Ed Robison began his new job as field representative with the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT), the health and safety arm of the unionized sheet metal industry last summer. He wears many hats in the role, but his top priority is to educate members in their local unions about the resources SMOHIT offers.
After entering the apprenticeship in 1991 at the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers Local 218 in Springfield, Illinois, Robison completed the five-year program and steadily rose in the ranks to become an organizer and then, in 2014, the business manager. He lives in Springfield, Illinois, and continues to be a member of Local 218, where Carter Robison, the youngest of his three sons, is currently a second-year apprentice.
In his new position, Robison helps union members across the country by connecting them with local resources and familiarizing them with the SMOHIT-SMART MAP (Member Assistance Program). Robison noted it’s especially important to reach out to sheet metal workers who have traveled to work at large projects. These men and women are putting in long hours while living far from home, and those needing mental health support may not know where to turn.
“SMOHIT has increased staff size and vision, and it’s changing a lot,” he said. “I’m really excited for what lies ahead. This is going to be a whole new fund.”
For more information on SMOHIT, visit smohit.org or call 703-739-7130.