Thirteen members of the United States military graduated as the seventh class of the SMART Heroes program last month at the Western Washington Sheet Metal training center, in DuPont, Washington.
The Oct. 22 class was made up of 12 current or recently discharged members of the military and represented the Army, Navy, and Marines. Launched in August 2017, the SMART Heroes program provides free sheet metal industry training to enlisted U.S. military men and women assisting with their successful transition to the civilian workforce.
Special guests at the graduation ceremony included James Page, administrator of the ITI, the education division of the unionized sheet metal industry; Rob Biederman, SMART Capital; and Tom Montgomery, vice president of SMACNA Western Washington.
In order to graduate, these veterans completed 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.
The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART), the International Training Institute (ITI) and SMACNA, created the program in collaboration with SMART Local 66, SMACNA Western Washington, the Western Washington Sheet Metal JATC, and Helmets to Hardhats.
For additional information on SMART Heroes, visit www.smart-heroes.org or call the International Training Institute at 703-739-7200.