GP Sellers Named to President’s Task Force On Apprenticeship Expansion

Published: October 16, 2017

SMART General President Joseph Sellers was named today to serve on the President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.

In June, President Trump signed an executive order expanding apprenticeship programs and vocational training at a White House ceremony.  The executive order led to the creation of this task force to identify strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships throughout the United States and especially within the private sector.

SMART General President Sellers, a native of Pennsylvania, served as the training coordinator for Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 from 1996 through 2000 when he began his term as Business Representative, then became the Local Union’s Business Manager. Throughout his career, General President Sellers held a number of critical union and industry posts and has bridged the gap between labor and management while always meeting the needs of the industry, including as a member of the Pennsylvania State Apprenticeship and Training Council.

Sellers thanked President Trump and Secretary Acosta for the nomination,  “I look forward to contributing to this important task force through my experience and ideas.”  Sellers continued, “this work will benefit workers and their families through an established career path and applied education curriculum in support of a new workforce for tomorrow.”

Today’s American workforce faces a skills gap with 6.1 million job openings in the United States, and 6.8 million people seeking employment.  “To close the skills gap,” Sellers stressed, “we must give working families the opportunity to learn while they earn as they pursue a demand driven education.   Apprenticeships are a proven form of this and the Task Force will serve as a way to plan and grow America’s capacity to expand avenues to opportunity through apprenticeships.

SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, is one of North America’s most dynamic and diverse unions with 200,000 members. SMART’s members ensure the quality of the air we breathe, promote energy efficiency, produce and provide the vital services that move products to market and passengers to their destinations. We are sheet metal workers, service technicians, bus operators, engineers, conductors, sign workers, welders, production employees and more. With members in scores of different occupations, we advocate for a safe and fair workplace, excellence at work and opportunity for all working families.