The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association’s (SMACNA) new architectural internship program pairs leading architectural sheet metal contractors with promising architecture students.

Participants see firsthand how architectural designs come to life during the construction process, which in turn enhancers their real-world understanding of the building trades and builds upon their professional skill sets.

“SMACNA believes in cross-training a new generation of students. Through this robust internship program, we can connect students with our talented architectural metal contractor members for a hands-on learning experience,” says Thomas J. Soles, executive director of member services and market sectors at SMACNA. “The AEC communities are seeing an increase in collaborative project delivery methods through the expansion of IPD, Design/Build and Design Assist. Collaborative processes increase value to the customer, the owner. Collaborative processes reduce waste and improve efficiencies through all phases of the construction industry.”

In collaboration with the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), students match with sheet metal contractors across the country to study the relationship between designers, fabricators and construction workers on various projects.

“We see this collaboration with the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) as a significant opportunity to influence the quality of the future design community by exposing students to real-world architectural metals detailing, fabrication and installation processes,” says Soles. “The goal is for these future architects to design with architectural metals and work more closely with architectural metal fabricators and contractors.”

Applications are now open for SMACNA member companies and AIAS students who want to participate. For more information on architectural internships, contact SMACNA’s Market Sectors Department at 703-803-2980 or visit

This story originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of SNIPS magazine.