The National Energy Management Institute (NEMI) recently presented the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers Local 46 leadership with an industry award recognizing the local’s “promotion and adoption of International Certification Board (ICB) certifications throughout their training program for apprentices, particularly in testing, adjusting and balancing.”
Troy Milne, Local 46 business manager, said he was surprised a small local from Rochester, New York, “not considered a major player,” was recognized at this level. The support from NEMI, SMART, the International Training Institute (ITI) and the Local 46 members and contractors was integral to their success.
“We’ve always tried to stay out in front of emerging markets,” he added. “It is a decades-long tradition that I am proud to be a part of. We couldn’t have done it without the support of NEMI, the ITI, SMART and everyone in our local, from the signatory contractors and retired members to the first-year apprentices.”
Milne said Local 46 takes pride in keeping up with the skills needed to succeed in the industry. Allen Mort, Local 46 training director, is Testing Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (TABB) certified and was instrumental in building the local’s TAB lab and introducing the curriculum to apprentices.
“He pushed us to include the ventilation verification course to get our second- and third-year apprentices certified,” Milne said. “He knows the value of these certifications.”
The local’s 10,000-square-foot facility has carved out a substantial portion of its space for certified training and requires each of its apprentices to complete the 60-hour indoor air quality and TABB training program.
The facility is also one of the just 23 certified labs in the country, which means that any SMART member in the U.S. or Canada can come to Rochester to sit for an ICB certificate exam.
“We encourage our sister locals to come to our TAB lab and wholeheartedly believe that any local that has the resources to do so, should look at adding such training to its offerings,” Milne said. “Indoor air quality and ventilation verification were brought to the forefront with the COVID-19 pandemic. The work is there for the taking and TABB-certified technicians need to be trained for the union jobs of the future.”
For more information on NEMI, see the website at www.nemionline.org.