In the new millennium more masons will be Generation Xers, minorities, and women. To recruit anyone, you need to know what motivates the individual and attracts him or her to a particular line of work.

Surveys show that Generation Xers:

  • Want immediate compensation
  • Want long-term benefits
  • Realize they likely will change jobs, and perhaps careers, several times.

A pre-job program gives free training and a paid union in about 3 months. During the apprenticeship period, the union mason is paid well. But this is only the beginning. Union members can expect to earn a third more than their nonunion counterparts during their lifetimes, and are more likely to have health insurance and retirement benefits.

Women and minority workers, if they are 20-something, are interested in everything the rest of their generation wants-money, benefits, and mobility. Nevertheless, some specific issues need to be addressed to recruit minorities and women successfully.

Both minorities and women can feel isolated in an environment dominated by white males. It helps if other women and minorities are available to them while they work and train. They want to be accepted as equals when the work they do is equal. They want a level playing field, free of sexual harassment and racial bias.

The industry needs to be proactive. The first thing is to impress upon the contractors, forepersons, and craftworkers that women and minorities are the largest growing portion of the workforce and are here to stay.

We need to recognize the different needs of these groups.