Education Department

While the SMART Education Department originally intended to offer a fall/winter training schedule that included both in person and online classes, public health concerns due to the conditions generated by the COVID-19 pandemic have made that difficult. As a result, all trainings for the remainder of 2021 will take place virtually. We want to make clear that all online training for fulltime elected representatives will meet SMART Constitutional requirements and all online organizing training will meet the Department of Organizing’s guideline requirements for subsidized organizers. We will continue to monitor and assess public health concerns moving forward as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our participants.


Please email Jackie Miesner at to sign up for these trainings.


  • Mental Health Break- Sept 17, 2021, Zoom 5p to 7p
  • Leadership I- Sept 20-21, 2021, Zoom 10a to 4p
  • Welcome to Weed Country-Sept 30, Zoom 2021 10a to 12p
  • Mental Health Break- Oct 11, 2021, Zoom 2p to 4p
  • Welcome to Weed Country-Oct 14, Zoom 2021 3p to 5p
  • SMART New Representatives WorkshopOct 18-21, 2021, Zoom (10a to 4p)
  • Building a Successful Youth to Youth Program- Oct 12-13, 2021, Zoom (10a to 4p)
  • SMART Communications II- Managing the Message- Oct 26-27, 2021, Zoom (10a to 4p)
  • Basic Organizing – Nov 2-4, 2021- Zoom (10a to 4p)
  • Strategic Organizing- Nov 8-10, 2021, Zoom (10a to 4p)
  • Welcome to Weed Country-Nov 12, Zoom 2021 5p to 7p
  • Mental Health Break- Nov 15, 2021, Zoom 5p to 7p
  • Building Your Union- Nov 30- Dec 2, 2021- Zoom (10a to 4p)
  • Welcome to Weed Country-Dec 7, Zoom 2021 2p to 4p
  • Mental Health Break- Dec 10, 2021, Zoom 7p to 9p
  • Leadership II- Dec 14-15, 2021, Zoom (10a to 4p)



SMART Mental Health Break

COVID-19 continues to heighten the urgency for us, as union leaders, to maintain our own health and wellness so we can be there for our union members through these challenging times. This session will be led by licensed therapist Chris Williams out of Orange County CA. Chris will lead the group discussion that will be both a processing group as well as specific suggestions and tips to improve participants mental health. We encourage participants to attend ready to talk openly and honestly about mental health and the challenges we are all facing.


Leadership I- This 2-day class offers basic leadership skills, tips, and tools to newer union leaders, as well as providing a refresher to experienced leader participant/class mentors. The class shall focus on prioritizing leadership value expectations, demands and responsibilities as well as time and stress management and decision-making skills.

Welcome to Weed Country- Many of our locals now find themselves in states where recreational and or medical marijuana are allowed under the law. As the list of states allowing the use of marijuana grows so do questions around its impact on our members and contractors.
This two-hour session will include relevant science and updated statistics to better help you navigate this new and often confusing landscape. This interactive session will be led by Ben Cort, our resident expert on cannabis and treatment. Ben will present for roughly half of the session and answer questions for the other half. Please be prepared to ask anything that is applicable to our members or that you are personally curious about.

SMART New Representatives Workshop- This baseline education workshop provides an overview of SMART Construction Departments and their responsibilities as well as the in-house programs available to local unions. National and local union strategic planning is discussed as well as grievance and arbitration procedures.  Other primary topics include the legal rights, duties and obligations of officers, ethics, negotiation planning and strategy, global campaigns and international relationships, and the trustee/financial responsibilities of union officers.

Building a Successful Youth to Youth Program- Youth to Youth is an extremely valuable tool that when implemented will allow existing organizing models to develop into a more comprehensive approach to strategic organizing.  This training will focus on building a robust Youth to Youth program, from inception through implementation.  Key components of this training will include discussions about the funding and administration of your Youth-to-Youth program, an explanation of current salting guidelines and requirements, discussion around innovative ways to use salts in our industry, and finally exploring other ways to engage your Youth-to-Youth staff in community based organizing endeavors. This training will enable attendees to develop realistically achievable goals towards implementation of a working Youth to Youth program.

Communications II Managing the Message  Mastering the tools and techniques to help bridge the gap of disconnect between the message leaders convey and the message being heard is especially critical in today’s highly charged political and social environment. Through small group exercises and roll play, participants learn persuasive communication techniques to help influence a wide range of audiences, such as end users, non-union workers, and union members.  Also explored are systems to build and maintain an effective online/on grid presence including how to control and direct your message.

Basic Organizing- Through formal presentation, collaborative discussion, exercises and role play, this 3-Day course will provide participants with the essential skills needed for construction, and production organizing.  This course focuses primary on “in the field topics” such as: organizing the work to grow hours, members and contractors, NLRB basics (understanding worker’s rights and an administration who is decimating them), tools for finding non-union Jobs and targeting contractors, Top Down/Bottom Up basics, election basics, Neutrality & Card Check agreement basics, “Street Law”, Jobsite & Contractor visit basics, “Pickets vs. Hand-billing vs. Bannering” and Ambulatory Picketing.  The course will also touch on Responsible Contractor Policies and understanding Davis Bacon/Prevailing Wage laws, as well as discussions on topics currently relevant to the growth and protection of our work and our industry. This course is offered not only as an introduction course for new organizers and business representatives, but also for more reps and organizers looking to get back to basics, or maybe get out of that organizing rut and back into the game.

Strategic Organizing

Strategic planning and strategic campaign tactics are essential for national and local organizing departments.  The strategic planning model includes concentration on setting goals and creating workable organizing action plans.  This is in conjunction with the building of strategic campaign platforms for larger multi area/multi state organizing targets, the utilization of pressure tactics and the legal considerations of those strategies. This class enables attendees to develop realistically achievable goals and creating and implementing a plan of action to reach them.

Building Your Union- This newly adapted online union leadership class focuses on the premise that building the strength of a local union comes by expanding its ability to broadly organize. This training provides systematic techniques for empowering local union organizers through an understanding that a strong union membership is paramount to increasing union density by building comprehensive membership involved strategies in both bargaining leverage and organizing growth. Motivation, team building, and leadership skills are combined with basic organizing tactics.

Leadership IIThis 2-day leadership training starts with a self-examination through a MBTI assessment to learn individual learning styles, differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Next, this training focuses on team building, leadership styles and navigating organizational culture. Other areas include effectively handling the difficult areas of hazing, bulling and harassment and leading with emotional intelligence.




Please email Jackie Miesner at to sign up for any of these trainings.

                    we look forward to seeing you at the next one.