The Stucco Manufacturers Association (SMA) has offered a leg up to member contractors with new training opportunities to learn about an industry that has stood the test of time.
Marlene Lampert represented the SMA at World of Concrete 2022 in Las Vegas and said the association is putting effort into advancing their training programs, which are intended to give stucco contractors help working with the product.
“Stucco has been around for centuries. It is extremely durable, and it’s very low maintenance if it has been done correctly,” Lampert said.
Lampert said every product is only as good as it’s applied.
“What we do is we also teach members, stucco contractors and workers, to do it right,” she said.
She said the SMA, a non-profit, now offers a free training program on their website, which is available to both union and non-union stucco contractors.
“Stucco can be the best cladding you will ever use if it’s done correctly, but it can also be the worst if you did it wrong,” she said.
Lampert said the training program available online through the SMA offers simple techniques.
“Even the people that have done it for 20, 30 years say that they walked away learning something new,” Lampert said.
Some of the training programs available online through the SMA include lathing video training, plastering video training and supervisor courses. For a fee, some courses also include tests that can result in a certificate of completion if they are passed.
“This is a set of knowledge-based courses without any hands-on training,” the SMA states on their website about the available training. “Codes and standards are an important part of trade knowledge. However, experts agree understanding the ‘why’ is more critical to a successful stucco installation rather than reciting code language.”
“It is the real comprehension of why something works or fails that makes a worker more knowledgeable, adaptable and valuable. Lathing and plastering are not only skilled trades, but time honored, and the knowledge of the why is a big part of what makes stucco work or fail.”
Lampert said stucco contractors have a lot to gain by joining the SMA. She said the industry is a lot stronger when it is united.
She said the SMA has about 85 contractor members and roughly 40 members that consist of manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and consultants.
“The union does a great job in teaching and training their workers, but the union stucco contractors are only maybe less than 10 percent in the United States,” she said. “So we also want to make sure that the rest, which is 91 percent of us, also get the opportunity to be trained, and we have been listening to our contractors saying that they have a shortage in trained workers.