Meet Matthew DiBara, a passionate and skilled tradesman who’s dedicated to transforming the perception of craftsmanship. Coming from a family with a strong background in construction and the trades, Matthew’s journey in masonry began at a young age, now leading the way as the owner and driving force behind DiBara Masonry.
Matthew’s mission is all about sparking inspiration and empowerment in the new generation of tradespeople, challenging stereotypes, and highlighting the artistry and intelligence involved in working with one’s hands. Having noticed throughout his own life the common misconceptions around working in the trades, he advocates and envisions a future where the trades are held in high regard, alongside technological advancements, recognizing the dignity and rewards of mastering a craft.
Through actively addressing critical industry issues with radio and TV appearances and presentations at conferences such as the SkillUSA’s National Leadership & Skills Conference with an audience of 15,000 people, he regularly speaks on the value of skills and trades, inspiring and advocating for change. By not only bringing attention to current issues like the wage gap in the industry, Matthew is also going as far as working with government agencies to drive change within policies to bridge the wage gap for trades people for their first year in the field, with the ultimate goal of fostering a deep appreciation for the skilled trades and encouraging future generations to embrace the potential they hold.
With common misconceptions around the trades, comes also an ongoing shortage of labor and skilled talent. With many skilled tradespeople heading into retirement, construction companies are left relying on a new generation that prefers heading into jobs such as Ubering and remote work rather than learning to master a craft with their hands.
Matthew mentions, “Nowadays people think joining the skilled trades is less of a rewarding career path than becoming a lawyer or a doctor – they need to realize that all of these professions have one thing in common, they’re needed for our society to continue functioning. Without skilled trade companies and workers, how are people going to get to have a home they can call their own?”
By educating and bringing awareness to these misconceptions, Matthew aims to inspire more people to start their journey in the world of the trades, develop their skill sets and ultimately get to enjoy the fruit of their labor in mastering a craft, and remedy the current shortages in the industry.
Throughout Matthew’s own journey, he’s had the chance to learn from a remarkable lineage of skilled artisans and craftsmen, tracing back to his great-grandfathers who founded his family’s business. Immersed in this rich legacy, he takes pride and fulfillment in masonry, seeing it as much more than just a way to make a living.
Starting with simple tasks, Matthew honed his skills and became a master of bricklaying. Meeting skilled craftsmen along the way inspired him to highlight their hard work, unmatched abilities, and smart thinking in the trades, eventually leading him to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships, facing off against the nation’s most accomplished masonry students.
In the end, Matthew earned a silver medal, though initially disheartened by falling just six points short of gold, the experience of appearing on the national stage and being acknowledged as one of the finest masons in the United States has changed his perspective since then.
Amidst a clientele of A-list celebrities, athletes, and billionaires, Matthew has built a reputation in the construction industry. He strives to break stereotypes surrounding the trades and showcases the field’s evolution, emphasizing its intellectual prowess, job security, and lucrative earning potential.
With the current labor shortage and struggle to retain top talent, it’s more important than ever to bring awareness and education to the new generations of tradespeople and challenge the common stereotypes around working in the trades.
Emboldened by his father’s wisdom and inspired by Mike Rowe’s celebrated television series, “Dirty Jobs,” which championed the dignity and value of skilled trades, Matthew aims to blur the lines and eliminate the idea that there’s a strict divide between traditional and non-traditional paths.
Even as AI and technology consume the world, Matthew’s message resounds loud and clear: traditional career paths remain indispensable for future workers today. In his eyes, the trades offer boundless potential, revealing a world of opportunities waiting to be explored.
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