America's Resource for On-the-Job Training

OUR UNION HISTORY: Bringing Laborers Together

OPCMIA – Strength in Numbers

In 1864, recognizing that there is strength in numbers, the National Plasterer’s Union or the National Plasterer’s Organization began to unify the various crafts unions representing our trade. This new organization, the Building Trades Union, attempted to lay the foundations for standard wages, working conditions, regulated training for it’s members, a travelling card system, and exclusion for those unqualified for membership.

After seeing Union brothers suffer through many years of excessively long work days, in 1882 this new Union successfully established the eight-hour work day. Along with this success came the Union pledge of avoiding any “unnecessary strikes”. In 1887, we welcomed our Canadian brothers into membership and in 1914 renamed our Union to Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Finishers’ International Association.  The following year the Union reached an agreement with the United Brotherhood of Cement Workers who strengthened our numbers by joining our membership.

Our trade took a huge leap forward in 1946; the Union worked with the Associated General Contractors and the Contracting Plasterers’ International Association to establish national apprentice training standards. Recognizing that member skills were moving beyond just finishing cement, the name was changed to the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons International Association (OPCMIA).

LOCAL 633 – Strength in Training

A small group of craftsmen, holding meetings in a garage, established Local Union 633 in 1922. In 1998 Local 633 purchased the 14,000 square foot training center that sits on 2.5 acres of land in New Brighton Minnesota. The Joint Apprentice Training Committee for Local 633, more commonly known as JATC Local 633, uses this space for training and re-certification.

The JATC Local 633 training program has evolved into a nationally recognized leader in the training of superior craftsmen and women. Our Contractors are willing to invest in the future of each apprentice by supporting them through every phase of the training program. Certification includes extensive time at the training center and also several hours of on-the-job training next to high-quality Journeymen. Our apprentices also get many opportunities to work on community service projects.

JATC Local 633 provides a thorough foundation for a successful career upon completion of the Apprentice Program. Our Union Contractors are actively recruited. Our employers seek masons, plasterers and shophands of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.


To train our members to the highest of standards and enable them to be exemplary craftsmen and citizens for the benefit of their livelihood, the Union, the industry and the United States.


Brian Farmer

Apprenticeship Coordinator

Moke Eaglefeathers


Shannon Selix

Office Administrator

Peter Dubay



  • 17 years or older
  • Highschool diploma or G.E.D
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Reliable transportation
  • Physically capable of performing trade duties
Q What Is Registered Apprenticeship

Registered Apprenticeship is a proven model of job preparation that combines paid on-the-job training (OJT) with related instruction to progressively increase workers’ skill levels and wages. Registered Apprenticeship provides an effective way for employers to recruit, train, and retain highly skilled workers. It allows employers to develop and apply industry standards to training programs, thereby increasing productivity and the quality of the workforce. As an “earn and learn” strategy, Registered Apprenticeship offers job seekers immediate employment opportunities that pay sustainable wages and offer advancement along a career path.

The U.S. Registered Apprenticeship System is authorized through the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 (29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.). The Office of Apprenticeship (OA) in conjunction with State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAAs) is responsible for registering apprenticeship programs that meet Federal and State standards, issuing certificates of completion to apprentices, encouraging the development of new programs through outreach and technical assistance, protecting the safety and welfare of apprentices, and assuring that all programs provide high quality training.

According to the Office of Policy Development and Research (OPDR) as of January 2017, In the United States there are more than 150,000 employers and other Registered Apprenticeship sponsors employing more than 500,000 apprentices in over 1,000 occupations

Q What To Expect

Local 633 JATC Training Center has two Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry Registered Apprenticeship Programs, Cement Mason and Plasterer. These courses are both three-year training programs at no cost to you that requires the completion of 6,000 hours of On-The-Job Training as well as 200 hours of Related Classroom Instruction. You will first begin your career by going to work for a Union Contractor and receiving a great starting wage which will be 70% of Journeyman Scale plus full benefits. Over time you will become eligible for medical benefits and a pension plan as well as other benefits. Each year beginning around October you will attend Related Classroom and Shop Training one week per month until around May.

Q Qualifications To Apply

Applicants must be 17 years of age or older
Have a High School Diploma or GED
Must have Valid Minnesota Driver’s License
Reliable transportation
Should be physically capable of performing the work


After obtaining employment with a signatory contractor as a Cement Mason you will learn the following through your Apprenticeship


After obtaining employment with a signatory contractor as a Plasterer you will learn the following through your Apprenticeship

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