South / Regional Reports

Taking Sheet Metal Beyond HVAC

SAN ANTONIO - While most sheet metal work is for the HVAC market, a story in the San Antonio Express-News showed that such training could also result in skills important in building parts for deer feeders, tractors, countertops, and jalapeno cookers.

Sharon LeBlanc works as an assistant foreman at B. G. Metals in San Antonio. She's been at the company since finishing high school eight years ago, where she had taken up welding. Burnell Gates, owner of B.G., suggested she study sheet metal as a way to advance within the company. So she went to the Associated Builders and Contractors school in San Antonio that turns apprentice sheet metal workers into journeymen.

Today she oversees operations at B.G. and finds she is called upon to deal with projects that extend well beyond HVAC, even though that is the primary focus of the sheet metal operations.

It just so happens that Gates also owns the All Seasons Feeders factory next door, a fabricator of deer feeders and other hunting products. So LeBlanc is often asked to oversee the parts production for feeders. Those parts are then taken next door to the All Seasons factory for assembly.

Owner Gates is open to a variety of custom jobs. The newspaper article said some of those included a part made for an old tractor because the original manufacturer is no longer in business, a metal countertop for a kitchen, and a design for a jalapeno cooker.

Publication date: 10/17/2005

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