America’s top pointer



Matt Botts (Photos by Matt Eleazer)

Matt Botts of Bricklayers Local 1 Oregon won first place in the Pointer-Cleaner-Caulker category of an international apprentice competition. The International Apprentice Contest, sponsored by the training arm of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts (BAC), takes place once every three years, and draws contestants from all over the United States and Canada.

Botts is a third-year apprentice, a member of Local 1, and an employee of Tigard-based Pioneer Waterproofing. He outperformed 15 other contestants in the 2018 contest, which took place Oct. 6 at the International Masonry Institute in Bowie, Maryland. Botts had qualified for the national contest by winning the same category at the BAC’s Western States Apprenticeship Contest, held May 18-19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pointer-Cleaner-Caulker specialists specialize in restoring old masonry. A pointer replaces mortar between masonry units, a cleaner cleans all masonry surfaces, and a caulker applies sealants to expansion joints. In the contest, competitors show their skill on beaded and grapevine joints, fix limestone precast to make it look original, infill brick over iron after it is flashed and sealed to simulate a window opening, and correctly answer questions on a written test.

CELEBRATING THE WIN: From left, Bricklayers Local 1 organizer Matteo Russo, apprenticeship instructor Derek Neikes, First Place PCC contestant Matt Botts, apprenticeship coordinator Shawn Lenczowski, and president Matt Eleazer.


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