Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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Council of Chapter Reps discuss safety, recruiting apprentices

Jan 25, 2018

Members of SMACNA’s Council of Chapter Representatives met in Tucson, Ariz., in December to discuss and examine current industry issues and emerging trends such as managing safety through technology, recruitment programs, and how contractors can get paid on time.

How to get paid on time. Thomas C. Schleifer Ph.D., a faculty member at Arizona State University and a respected speaker at SMACNA conventions and educational programs, shared his thoughts with participants on how contractors can get paid on time. He said there was major disconnect between owners, designers, general contractors, and subcontractors. “Late payments to contractors violate contracts and multiply risks,” he noted.

Managing safety through technology. Rob McKinney of JB Knowledge Inc. engaged the council in a discussion on how new apps can help manage safety on the jobsite, which can translate into potential savings for contractors. (See the new apps SMACNA offers on our Tools, CAD & Apps webpage.)

Chapter-Union partnerships capture jobs. Several chapters shared their successful initiatives working with their labor partners. SMACNA Detroit discussed its “Ready to Work Safety Program.” This agreement between SMACNA Detroit and SMART Local 80 created a state-of-the-art safety program that helps contractors capture jobs as owner requirements and safety standards continue to become mandatory in bid documents—a win-win for both contractors and union members.

Ideas for recruiting more apprentices. The SMACNA Milwaukee Chapter also engaged the council in a conversation on their “Choose Bigger” campaign to aggressively recruit young people into apprenticeships and “make a better choice for a bigger future.” Visit their website for details.

Open forum addresses benefits. In addition to the topics above, the open forum also discussed:

  1. Prescription medicine benefits. 
  2. Trust fund investment management fees. 
  3. Manpower shortages. 
  4. Apprentice recruitment: Who is responsible and what are the winning strategies?
  5. Specification modifications. 

SMACNA National staff also updated chapter councilors on current legislative, labor, and safety issues.

Council elections. Matthew Sano, contractor councilor of the Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Philadelphia and Vicinity, was elected as 2018 council vice chair. Julie Ann Muller-Neff, executive director of the SMACNA Western Washington Chapter, will be the 2018 council chair.

To download the council meeting presentations, choose the Council of Chapter Representatives link on the "For Chapter Executives" section of SMACNA’s Chapter webpage.