When it comes to construction training and education you can find no better training than what
Americas unions can offer. For many years now the Unions have been the leaders in training for
their various trades whether it is elevator constructors sheet metal workers plasterers pagers
brick-masons cement masons, these unions have the best training in the world. My union for
example OPCMIA plasterers and cement masons union offers a four year program for
apprentices that will get them earning a living within the first year. You can choose Plastering
and fireproofing for Concrete and floor polishing. Depending on where you live you could be
making around $20 an hour to start. Your benefits kick in not too long after you begin so you will
be covered for medical dental and vision expenses as well, and that is not to mention your
Young people these days don’t think too much about putting away for their retirement
but as a young person, a pension is the first thing you should think about. If you start young you
will retire with dignity. You can have pride in the work that you have done over a lifetime. You
will have a brotherhood and friends to associate with as well. You have the opportunity as an
apprentice to learn from the construction industry's most highly trained instructors. You will
learn how to be safe on the job site as well.
When you graduate you will have a recognized credential that will help you to earn a great living and as a journeyman you can also continue to
upgrade your skills. When new materials are invented or new procedures or equipment comes
along you will be trained and certified on how to use them and this will make you more of an
asset for the contractors that you work for. You will be able to earn a good living and also be
able to make a good profit for contractors. This is good because you can then continue to work.
As you work and as you earn you will also be restoring the American middle-class and bringing
dignity and security back to the workplace. Did you know that contractors can profit $1.30 to
$3.00 for every one dollar they spend in training? This is why you will be an asset to the
contractors. As an apprentice your productivity will rise and your contractors turnover in man
power will decrease by 14%, absences at the workplace will be decreased by 15% injuries are
decreased by 26% and the amount of rework that will need to be done will decrease by 23%.
Contractors are consistently trying to meet demand for skilled workers on their sites. As an
apprentice you will help them to meet that demand.
As you complete your apprenticeship you
will be able to multitask and have greater problem solving skills and abilities and you will need
less supervision. As a safer worker you will help contractors lower their workers compensation
cost. You will be trained in OSHA 10, common workplace hazards, and many many more
certifications. You will receive foreman training and skills and journeyman upgrade the training as well. You will also help contractors to fulfill their need for local hire requirements. Apprenticeships are also
constantly looking for minorities women and military veterans as a main focus. These jobs are a
pathway to the middle class. If you would like a career as a cement mason or plaster check out
our website at www.opcmia.org/members/how-to-join/
Darren is a union organizer in the southwest United States who believes that workers should be represented as a group in order to be able to live a better lifestyle.