By Sheri Williams
Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 opened a new 25,000 square-foot training center recently, creating a state-of-the art facility for apprentices to learn and members to hone their skills.
Robert Verdugo, director of the Northern California Valley Sheet Metal JATC said the organization searched for the right site for nearly 12 years before choosing the current site.
At the state-of-the-art facility, apprentices will be able to learn the trade and current members can train to keep their skills sharp. The facility has more than $3 million in upgrades and the testing lab, air balance and service labs are all being upgraded.
“With the new updated facility and nicer location, I believe potential students who come to see what the program has to offer will see a more professional and appealing environment,” said Verdugo. “We expect to see a bump in apprenticeship sign-ups.”
There are currently 100 apprentices. The new facility can accommodate up to 250 people. There is additional space for foreman and journeyman training as well.
Sacramento is experiencing a building boom that will likely continue for years, creating an ever-increasing demand for union-trained construction crews. The center will help meet that need while helping local women and men enter the trades.
Contributions of nearly one dollar per hour worked from the Sheet Metal Workers’ negotiated package helped to fund the project, as well as other supplemental funds.