Brandon Osbourne (right), a bricklayer, demonstrates the bricklaying process to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (left) and U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh during a visit to the International Masonry Training and Education Foundation building in Bowie, Maryland, on Aug. 4. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
Brandon Osbourne (right), a bricklayer, demonstrates the bricklaying process to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (left) and U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh during a visit to the International Masonry Training and Education Foundation building in Bowie, Maryland, on Aug. 4. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Slightly more than a week after Congress passed a domestic package to bolster the chip manufacturing industry and finance in science research, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer visited a masonry training facility in Bowie.

Before leading a roundtable Thursday, Aug. 4, the longtime Maryland congressman toured the International Masonry Training and Education Foundation building alongside U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

Both talked with bricklayers, apprentices and others who receive training, certification and continuing education in craftwork that includes stone, marble, terrazzo and cement work. The foundation receives funding from the International Masonry Institute, a labor-management organization created by members of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers and contractors who employ them.

The tour also promoted Hoyer’s “Make It In America” plan to expand and create jobs in the labor industry.

Hoyer also received an opportunity to lay down brick, thanks to the instruction of bricklayer Brandon Osbourne.

“Making registered apprenticeship opportunities more accessible to American workers not only ensures they receive the training and skills they need to build meaningful careers, but also allows the U.S. to maintain our competitive edge in this 21st-century global economy,” Hoyer said in a statement. “As a key part of my Make It In America agenda, I was proud to vote for and send the historic CHIPS and Science Act to the President [Biden], which will be essential to bolstering our supply chain and creating opportunities for American workers.”

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who also visited the Bowie site, said apprenticeship programs are vital to the nation’s economy.

“Registered Apprenticeship is a proven model to connect workers to good jobs—a key priority for the Biden-Harris administration and for Congressman Hoyer,” Walsh said. “The IMTEF offers critical workforce development and training that ensures workers can support their families and create a rewarding career. Bolstering job training across industries is a major part of making more products in America.”

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