Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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SMACNA Boston and SMART Local 17 show what partnership can do

Oct 10, 2017

SMACNA Boston labor meeting1SMACNA contractors in Boston are reaping the benefits of finding common ground and working with their labor partners on a variety of industry issues.

Recently, SMACNA Boston and SMART Local 17 shared how their strong collaboration—in advocacy campaigns, drug testing, charity work, and diversity in the workplace—supports existing market share and has set the stage for additional growth.

Both labor and management discussed their initiatives during the recent SMACNA/SMART Best Practices Market Expansion Task Force meeting in Providence, R.I. 

Based on communication, cooperation, and collaboration, Boston’s solid SMACNA/SMART local partnership has resulted in moving forward in government engagement, market transformation, community awareness, and training.  

SMACNA Boston labor meeting2In a political victory, SMACNA Boston and Local 17 organized a lobbying campaign to establish sheet metal occupational licensing. This effort included defining the jurisdiction of sheet metal work as well as the requirements for a license, including occupational experience and testing. The labor-management partnership works to ensure participation on the licensing board.

In addition, SMACNA Boston and Local 17 have also collaborated to establish a drug testing program by allowing regular, random testing of apprentices and journeymen to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace. The program has helped labor and management guide individuals to seek treatment.

By supporting local charitable causes, SMACNA Boston and Local 17 have established strong reputations in the communities where they live and work. Their helping hands include such social and military causes as Helmets to Hardhats, CarePacks Inc., 22 Kill, and Friends of the Children.

Additionally, SMACNA Boston and Local 17 have worked together on the local Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee and on many initiatives to expand diversity in the workforce. 

They have provided resources and support for programs like Building Pathways, a pre-apprenticeship program for women and people of color. They have also worked with Operation Exit, which provides job training to at-risk inner-city youth.

 Find out more about local area efforts on the SMACNA Boston website and the SMART Local 17 website.

Build strong relationships at Partners in Progress Conference

Contractors and their labor partners interested in building a stronger relationship as the one in Boston, should plan to attend the upcoming Partners in Progress Conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-14, 2018.

About the Best Practices Task Force

The SMACNA/SMART Best Practices Market Expansion Task Force is made up of nine management and nine labor members from around the country. As part of their meetings twice a year, they invite local labor and management in the meeting location to share their successful experiences. 

The Task Force identifies, promotes, and communicates local-level industry best practices, where local labor and management collaborate in a cooperative environment to grow market share that will increase work opportunities and membership. Visit the Task Force website.

The Task Force also provides resources for local parties to increase market share. To get  these free resources, please contact Jason Watson, SMACNA director of labor relations (jwatson@smacna.org / (703) 803-2981).