CHANTILLY, VA — The New Horizons Foundation, a sheet metal industry initiative established by sheet metal contractors and in partnership with the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), has selected three inaugural projects that aim to help advance the sheet metal and air conditioning industry.

At a recent foundation meeting, the Summit Council reviewed potential projects to determine which would have the most impact on the industry.

“We wanted to ensure that the New Horizons inaugural projects were top quality and had a real application to the needs of our members and their customers,” said Rod Rodgers, chairman of the foundation.

A project team from the University of Wisconsin is working on “Quantifying the Cumulative Impact of Change Orders on Sheet Metal Contractors.” According to the foundation, the university will develop a method for determining the impact on labor productivity of change orders made during construction. At the end of the project, the university hopes to have an electronic-format model to use to estimate more accurately the impact of sheet metal work changes on labor efficiency.

Also, the foundation approved a research topic from the University of Washington, “Attracting the Millennium Generation to the Sheet Metal and HVAC Industries.” This project will focus on an Internet-based strategy to create awareness among young people about career opportunities in the sheet metal and hvac industries.

“The Future of Union Sheet Metal Construction,” the third project, will be helmed by the Institute for Alternative Futures. This project will help to identify the trends that will impact the labor force and unions, as well as forecast future skill needs and new opportunities for collaboration between contractors and unions.

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Publication date: 05/20/2002