SMART Heroes graduate to sheet metal career

Sixteenth class includes members Army, Navy, Air Force

Nine members of the United States military and four veterans graduated as the 16th class of the SMART Heroes program. Out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, the graduation ceremony originally scheduled for June 15 at Western Washington Sheet Metal training center at 2725 Williamson Place, Suite 100, in DuPont, Washington, was canceled.

Graduated include Sgt. Nathan Ash, Army; Spc. Zachary Ash, Army; Airman Tanner Bradshaw, Air Force; Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown, Air Force Reserves; Spc. John Coppess, Army; Staff Sgt. Evan Fowler, Army; Staff Sgt. Conyers Lamb, Army; Master Sgt. Jeffrey Matthews, Air Force; and Sfc. Chad Norton, Navy.

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 Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (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.

Launched in August 2017, the SMART Heroes program was established together with the International Association of SMART and Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) in collaboration with SMART Local 66, SMACNA Western Washington, Western Washington Sheet Metal training center and Helmets to Hardhats.

SMART Heroes provides 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.

For additional information on SMART Heroes, visit or call the International Training Institute at 703-739-7200.