Veterans graduate from SMART Heroes program

Nine active military, six veterans celebrate with ceremony Feb. 25

Nine current members of the United States military and six recent veterans graduated as the ninth class of the SMART Heroes program Feb. 25 at the Western Washington Sheet Metal training center, located at 2725 Williamson Place, Suite 100, in DuPont, Washington.

The graduates represent the ranks of the Air Force and Army and include Senior Airman Jason Brown, Air Force; Spc. Dallas Carr, Army; Staff Sgt. Denmark Concepcion, Army; Sgt. Francisco Crisostomo, Army; Spc. Todd East, Army; Spc. Jesse Foutz, Army; Staff Sgt. Philip Hamel, Army; Spc. Aarek Jamison, Army; Airman 1st Class Neil Linton, Air Force; Sgt. 1st Class Doug Meyers, Army; Sgt. G. Nathan Miller, Army; Spc. Daniel Moore, Army; Staff Sgt. Eduardo Proctor, Army; Spc. Roy Rosemond, Army; and Sgt. Alec Souza, Army.

In order to graduate, veterans completed a seven-week course to earn the equivalent of their first-year sheet metal apprentice training (224 hours). Upon discharge from service, these graduates may choose to enter any of the 150-plus SMART apprenticeship programs in the United States and be provided direct entry and advanced placement as a second-year sheet metal apprentice, including a high probability of obtaining second-year apprentice wages and benefits.

Local dignitaries in attendance included Mike Court, Mayor of the City of Dupont; William Noland, Joint Base Lewis-McChord; and Suzi Levine, commissioner for Washington State. Also in attendance will be James Page, administrator of the International Training Institute (ITI), which together with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) created the program in collaboration with SMART Local 66, SMACNA Western Washington, Western Washington Sheet Metal training center and Helmets to Hardhats.

Launched in August 2018, the SMART Heroes program was established to provide free sheet metal industry training to enlisted U.S. Military men and women who plan to enter the civilian life within the year, thereby assisting in a successful transition into the civilian workforce. Adjacent to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Western Washington Sheet Metal JATC seemed the ideal host for the inaugural SMART Heroes class.

For additional information on SMART Heroes, visit www.smart-heroes.org or call the International Training Institute at 703-739-7200.

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