Apprenticeship and training are the foundation of our industry. We welcome inquiries from employers who want to know more about participating in our programs. We have something to offer our industry and we know every employer does too! If you are a worker earning a living at the plastering or cement masons trades, we can offer you journey person upgrading programs through our local unions. If you are an apprentice or have taken some pre-apprenticeship training and you are interested in pursuing a career as a plasterer or cement mason we have a place for you in our association.

The following article is an excerpt from the “CONSTRUCTOR” the construction management magazine that will give you more information on the OPCMIA and training.

At its last convention the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada recommitted themselves to the principles upon which the organization was founded in 1864.

Two cornerstones of those principles were organizing and training. As the OPCMIA prepares for the future, its leadership is squarely focused on increasing membership through organizing plasterers, cement masons and shop hands.. They are also determined to provide the highest quality training available to those who earn a living working with the tools of these trades.

Officers, members, and staff of the OPCMIA are working hard to bring in new members. They are upgrading existing training programs and establishing new ones throughout the United States and Canada. The goal is to provide state-of- the-art journey person upgrading and modern apprenticeship programs.
“The OPCMIA is doing everything possible to meet the demands of our membership and our industry as we strive to provide the best trained workers available anywhere,” says General President Dougherty. He adds, “For too long we have been telling the youth of North America, ‘Go to school, study hard, be a doctor, a lawyer, a professional,’ when all the time we should have known that those doctors, lawyers, and professionals need office buildings to work in, roads to travel on, stores to shop in, hotels to stay in, and a host of other facilities that require skilled building trades workers.
“We are now faced with an increased demand for construction workers and we must not make the same mistakes we have in the past. We must upgrade our existing workforce and we must properly train our new apprentices. Wages and benefits must keep pace with demand. An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work must also include a fair expectation of a continuing future in an industry that rewards high-quality workers while providing the training and the tools to give them an opportunity to enjoy a secure future in a society that celebrates their achievements to the same degree that it celebrates the achievements of other professionals.
As the OPCMIA responds to the needs of the industry, every officer, local union, member and potential member face the same challenge. General Secretary- Treasurer Finley describes it as ” the need to focus on what a cement mason or plasterer needs to know in today’s market, blended with the knowledge of historic skills passed on over time.
Our industries suffer from a chronic shortage of qualified trades persons and an oversupply of less skilled workers. We need an industry-driven upgrading and apprenticeship program with international standards. Technical innovation and new materials, tools, and methods have placed new demands on existing journey persons and apprentices. The need to respond to the challenge facing our industry is a responsibility that must be shared by all who participate in our industry.”