SMART Heroes graduates to enter sheet metal career

Eighteenth class prepared seven US Army members for apprenticeship

Seven members of the United States military graduated as the 18th class of the SMART Heroes program Monday, Aug. 17 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 and include Spc. Darrell Cortez, Spc. Anthony Gomes, Spc. Samuel Hammon, Spc. Jason Jones, Spc. Erik Palin, Spc. Paul Pazar, and Sgt. John Talbert.

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 Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (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.

Launched in August 2017, the SMART Heroes program was established together with the International Association of SMART and Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) in collaboration with SMART Local 66SMACNA Western Washington, Western Washington Sheet Metal training center and Helmets to Hardhats.

SMART Heroes provides 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 or call the International Training Institute at 703-739-7200.