Education Department

The Department of Education has designed a number of training programs that allow the elected or appointed union official to better perform their duties by providing top quality designed programs facilitated by experts in the fields of representation, organizing, communication and leadership. Our programs are taken to the union hall and include Youth to Youth orientations as well as other organizing initiatives for SMART members.

The Department of Education will attempt to maintain the dates and locations listed above but may need to alter locations and or dates due to unforeseen circumstances. Please make sure to wait for confirmation after registration before booking airfare.



2019 SMART Education Department Schedule


 Pittsburgh, PA

September 9 – 12, 2019

SMART Basic Organizing–Monday arrival Class Tuesday – Thursday check out Friday                                               

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



Seattle, WA

September 16-20, 2019          

SMART Diversity-Monday arrival-Class Tuesday-Thursday check out Friday

This 3-day class will outline the need for the development of a diverse and supportive climate for our members in our workplaces and throughout our union.  Legal issues around bullying, hazing and harassment will be explored, and best practices shared with a strong focus on enhancing communication skills centered around bystander training and establishing culture change. Building local union women’s committees and formulating mentoring programs will also be discussed.  [Local unions are encouraged to register and bring women leaders to this training]



Linthicum Heights, MD – Maritime Conference Center

September 29 – October 3, 2019                        

New Business Representatives Workshop Sunday-Thursday-Travel Day is Friday

New Business Agents 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.


New Orleans, LA

October 22-24, 2019

Motivational Communication Techniques-Arrival Monday Class Tuesday-Thursday check out Friday

This 3-day class provides participants with the understanding, tools and techniques to bridge the gap of disconnect between the message leaders convey and the message being heard, in order to effectively educate, directionally motivate and successfully activate and inspire their intended audience for the purpose of strengthening our Unions. 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.



Tempe, AZ

November 10-15, 2019

SMART Leadership

Developed with the full-time union business representative, official and organizer in mind, this 4-day training includes various elements that are needed to be effective leaders in our industry including; Leading organizational change, building effective teams and practicing strategic decision making. Other areas of study will include the need for critical thinking and preparing for new technological advances in our industry as well as building support for the changing workforce.



The Department of Education will bring programs to your local area. If there is a desire to have a particular program or class such as Dynamic Leadership, Negotiations or Strategic Planning and SMART MAP delivered in your local union, district council or regional area, please contact Chris Carlough at 202-662-0840 or