Members of SMART Local 206 demonstrated our union’s commitment to acting on our values during the San Diego Wounded Warrior Project Carry Forward 5K, held on August 20. Carry Forward 5Ks – which take place at cities across the country throughout the year – are fitness and fundraising events that give participants the chance to both pay tribute to and raise money for wounded veterans, helping fulfil the Wounded Warrior Project’s mission of honoring and empowering wounded warriors. During the San Diego Carry Forward run, Local 206 showed out in force.

“The SMART Army represented like no other team in both numbers and dollars donated, with 97 registered and over $10,000 raised,” Financial Secretary-Treasurer/Business Manager Dave Gauthier wrote on Facebook.

As part of the fundraising effort, Local 206 challenged other area labor unions to get involved – and they did, most notably IBEW Local 569. It was a display not just of labor solidarity, but of the vital role union members play in serving their communities.

“Although this money is going to help our wounded heroes, the day had a big impact on our members and their families too, including several of our veteran members – two of them came to us directly from Wounded Warriors here in San Diego,” Gauthier added. “You could see the excitement and appreciation in their faces as we gathered together to make a difference in our community and our country.”

Third-year apprentices at SMART SM Local 12 (southwestern Pennsylvania) had the opportunity to perform hands-on architectural sheet metal fabrication and installation in late July. After separating into three sections — Group A, Group B and Group C — each group of apprentices was assigned a different application of architectural sheet metal, enhancing their day-to-day study with practical experience.

Group A’s task was to make improvements to the sheet metal shop at the Local 12 training center, which had a gypsum board wall that was damaged from a roof leak. The apprentices first had to safely remove the drywall, the wood substrate and the old, damaged insulation. Then, after cleaning the area, the apprentices sealed any openings and installed new insulation, new substrate on two-foot centers, a new metal water table, J-channel and corrugated metal panels, and window trims.

Meanwhile, the local tasked Groups B and C with a community service project at a local baseball/ softball field. The concession stands at Scharmyn Park, the home of the West View Ross Athletic Association in Pittsburgh, Pa., required several upgrades. The wood siding needed painting. The wood ceiling had been removed and lacked the necessary replacement. The gutters were in desperate need of improvement, and wood soffits needed to be covered.

The project gave all three groups of apprentices firsthand training in the installation of architectural metal walls and roofing systems in real-life situations.

In response, the Local 12 apprentices took to the work quickly and efficiently: They installed new metal trims (J-channels, siding sill, fascia) and vertical siding panels that covered the old wood siding. They also mounted a corrugated metal ceiling onto rafters on two-foot centers and metal trims on three dugouts, plus corrugated metal roofing.

The project gave all three groups of apprentices firsthand training in the installation of architectural metal walls and roofing systems in real-life situations. The buildings were not as plumb, level and square as they would be in ideal circumstances — making them perfect examples of the conditions sheet metal workers run into in the field. Additionally, the apprentices had to build the scaffolding to access the work area, lay out the panel systems to develop symmetrical appearance, install the metal trims, cut the metal panels and cut in any penetrations that were in the way — all obstacles they are likely to face on future jobsites. The apprentices completed these tasks in a safe, effective manner, helping them develop on-the-job skills and give back to the community.

These experiences were made possible by the donation of metal siding and metal roofing panels by ATAS International, Inc. Local 12 elected to use these donated materials to help West View Ross Athletic Association with its concession stand, which was in dire need of attention. Local 12 also wishes to thank Miller, Thomas, Gyekis (trim fabricator), Pennsylvania Roofing Systems (trim fabricator), Business Manager Greg Blose, Apprentice Coordinator Joshua Moore, Instructors Mike Shields, Dan Lyons and John Naples, and Business Agents Geoff Foringer, Kevin Mally, Dan Maslo and Todd Deitrick for bringing this real-world learning event to life.

As a way to help the homeless in the local community, SMART Local 20 (Evansville, Ind.) partnered with Aurora and Echo Housing to build the strike zone stand for the first-ever River City Wiffle Ball Classic, with members also participating in the tournament.

“Our donation and participation were a great way to show the community how Local 20 wants to do their part in helping the homeless in the Tri-State,” said Local 20 Business Rep. Kreg Homoky. “These strike zone stands will now be used for future tournaments throughout the years. I want to thank Jim Dempsey, Evansville Sheet Metal, Neil Hammelman, Grant Hammelman, Keith Irwin and Aaron Friel for their help and participation.”

Business Representative Josh Williams, West Franklin Elementary Principal Dr. Dawn Lauridsen, Local 24 apprentice Katie Fertig, Business Representative Jeff Hunley.

The SM Local 24 (southern Ohio) SMART Army helped area kids and families stay healthy as summer began with a food drive benefiting elementary-aged students at West Franklin Elementary School in the Southwestern City School District; the fourth-largest school district in the state. Organized by Local 24 apprentice Katie Fertig, the food drive saw the SMART Army partner with West Franklin Elementary Communities in Schools Coordinator Brooklyn Brown to put together more than 50 food kits to send home to families in need over the summer months — a time when many children in the community lose access to school breakfast and lunch programs.

Local 24 members are currently at work helping build and remodel several new school buildings, as well as other projects, for the Southwestern City School District. The local hopes to further grow its relationship with the district and expand its food drive effort in future years to continue supporting the community and keep kids and families healthy.

Business Representative Jeff Hunley, Business Representative Josh Williams, Local 24 apprentice Katie Fertig

Thirty-one of the scholarship recipients, as well as Local 219 Recording Secretary Mike Sneed, President Todd Whitlock and Business Manager/Financial Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Cook (right to left, to the left of the podium).

On Tuesday, July 26, SM Local 219 (Rockford, Ill.) awarded $1,500 academic scholarships to 38 local students — amounting to a total of $57,000.

“It means a lot to me, it means a lot that they were able to give out that amount of money, and I know it’s helping a lot of people — including me,” local student Brennen Cook told Rockford NBC affiliate WREX 13.

In June 2022, the SM Local 473 (London, Ontario) SMART Army conducted a food drive, donating 225 pounds of food, a $1,000 check and $150 cash to the London Food Bank Curb Hunger Food Drive.

Pictured L–R: London Food Bank staff member, Local 473 Business Manager Mark Hall, Vice President Albert Morgado, Organizer Patrick Gordon.

As part of the Easter holiday festivities in their community, SM Local 33 (Toledo, Ohio) members worked with A.N.G.E.L.S Outreach to hand out 110 food baskets to local families. Founded in 1995, A.N.G.E.L.S Outreach provides food baskets to those in need of a helping hand during Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. SMART members who participated: Rod Graffis, Clint Dockery, Julie Price, Chris Monaghan, Bill Dukeshire, Nadine Dukeshire, Gary Schwartz, Laura Blackwell, Gail Mistiatis, Ray Schlagheck, Dick Schuller, Nick Koelsch and Jim Domanowski.

Pictured left to right are SMART Local 71 members Paul Holland, Nick Hoffman, Anthony Paris, Shilo Rogers, Dan Morino, Jeff Gatti and Ryan Hurley. As part of Local 71’s SMART Army and Apprenticeship Community Service programs, these members partici­pated in a cleanup of Raymond Klimek Veteran’s Park in North Tonawanda, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo. Spear­headed by Paris, a U.S. Army National Guard veteran, the beautification project took place on May 21–22, one weekend ahead of Memorial Day. Not pictured are Busi­ness Manager Paul Crist and Business Agent Timothy Benes, who also participated in the cleanup.

SMART members from Wisconsin and across North America teamed up to support the Associa­tion for the Rights of Citizens with Handicaps (ARCh)

On the morning of Thursday, June 9, SMART members from Wisconsin and across North America joined the Associa­tion for the Rights of Citizens with Handicaps (ARCh) to prepare the Menomonee Park lodge in Menomonee Falls, Wis., for ARCh Camp Pow Wow, ensuring area adults and children with disabilities could attend the annual summer camp. Additionally, SMART pitched in with a fundraising effort that brought in $33,000 for ARCh and Camp Pow Wow, including a $5,000 donation from Milwaukee Tool Co.

“This is what we’re all about: building better communities,” said SMART Local 565 Business Manager & Financial Secretary-Treasurer Jesse Buell. “Building better wages and benefits, and raising local standards. We are proud to take part in this effort to support our community.”

“SMART takes great pride in being able to assist ARCh Camp Pow Wow with their reopening,” added SMART Local 18 Business Manager/ President Mike Mooney. “Camp Pow Wow has been a staple with serving the needs of the community for many years, and SMART is honored to be able to assist them.”

ARCh Camp Pow Wow has been providing outdoor recreational activities for adults and children with disabilities since 1959. With day camp options for the area’s most vulnerable citizens, Camp Pow Wow offers swimming, fishing, gardening, fitness, arts and crafts, music and more. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Camp Pow Wow hadn’t taken place in person since 2019, and the site had fallen into disrepair. As a small nonprofit, ARCh did not have the resources to ready the site for return to camp — and SMART answered the call.

“We are thrilled and honored to benefit from the enthusiasm and expertise of the SMART Army,” said Kristen Lindahl, assistant director of operations at ARCh, ahead of the event. “This project shows how much good can be accomplished through a dynamic partnership of organized labor, county government and the nonprofit community. It takes this great ‘village’ to raise a camp!”

“This is what we’re all about: building better communities,” said SMART Local 565 Business Manager & Financial Secretary-Treasurer Jesse Buell. “Building better wages and benefits, and raising local standards. We are proud to take part in this effort to support our community.”

Members of SMART Local 18 (Wisconsin) and Local 565 (Madison, Wis.) — along with SMART delegates attending the SMART Production and Sign Council in Milwaukee the same week — arrived at Menomonee Park lodge early on Thursday morning, with more than 120 SMART volunteers providing over 400 combined hours of labor to make sure the lodge could safely accommodate guests of all abilities.

Members removed all the contents of the lodge, cleaned and sanitized the entire building – rooms, kitchen, common areas and more – and cleaned and sanitized every piece of equipment in the lodge before reinstalling all furnishings. Other SMART workers took care of basic landscaping, repair and mainte­nance needs for the lodge picnic area, music pavilion, tent boxes and swing sets: fixing picnic tables and accessible wooden walkways, setting up heavy-duty tents for campers to use, spreading woodchips, sanitizing toys and recreational materials, and more. At the end of the effort, SMART members presented a $33,000 check to ARCh Camp Pow Wow: a demonstration of labor’s lasting commitment to supporting local communities.

“Although they have been chal­lenging for everyone, the past two years have caused massive loneli­ness and frustration among children and adults with disabilities,” said Lindahl. “Thanks to the skill and dedication of the SMART Army, our campers can now safely and joyously return to the summer fun that they have missed so much!”

The Local 80 SMART Army was out in full force this April in Detroit, Mich., headed up by retiree Richard Flood and Apprenticeship Training Center Instructor Dennis Marintette. After a long career training the next generation of apprentices at the Local 80 Training Center, Flood now donates much of his time to Habitat for Humanity and other charitable projects, where his talents and skills help those in need. Using material donated by Local 80, equipment generously donated by one of Local 80’s signatory contractors — Macomb Mechanical — and the guidance of the training instructors, Local 80 apprentices showed up to install the HVAC system for local nonprofit PR Kids.

In 2016, Beth Pierson founded PR Kids to provide assistance to mothers in need. Whether it be low-income, undocumented or single parents — or any of a multitude of other situations — PR Kids offers help in securing affordable housing, prenatal services, therapy or even help with finding employment in child care. Pierson recently purchased a house from the Detroit land bank, intending to create an office to accommodate local families in need, as well as a nursing clinic on-site to assist new mothers with infant nursing. She spent a lot of her own money to make the structure safe and inhabitable, and now she is receiving support from others in the community to push her effort over the finish line.