SMART Heroes graduates 11 service members to apprenticeship

Four military branches represented in 12th Washington sheet metal class

Six members of the United States military and five recent veterans graduated as the 12th class of the SMART Heroes program Aug. 19 at the Western Washington Sheet Metal training center, at 2725 Williamson Place, Suite 100, in DuPont, Washington.

The graduates represent the ranks of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force and include Spc. Joao Borges, Army; Lance Cpl. Marcus Brooks, Marine Corps; Spc. Reneboy Domagas, Army; Senior Airman Tayler Gardner, Air Force; Petty Officer 1st Class Trevira Gray, Navy; Staff Sgt. Ross Harper, Army; Petty Officer 3rd Class Emmett Jones, Navy; Sgt. Henry McDougall, Marine Corps; Spc. Andrew Person, Army; Sgt. Joseph Pitts, Army; and Spc. Matthew Rojeski, Army.

In order to graduate, participants 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 148 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.

Dignitaries in attendance at the graduation included Mike Courts, Dupont city mayor; William Noland, Joint Base Lewis-McChord; Tim Carter, business manager for Local 66; Tom Montgomery, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) Western Washington; and James Page, administrator of the International Training Institute (ITI). The ITI, together with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) and 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 2017, 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.

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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