Job fair to introduce veterans to skilled, building trades

Organizations to come together March 11 to introduce career opportunities

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Sheet Metal Workers Apprenticeship, the school for the future of the unionized sheet metal industry, will host the Veterans Job Fair from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at the school, located at 3031 Lamb Ave. in Columbus.

The goal is to reach more than 250 veterans in the community and educate them about different skilled building trades in the area with career opportunities. To date, the Sheet Metal Contractors of Ohio, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 683, the UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Local No. 189, Operating Engineers Local No. 18, the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council, Turner Construction, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Helmets to Hardhats, the Columbus Building Trades and Disabled American Veterans are scheduled to appear, said Rob Gartner, apprenticeship coordinator for the Columbus Sheet Metal Apprenticeship.

“My goal is to increase the number of females and minorities in our school. I think they are both communities largely unaware of what we all do and the careers we can offer,” Gartner said. “I hope to host this job fair every year to continue to recruit a diverse workforce. We want our school to reflect the community it represents.”

Apprenticeships allow students to apply their classroom training on the job site, where they earn a wage and are able to graduate from the four- or five-year program with zero debt. For example, the International Training Institute (ITI), the education arm of the unionized sheet metal and welding industry, provides curriculum in welding and industrial, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; drafting, testing, adjusting and balancing; and architectural sheet metal. The ITI, along with other trades, also provides direct entry into the program for veterans.

“I want to hire a dozen female apprentices this summer, and I hope to find them on March 11,” Gartner said.

“All people should be aware of the careers the sheet metal industry as well as other skilled trades can offer, and that includes veterans,” said James Page, administrator for the ITI. “Making sure veterans – including women and minorities – know about these opportunities is a priority for the ITI. With upcoming welding jobs across the nation, they need to know the training and the jobs are out there.”

For additional information about the Veterans Job Fair, contact the Columbus Sheet Metal Apprenticeship at 614-471-3107.

Nearly 10,000 apprentices are registered at 153 training facilities in the United States and Canada. The ITI is jointly sponsored by SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (formerly the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).

ITI supports apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and industrial industry throughout the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, ITI produces a standardized sheet metal curriculum supported by a wide variety of training materials free of charge to sheet metal apprentices and journeymen.

For more information about ITI, visit www.sheetmetal-iti.org or call 703-739-7200.

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