Southern California plaster tenders complete apprenticeship program with socially distanced graduation ceremony.

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Representatives of the Southern California Plaster Tenders Joint Apprenticeship committee say 28 individuals on Oct. 25 earned their journeyman credentials after completing the Southern California Plaster Tenders Apprenticeship Program.

“These new journeymen have shown that they are able to adapt to and overcome the obstacles laid before them, especially during these unique times which called for us to host a socially-distanced graduation ceremony,” James Preciado, Business manager/secretary-treasurer of Plaster Tenders Local 1414, said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, we are proud to recognize their efforts and encourage them to maintain their certifications, continue training to improve their skills, and pass along their knowledge to the apprentices that will come behind them.”

To attain journeyperson status, each apprentice must complete at least 480 hours of classroom instruction and work 3,600 hours of on-the-job training (OJT). The OJT and classroom instruction cover the stucco, interior plaster, exterior insulation finish systems, fireproofing, and scaffolding industries. In addition, many safety and certification courses are part of the training, including OSHA 30 training, first aid and CPR, aerial boom/scissor lift, scaffold user, scaffold builder, forklift, and pump certification.

However, prior to becoming an apprentice, candidates first must pass a physical agility test that assesses their ability to handle the heavy rigors of the trade and an oral interview. Successful candidates are then drug tested before being accepted into the program.

In a statement, wall and ceiling industry contractor representatives spoke highly of the apprenticeship program and the training provided by its instructors.

“This apprenticeship Program is of great value to the industry and the contractors it services,” said Albert Carrillo, CEO of the Western Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association. “The emphasis on job-site safety plus the specialized knowledge taught create an apprentice that knows what it takes to be a professional. But when the program’s instructors and coordinator reinforce the old adage of an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, the industry gets a journeyman that stands above the rest.”

The apprenticeship committee is a partnership between the Western Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association (WWCCA) and Plaster Tenders Local 1414, an affiliate local of the Southern California District Council of Laborers (SCDCL).

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