For someone interested in the sheet metal industry, the courses offered by the International Training Institute’s (ITI) affiliated training centers can provide high-quality education and training designed to give you a rewarding lifelong career in the sheet metal industry.
Through the ITI, SMART and our management partners work together to ensure that members are trained for the work opportunities of tomorrow and that the industry continues to have a well-trained workforce to tackle challenges that arise.
Training is provided by 148 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees (JATCs) across the United States and Canada that have been established by SMART local unions to develop the skills of apprentices and journeymen. To maximize the impact of our training and better prepare our members, all apprenticeship courses involve classroom and on-the-job training.
We believe apprentices and new members will play a major role in defining what it is to be a union sheet metal worker in the decades to come. The more we all commit to our apprenticeship programs today, the stronger our union will be in the future. As technology changes the workplace — especially construction sites, but not limited to them — we work with our industry partners in shaping training that will enable sheet metal members to adapt to and take advantage of future changes.
SMART TD has long followed the idiom that “knowledge is power.”
The challenges of the transportation industry, whether involving employer relations, worker safety or the laws and regulations governing the industry, can prove to be difficult to navigate for the veteran or new member of the union alike. For this reason, SMART TD places a great emphasis on updating the skills of established officers, instructing new officeholders and guiding new members through mentorship at the local level.
For decades, the SMART TD regional meetings were the well from which many of these educational efforts were drawn. Because of the disruptive effects of the 2019 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), alternatives to the traditional large gatherings that had encompassed our union’s many workshops regarding topics such as local governance, safety regulations and employee grievances had to be modernized. As a result, the development of the remote delivery of SMART TD’s educational programs was accelerated, and SMART University was established.
The SMART University online platform will modernize our education outreach and provide the members more education opportunities in a broad-yet-effective way. Sensitive to the fact that members and union officers alike work unconventional shifts, the informational and educational sessions that are necessary to educate and make our union stronger will be available virtually — 24 hours a day. The SMART University platform, combined with the efforts of our leaders who hold condensed gatherings that target multiple states (SMART TD mini-regional meetings), strengthen our educational and training programs by making them more accessible than any other time in the history of our organization. As the SMART TD University platform grows, new educational programs will be added and updated to provide more robust educational opportunities.
This organization has historically developed high quality education and training programs for officers, as well as the general membership. SMART TD’s legacy was established by leaving something of enduring quality behind for the organization and its members. We know that effective leadership occurs when the leadership strengthens members’ capacity to learn, to reflect and to obtain meaning from their learning. We welcome all members and leaders to explore the future of SMART TD’s training and educational opportunities at SMART University.
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Hear about the union directly from SMART union members themselves.
Longtime Amtrak conductor Carol Jones — who is also a local chairperson with SMART TD Local 1361 out of New Haven, Conn. — shares her story of coming up in the transportation industry and working as a pioneering woman in the passenger rail sector.