In January 2021, Rick, Tony and Daniel Farrington opened the doors of their Sumner, Washington-based Farrington Air Quality Services, which specializes in testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB), smoke control testing and fire damper inspections.

The trio — father Rick and sons, Tony and Daniel — are all graduates of Western Washington Sheet Metal Local 66’s training center. They decided, after years of working for others, it was time to strike out on their own.

Tony Farrington, who began his apprenticeship in 2009 after graduating from the University of Great Falls (now University of Providence) with an associate degree, said his father inspired him and his brother to become sheet metal workers.

“My dad joined the union in the late 1980s. We had a great childhood because of his union job. Both Daniel and I saw firsthand how being a SMART [International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation] member allowed our dad to have a family and live a nice middle-class life,” Tony Farrington said. “I knew I wanted to be able to build that same life for my own family. I wanted to create a legacy we could pass on.”

In 2009, following in his father’s footsteps, Tony Farrington applied to Local 66’s apprenticeship program. His brother Daniel Farrington, who had been pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at Pierce College at Puyallup, followed in 2014, after his own son was born.

The company, although just a few months old, is starting to build a customer base.

“We are just getting our name out there,” Daniel Farrington said.

The Farringtons see specialization as key to their success. In July, Washington’s new fire code, HB 2701 goes into effect. The code requires testing of fire and smoke control systems and dampers be completed by a TAB technician who is certified by the International Certification Board (ICB) and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Local 66 was instrumental in getting HB 2701 passed.

“Right now, even before the regulation becomes the law of the land, we are seeing TAB work emerge as building owners prepare,” Tony Farrington said.

The Farringtons are excited for their future as they work to become a premiere contractor in the area. They credit their union membership for giving them the opportunity to strike out on their own and their certifications for making them marketable.

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