Published October XX, 2021

Creating Opportunities

TBD when article is finalized
Featuring: Boral Stone


By Jen Levisen

For Boral Stone Division it’s not just about stone.


“Our industry is much more than stone, it has so much more to do with the creativity, skill, and talent of the installers,” says Susan King, National Commercial Account Manager, Boral Stone. “And we work very hard to support that.”


And that support starts at the technical and vocational school level. For over a decade Boral Stone has partnered with technical and vocational schools across the country, focusing on the midwest and northeast, on technical education and hands-on training. 


“There are a lot of opportunities in the stone world, and most of these schools are focusing on landscaping work or tile work, and we want them to remember that there is vertical installation work as well,” says King. “And being a female in a predominantly male industry, I wanted to show the women in these shops that there is a place for them in this field.”


How Boral Stone works with each school varies and is based on the needs of the department. 


“One school might really want someone to come in and have an hour-long technical conversation and one might want more of a two-part session. Those are incredibly valuable because not only do you get the classroom education training — what the building code requirements are, what the product requirements are, etc. — but the second session is much more hands-on where the students get to set up and install the products over a masonry wall system,” says King.

It's All in the Details


King and Boral Stone worked with students in the masonry shop at Shawshein Valley Technical School, a technical trade school in Billerica, Mass., on their annual shop projects unveiled at their open house event each fall. Each year, masonry students at the school build a replica of something made of brick, stone, or cement blocks. In the past, they've built replicas of lighthouses, working windmills, and a water wheel.

“At the beginning of each school year the sophomore class decides on the shop project and they get support from upperclassmen on the skills, effort, and planning required to map out the project which is ultimately unveiled at the open house held the first week of November,” says King. “It is an impressively collaborative effort.”

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In 2016, the students built a 14 foot long, 14 foot tall, and 3-foot deep replica of Haverhill, Mass. landmark Winnekenni Castle. Boral Stone donated the European Castle Stone used in the project and was able to arrange free delivery of the product from a local dealer, Martignetti’s, in support of the program. The students’ castle has exterior lighting, a stone column entrance, and wrought iron fencing along a lush, landscaped lawn rimmed with trees.

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In 2019 the students built a replica of their local Applebee’s restaurant, which also happens to be a national account of one of Boral Stone’s lines, Cultured Stone. Boral Stone donated the Cultured Stone Limestone for the project and was again able to arrange free delivery from Martignetti’s.

“I love this work so much,” says King, who worked alongside this department for four years and also volunteered on the school’s advisory board in 2017 and 2018, specifically supporting the masonry department.

““It is important for the programs and students to have knowledge of what manufactured stone is and our industry, and it’s important for them to have hands-on knowledge of what it’s like to install the product.”

— Susan King, National Commercial Account Manager, Boral Stone

“Our focus on education really came from the fact that one day these students will be working in the field and they are going to be our future masons and installers,” King continued. “As a leader in the industry, it is our responsibility to support those installers and our future.” 


Susan King

National Commercial Account Manager
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Boral Stone


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