Gerald Kriskovich

Executive Director

With over 26 years of experience as an OPCMIA Cement Mason, Gerald Kriskovich stepped into the Executive Director role for the National Plastering Industry’s Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund (NPIJATF) in 2017. The progression through his career seemed to be no different than any other hardworking OPCMIA member. He began as an Apprentice with Local 241/797 in Reno, Nevada and climbed through the ranks, becoming a Journeyman, Foreman, and Superintendent. However, his career made a transition when he accepted a new opportunity as a cement mason instructor for the NPIJATF in 2006 at the Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center in Reno. From the beginning of his career with Job Corps, Gerald found himself passionate about empowering young men and women to learn a skilled trade and placing those same students in a meaningful career. With a family of his own to support, he whole heartedly backed “an honest day’s work, for an honest day’s pay.” Moving forward, Gerald is looking to continue to share his passion for training to help the OPCMIA/NPIJATF achieve new levels of growth and development. Gerald is married to Lisa Kriskovich and has two children Miquela and Eric.

Brian Fierros

South Central Regional Coordinator

A cement mason with 24 years of experience, Brian Fierros graduated from his OPCMIA apprenticeship in 1997 and is a member of OPCMIA Local #394 in Phoenix. He was a Job Corps instructor for five years before becoming regional coordinator one year ago. “As an instructor, Job Corps impacted me both personally and professionally,” he said. “I am passionate about being a cement mason and have now had the great opportunity to teach the craft to our youth. One of the biggest rewards is to hear from my former students, thanking me for teaching them and hearing how positive and meaningful their lives are now.”

Alex Garcia

California Regional Coordinator

A 1996 graduate of the Sierra Nevada Job Corps Plastering Program, Alex J. Garcia serves as the OPCMIA Job Corps’ California Regional Coordinator. After completing Job Corps, he enrolled in the San Francisco Plastering Local # 66 Apprenticeship program, becoming a journeyman in 2000. In addition to working as a plasterer for the past 22 years, Mr. Garcia has served as a plastering instructor at various OPCMIA training facilities until he was named to his current post in 2018. “As a former student in the [Job Corps] program, I understand the significance of not missing an opportunity for a enthusiastic accolade and a conscious effort in a teachable moment,” he said. “I began to see my own self worth as a young adult … because of merited praise and being introduced to different perspectives. … I reflect on situations that I have experienced … as a Job Corps student and instructor to aid in my interactions.”

John D. Zapata, Jr.

Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator

Approaching his 40th anniversary as a proud OPCMIA member, John D. Zapata, Jr., graduated from Local 783’s apprenticeship program in 1986. Since 2004, he has served as a cement mason instructor. “Starting my career as a basic cement mason instructor gave me the opportunity to work with young adults wanting to better themselves, therefore providing me with personal growth,” he said. “I was privileged to be offered the Advanced Cement Mason program several years into my career, affording me further opportunities to work with students eager to build upon their fundamental knowledge of cement masonry.”

Mike McSain

Eastern Regional Manager

Mike McSain has 20 years of experience as a cement mason, including 18 as an instructor. “Connecting with students to help them recognize their abilities is my goal,” he said. “I have watched students who had little knowledge and confidence in themselves realize their strengths and start believing in what they could accomplish. Because of Job Corps/NPIJATF, I found my purpose and my way of giving back by improving the lives of students that I had the privilege to instruct and mentor. Many of them are now employed in life-improving careers, many within the OPCMIA Locals.”

Charles “Charlie” Miller

Midwest Regional Coordinator

Charlie Miller, a member of OPCMIA Local 518 in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked more than 35 years as a cement mason on residential, heavy highway, commercial and industrial projects. He was a Job Corps Instructor for 2½ years at Pine Ridge Job Corps Center before becoming the Midwest Regional Coordinator for the National Plastering Industry’s Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund in January 2021. “Being a Cement Mason is an honorable trade and craft,” he said. “Passing this on to a younger generation is not only a passion but a necessity for all of our futures. Introducing young men and women into our craft has been an amazing experience. Taking this group by the hand, literally at times, reaching into their heart and souls, watching their confidence in themselves blossom as they become a more positive version of themselves is the biggest reward in the world. The connection between my career and building future careers is truly a love story worth living and sharing.”

Jeff Wagner

Western Regional Manager

With 23 years of service as a cement mason with OPCMIA Local 797, and another 4.5 years with the National Plastering Industry’s Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund, Jeff Wagner brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Job Corps program. Working with Job Corps students “has given me a feeling of accomplishment that I have shared my knowledge with our younger generation and to know I have made a difference in their lives,” he said.

Stanley Ziel

Southeast Regional Coordinator

Stanley Ziel became a cement mason more than 11 years ago, calling it “One of the best decisions I ever made in my life.” He went on to serve as an instructor with the National Plastering Industry’s Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund for four years and was named Southeast Regional Coordinator over one year ago. “When I started my life as a instructor with Job Corps, it was a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I always wanted to be involved with struggling youth, as I was once in a lot of their shoes as well. I look at each student and try to find ways to reach them. After four years of being an instructor I was blessed with the opportunity to become the Southeast Field Coordinator for the NPIJATF/OPCMIA. I was eager to take on this role and have been greatly honored to have the title and wish continued success.”