Service members prepare for new careers through the SMART Heroes program

With National Apprenticeship Week underway, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers International Training Institute (ITI) Program Administrator Mike Harris joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss their training program and how they are working to get military service members into careers.

SMART Heroes

Harris began by discussing SMART Heroes, a pre-apprenticeship program that trains active-duty, transitioning military service members for a career in the sheet metal industry.

The program is doing well according to Harris. It began in DuPont, WA near Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The DuPont training center has a history of training veterans for their next careers and seemed the perfect place to launch the program.

More recently, the program has expanded to Colorado Springs, CO. This has allowed SMART to reach more veterans and continue replenishing their ranks with highly motivated individuals.

The biggest advantage of the SMART Heroes program is when service members begin to graduate from the seven-week program and transition out of the service. Graduates are placed with SMART signatory contractors and gain direct entry into any of the ITI training schools.

When the veterans enter these ITI programs they are considered second year apprentices and are provided the wages and benefits of a second year apprentice.

Harris said the program has been good about getting top tier candidates who complete the program at a high rate.

He said the future goals of the program are to bolster their existing locations to take on even more students and then to potentially even expand from their two current locations to other parts of the U.S.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, CUYAHOGA COUNTY VETERAN SERVICE COMMISSION, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.