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OPCMIA’s inaugural Instructor Training Program kicks off with contract signing, brings nearly 100 instructors for week-long training

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (June 25, 2018) – Washtenaw Community College welcomed representatives of the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association (OPCMIA) to campus today for the organization’s inaugural Instructor Training Program.

A contract signing with OPCMIA General President Daniel Stepano and WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca kicked off the new partnership, which brings 98 of the international labor union’s trainers to the WCC campus for a week-long program.

“WCC is proud to celebrate this occasion and welcome the OPCMIA into our family to host its Instructor Training Program here on our campus and to establish WCC as the headquarters for continued instructor development and education,” said Bellanca. “Together, we move collaboratively to give workers the skills they need to find pathways to good jobs and careers in a manner that accounts for the changing needs of the industries we serve.”

Founded in 1864, OPCMIA is the nation’s oldest building trades union. It is affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Labour Congress and represents approximately 39,000 members.

“With the signing of this contract, we’ve taken a step that will reap benefits for our members,” Stepano said. “We know we’ll get the training needed to move our organization forward. I’m glad we’ve found a home here.”

The OPCMIA Instructor Training Program curriculum covers learning styles, teaching techniques, lesson plan development, student assessment, success strategies and classroom management along with electives to help instructors become more effective presenters.

The training sessions will take place primarily in the college’s Great Lakes Regional Training Center, which features state-of-the-art classrooms, demonstration labs, and an auditorium.

OPCMIA joins the United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Techs (UA) and the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (Ironworkers) as international labor unions that call WCC home for their summer instructor training programs.

OPCMIA established a licensing agreement to adapt and use the same series of train-the-trainer professional instruction courses that representatives from WCC and the University of Michigan helped the UA to create for its training program.

The Ironworkers’ annual summer training program at WCC will take place July 15-20 and the UA will come to campus on August 11-17. Those two organizations combine to draw more than 3,000 people to the area annually.


Read an earlier story about the OPCMIA/WCC partnership:

For more information about the OPCMIA, visit

For more information about Washtenaw Community College, visit

Media contact: Susan Ferraro, Director of Media Relations, 734-677-5295,