Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

Letters and Testimony

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SMACNA Urges Senate to Endorse S. 760, the "Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act of 2019"


In a recent letter to the Senate, SMACNA enthusiastically expressed its support for S. 760, the bipartisan “Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act of 2019”, introduced by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and cosponsored by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) on March 12th and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. SMACNA applauds Senator Peters’s leadership in promoting excellent career opportunities for veterans eligible for educational assistance within certified apprenticeship programs registered under the National Apprenticeship Act. State of the art, certified, and registered apprenticeship programs produce the nation’s most exceptional skilled workers available today. Many, if not most, certified apprenticeship programs have begun to recruit returning veterans for their outstanding training, dedication, and basic training so useful to apprentices. S. 760 would allow individuals eligible for educational assistance to use such aid for the registered apprenticeship programs. This important legislation will boost real apprenticeship opportunities for veterans seeking a skilled workforce role with a bright future with quality wages and benefits.

SMACNA is very proud of its joint program with the Sheet Metal, Air, and Rail Transportation Workers (SMART) to recruit and enroll veterans in our certified apprenticeship programs. SMART Heroes provides sheet metal industry training through an accelerated seven-week program for enlisted U.S. Military men and women who plan to enter civilian life within the year, assisting with their successful transition to the civilian workforce and achieve a satisfying, lifelong career in the sheet metal industry. To graduate, enrolled veterans complete a seven-week course to earn the equivalent of their first-year sheet metal apprentice training (224 hours).  Upon discharge from service, these graduates may choose to enter any of the 150-plus SMART apprenticeship programs in the United States and be provided direct entry and advanced placement as a second-year sheet metal apprentice, including a high probability of obtaining second-year apprentice wages and benefits.

To contact your Senators and Representatives on this and other industry-critical issues, visit our eAdvocacy site and enter your email address on the right-hand side of the page.