International Masonry Institute News

New Certified Instructors Equipped to Teach Trowel Trades Nationwide

MBZ_0948The 2022 Instructors Certification Program (ICP) Graduating Class

This fall, 19 BAC members graduated from IMI/IMTEF’s Instructor Certification Program (ICP), demonstrating their commitment to training the best hands in the business. ICP ensures BAC instructors have the expertise to effectively teach the trowel trades to apprentices and journeyworkers throughout their long and thriving careers with BAC.

ICP instructors like these make it possible for BAC members to receive the industry's highest quality training, ensuring they are highly skilled, safe, competitive, and high-performing.

In a special awards ceremony, BAC President Timothy J. Driscoll praised the graduates for their work and dedication to the skilled trades. "The true key to our crafts and this union lies in our training programs," he said. "We are distinguished from the rest by what you have all accomplished here today."

The graduates reflected on how the program shaped their approach to teaching and what it means to them to be directly involved in the union's quality training programs.


Jorge Lopez de Arriaga, BAC Local 3 California: “In my first year of ICP, I developed a more engaging teaching style and a more approachable attitude at my own training center. My apprentices appreciate the change. I was so impressed with the level of mentorship that we received throughout the program. ICP taught me that a successful mentor can influence an apprentice just as much as a role model. We have a very critical job, and we owe it to ourselves to get the next generation ready.”

Alonzo Freeman IV, BAC Local 3 Massachusetts/Maine/New Hampshire/Rhode Island: “By my third year of ICP, our group had developed a strong sense of community. The program teaches us how to not only be technically trained instructors but leaders with social and interpersonal skills. I get to walk away not only as a certified instructor but with new ways to mentor my students.”

Robert Gatz, BAC Local 5 Pennsylvania: “ICP has changed my approach to teaching. At first, I was mostly focused on demonstrations and hands-on learning, but I learned how to build a better understanding of a concept before letting my students get their hands dirty. In addition to teaching methods, the training taught us how to make our lessons more inclusive and accommodating for different types of students and their personal learning styles.”

Joel Hatzenbihler, BAC Local 1 Oregon/Washington/Idaho/Montana: “ICP is a program designed to bring together like-minded instructors from varied backgrounds, with a common goal of teaching a trade that they love to the next generation. Working through the program I am now capable of organizing and structuring my teaching in a smooth and cohesive manner. While it takes a lifetime of tinkering and reworking to perfect your instruction, I now have a solid foundation to build on."

Terence Halloran, BAC Ohio-Kentucky ADC: “Completing a five-year program and becoming a certified instructor is a real accomplishment. My classmates and I are now better at communicating with our apprentices and are ready to be the best mentors in the business. We’re doing our part to help the trades continue.”

MBZ_1148President of the International Union of Bricklayers, Timothy Driscoll speaking to the 2022 Instructors Certification Program (ICP) graduating class

Manuel Hurtado, BAC Local 4 California: “ICP taught me how to listen to questions and to answer in a more constructive way. Complex methods of installation and specifications are easier to understand, thanks to the materials made available through IMI and IMTEF. By attending ICP and continuing my education, I've improved our local training program while becoming a better communicator and instructor. I even find that in my personal life I have more patience and confidence.”

Stanislaw Kulasik, BAC ADC 1 of Illinois: “In 1993, I moved to the United States with no knowledge of American culture or English. I found my way to the local union hall and kicked off my career as a bricklayer. All the materials and training I received during ICP made it easier for me to prepare myself to teach, plan lessons, and set up the classroom. I feel like a  professional instructor now. No one can take away my confidence when I’m in front of my apprentices.”

Rocco Mateo, BAC Local 1 Pennsylvania/Delaware: “The best part of ICP is the mentoring we received, especially during our first year. It helped us get rid of any doubt and see both the program and trades through a different lens. Achieving the pinnacle certification as an instructor represents a career milestone. In a way, it symbolizes my entire career. Most importantly, it allows me to pass along to others what my father and grandfather gave me at a young age: a respect for trades.”

Jessie Maynes, BAC Local 15 Missouri/Kansas/Nebraska: “The level of instruction I received during ICP surpassed my expectations. Our instructors had expertise, experience, and professionalism, with an approachable teaching style that helped us not only understand but master the material. The classes build on each other like educational scaffolding.”

Thomas Nolan, BAC Local 7 New York & New Jersey: “When I started ICP, I thought I already had the experience to be a good teacher, having been in the business for many years. What else did I need to know to teach? It turns out, lots! Seeing how other instructors from all over the country trained their apprentices helped me improve my skills as an instructor and mentor. Completing ICP has given me a great sense of accomplishment.”

President of the International Masonry Institute, Caryn Halifax speaking to the 2022 Instructors Certification Program (ICP) graduating class

Scott Porter, BAC Local 1 Oregon/Washington/Idaho/Montana: “ICP training gave me the confidence to call myself a public speaker and a confident teacher. One hundred and fifteen apprentices passed through my door during my time in the program. Although each apprentice had their own struggles, I took pride in making sure they succeeded. Becoming a certified instructor is another hat I get to wear for the future of trade workers that our communities need to thrive.”

Terry Sadowski, BAC Local ADC 1 of Illinois “I have changed both personally and professionally as a result of this program. Through this process, I have gained a deeper understanding of myself than I would have otherwise. I have learned that if you prepare and don't limit yourself to your own thoughts, you can achieve remarkable things. ICP has changed the way I view myself in the eyes of my students. It has pushed me to be better prepared as a teacher and mentor."

Matthew Schanbacher, BAC Local 1 Pennsylvania/Delaware: “ICP changed me personally and professionally by showing me the kind of instructor I would like to be. The IMTEF staff set the bar incredibly high, and I'm trying to adopt as many of their practices as I can at my home local. I have learned to be patient with my apprentices and explain things to them clearly. Also, I learned to let the apprentice do layout instead of just running a saw all day, there are better ways to teach.”

Charles Schuett, BAC Wisconsin District Council: “ICP has been instrumental in my growth as a person and an instructor. I'm fortunate to help tomorrow's leaders by training the underprivileged youth of today. This career has given me more purpose than I ever thought possible. ICP helped me understand different ways to affect positive change in myself and my students."

Mark Sell, BAC Local 3 New York: “While I can never claim to know it all because our trades are so diverse, with 25 years of field experience and the information we learned during ICP, I am confident that I am doing my part to make sure my students learn a skilled trade. When I became an instructor, I was already a foreman for many years, teaching and mentoring on the job. The skills I've learned have taken my abilities to the next level. "

MBZ_1164National Director of Apprenticeship and Training, Anthony DiPerna speaking on the importance of continuing education

Vincent Ryan, BAC Local 1 Connecticut: “After 4 years of ICP training, I feel as though I have improved greatly as an instructor. My demonstrations and classroom lectures are very informative and keep the students engaged and interested in the program. My students and I have developed a good rapport of mutual respect. It is comforting to see the work ethic and humbleness that these students have, being that they are the future of our union. I do not believe I could have accomplished this without the ICP training and all the instructors involved.”

Jackie Townsend, BAC ADC 1 of Illinois: “I know I will never be famous. You will probably never read about me in the history books, but I am proud to know that I am leaving a long-lasting impression on our young adults. Helping them to believe in themselves and motivating them to be the best versions of themselves through bricklaying. Hoping and believing that they will love the trade just as much as I do and pay it forward by passing the trade along to a loved one. ICP has sharpened my skills as an instructor and gives me joy in seeing my Job Corps students go on to become my union brothers and sisters.”

Isidro Valdez, BAC ADC 1 of Illinois: “I met so many instructors who were so energetic and kept us engaged in ICP. They just kept running, I couldn't believe it. ICP left me a positive impact on my teaching, helping to strengthen my ADC's training program. It also has prepared me to become an OSHA Authorized Construction Trainer. A big “thank you” to team IMI and our union, for giving me and all the other instructors the opportunity to receive this training.”

Daniel Wysinski, BAC ADC of New Jersey: “There is no shortage of material to learn during ICP. In addition to changing my career, this program has changed my outlook on public speaking. My teachers gave me the confidence to speak up. I can honestly say that this program has given me both structure and guidance in all aspects of my life. A big thank you to everyone at the International Training Center for making my ICP experience a great one.”

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Congratulations again to the class of 2022 ICP graduates!

Instructor Certification Program (ICP)