Army, Marine Corps members get jump start toward sheet metal career
New graduates included Ronald Bredemeier, U.S. Marine Corps veteran; Andre R. Pedro, U.S. Army veteran; Sgt. Jordan T. Coon; Staff Sgt. Alan U. Garcia; Cpl. Jillian S. Jones; Spc. Algelina J. LaRonde; Spc. Christopher Ian Manalili; Staff Sgt. Richard F. Peters; Spc. Braydon M. Peterson; Pfc. Quentin G. Sanford; Spc. Isaiah N. Strand and Spc. Joshua C. Wiggins. All active-duty graduates were members of the U.S. Army.
Featured speakers during the ceremony included Jon Alvino, Sheet Metal Workers Local 9 business manager, and Greg Daniels, SMART Heroes instructor.
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.
The curriculum for the SMART Heroes program was created by the (ITI), the education arm of the unionized sheet metal, air conditioning and welding industry. The ITI, together with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers and the , created the program in collaboration with and its training center, and .
Launched in August 2017 in Washington, 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. The second location in Colorado Springs began offering the same training in August 2019.
For additional information on SMART Heroes, call the International Training Institute at 703-739-7200.