The year 2020 has not been what we expected. This pandemic has flipped just about everything upside down. Meetings canceled, offices empty and the extra cost to do just about any task seems to push the limit of just breaking even on a project. However, we will get through this as we have gotten through the depression, the great recession and the housing collapse. While finding a silver lining seems hard, there may be one out there. Your competitors—who are poorly funded, unskilled and should not be in business—may not be around to see 2021.

The SMA and its manufacturers want to help you succeed. One issue that has come up over and over is that the “trunk slammer” down the street will now be cheaper. They will claim they are the best value, and we all know the low price is hard to sway builders away from. But the SMA may be able to help.

Introducing the SMA Certified Contractor. A simple fact is that many designers, builders and home owners want stucco but are scared it will be done wrong. And with only the price to go on, they typically pick the lowest bid. This is because even the low bidder is going to sell themselves as the most qualified. NOW, there will be a way to differentiate yourself from the low bidder. You are SMA certified.

Learn more about our certification program here.

The program is designed to be national. It covers regional practices and variations between various states. What makes this program unique is that it is NOT merely code or standards memorization. The purpose of the program is to know WHY you do something and then HOW best to get it done. It is for the new lather and plasterer as well as the seasoned pro. We promise, the pro will learn something from watching the video modules. A Union-trained lather watched the video: “I learned a lot and will lath my jobs differently in the future, all lathers should watch this program.”

See About the SMA Certification Program to learn more or log onto the SMA website or YouTube channel and start watching. It is free.


While things seem sleepy, OSHA announced that they will go back to stricter enforcement of the silica rules in 2021. On June 25th OSHA sent out a memo to all inspectors in various states regarding silica dust.


Notice of intent required. States are expected to have accessible enforcement policies and procedures in place which are at least as effective as those in this Instruction.

The SMA urges contractors to get their people trained. You need a Competent Person, and the SMA offers “free” training. The SMA also offers a very short “Awareness” video for your employees. This is not full training and only lasts a few minutes. But it can prevent your employees from responding to the OSHA officer with a statement such as “ What is silica, my employer never told me a thing.” Statements like this are red flags to compliance officers. Protect yourself and your employees. In a short eight minutes, they can be aware of silica, and the SMA even has a 5 question test that all should be able to pass easily after watching the video. This can really help if OSHA wants to see what you have done to protect your worker. The cost for members is ZERO. So you really have no excuse.