SMACNA Mid-Atlantic Awarded Apprenticeship Innovation Fund (AIF) Grant

February 07, 2019

SMACNA Mid-Atlantic chapter has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR). The grant is part of the Apprenticeship Innovation Fund, established by the State of Maryland with federal apprenticeship funds. SMACNA is only the ninth successful applicant to receive AIF funds from the State of Maryland, which has over 3,500 different apprentice programs. The grant represents almost 20% of the yearly funds used to support recruitment activities. The funds will be used to establish a “pre-apprenticeship program” for Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties. Additionally, the grant encourages the participation of underrepresented demographics within the construction trade, such as females.

The Pre-Apprenticeship Program will be an 8-12 week program for 20 upcoming high school graduates preparing to enter the Sheet Metal and Railroad Transportation (SMART) Local 100 Apprenticeship Program. Participants will learn life skills, testing skills, industry math skills, professional conduct skills, and more. The SMACNA Pre-Apprenticeship program is first in the State of Maryland to focus on graduating high school seniors. The program benefits SMACNA contractors by establishing a new pipeline of talent and ready to work employees for the sheet metal trade. Mike Doerk, Chairman Local 100 JATC said “This grant represents a major step forward in securing quality sheet metal apprentices for SMACNA contractors and will encourage local high schools to participate in our growing Choose Bigger program.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected sheet metal trade positions to grow 9% by 2026, higher than most jobs requiring a college degree. Establishing a pipeline of highly qualified individuals helps students, but also saves contractors time and money. The program will launch early spring and conclude by late spring or early summer 2019. For more information please contact Kyle Tibbs at or by calling 301-446-0002 extension 104.