional competitions across the U.S. and Canada.

The winner will head to the national competition in Las Vegas and compete for $125,000 in cash and prizes, a new Ford F-250 truck and a John Deere Gator.

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