The Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association of the United States and Canada is a labor union that represents plasterers and cement masons in the construction industry in North America. Also known as the OPCMIA, the organization represents the members of one of the world's oldest and most noble crafts. The Union's 56,000 members are the proud carriers of a tradition that predates the Pharaohs pyramids. As early as man was building shelter for himself, there was plastering - first with mud or clay and later with a lime mixture much like that used today. Apprentice Coordinator for the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International
Association Local 18, Dave Arnold, who teaches plaster techniques, says, "There have been technical improvements, but our trade is still best done by hand with a trowel," adding, "we pass it down through generations of knowledge and experience."

Customers who demand the highest quality and value insist on the members of Local 18 to deliver costs savings and artistic appeal, which they have proudly demonstrated through past performance. The members of Local 18 can always be counted on to "do it right the first
time."


Perishable materials depend on expert installation. Less waste and higher productivity provide cost savings. Apprentice Instructor for OPCMIA Local 18, Mark Hitzner, who teaches concrete finishing and applications, says, "It's important for our apprentices to learn the skills required to be professional," adding, "that's why the number one thing we stress to our apprentices is pride and professionalism in the quality of their work."

Craftsmanship springs forth from the combination of effective training for apprentices and upgrade instruction for experienced members who seek continuing education throughout their career.


Prosperity emerges from the ability of the members to deliver value and both a profit for contractors and satisfaction for customers and clients.


Responsibility rests with the commitment of all members of OPCMIA Local 18 to safety, reliability and productivity.


Safety relies on the commitment by each and every member of Local 18 to think safety and work safely.


The members of Local 18 provide the contractors, customers and clients a wide range of options to add value to a project. Both Plaster and Concrete provide long lasting durability with Portland Cement Plaster (stucco) one of the most common building materials in the world.


Plaster also provides the option of extreme artistic addition. "If you can visualize it, we can recreate it with plaster or concrete!" Arnold says.


Concrete also has moved into the forefront of decorative work. Designers, developers, contractors and even customers now call for different looks from concrete. Local 18 teaches various techniques and the members can polish, stamp, stain or stencil concrete into a variety of finishes ranging from brick pavers to cobblestones.


Apprentices in Plaster spend four years and Concrete three years in structured, rigorous Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship Training certified programs, which include a combination of hundreds of hours of classroom theory such as blueprint reading, codes, etc.
and hundreds of hours of hands-on practical applications.


The members of OPCMIA Local 18 who specialize in Concrete provide expert installation in numerous applications such as: Curb and Gutter, Decorative, Flat Work, Heavy and Highway, Industrial and Residential.


The members of OPCMIA Local 18 who specialize in Plaster provide expert installation in numerous applications such as: EIFS, Fire Proofing, Free Form and Themed, Historical Restoration, Portland Cement Plaster (stucco) and both Specialty and Colored finishes.


"We market our members as professionals," Arnold says. "We look for those who have a passion and the soft skills necessary to succeed. When an employer seeks quality-driven employees, the members of Local 18 deliver," adding, "we are the best option for contractors and customers who want professional installation."


The bottom line looks blacker and better when contractors and customers insist on the members of OPCMIA Local 18 for all their trowel trade needs.


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