Sheet Metal Workers Local 1 Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight

Posted by Chad Aleshire - On January 14, 2013 (EST)

For our next installment of the Trailblazer and Innovator Spotlight series, we are highlighting the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union #1 and the Central Illinois’ Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA).  The two are working together to provide apprenticeship opportunities to underrepresented populations through a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC)

The JATC is working with Community-Based and Faith-Based organizations, and area schools to promote apprenticeship opportunities to underrepresented populations through “sample tests” that allow individuals to self-assess their strengths and weaknesses.  The sample test empowers potential applicants to work on areas of their knowledge that may need additional focus to prepare for entrance into a Registered Apprenticeship program. 

Additionally, the Local continually evaluates industry needs to identify areas of focus to ensure area employers are assured that journeyworkers who have completed the apprenticeship are trained for the ever-changing needs of the industry.  The program keeps an eye to the future to ensure training practices and strategies are innovative and able to adapt to meet employers’ needs.  The Sheet Metal Workers Joint Apprenticeship is committed to ensuring a dependable source of skilled, versatile sheet metal workers to its cooperating employers. 

The JATC has also partnered with Tri-County Construction Labor Management Council (TRICON) whose focus is workforce development, public relations, safety, and green building.  TRICON has brought in several students through an introductory work-based learning session to demonstrate what Sheet Metal Workers do.  The JATC also teams with Illinois Central College to provide related instruction as part of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program.

Recently, the Sheet Metal Workers Local 1 / SMACNA JATC efforts were recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) as a Trailblazer and Innovator program.  As part of the USDOL’s August 1, 2012 Registered Apprenticeship Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act, program representatives were presented with a Trailblazer and Innovator Recognition Certificate presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Administrator of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.

“As we work to prepare future Sheet Metal Workers for the demands of our industry employers, the rigors of the Registered Apprenticeship model ensures we are providing a highly skilled workforce,” said Bill Comstock, Sheet Metal Workers Local 1 Business Manager.

For more on the Sheet Metal Workers Local # 1, please visit

For more on SMACNA, please visit the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association at

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Modified On : January 14, 2013
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