For too long, it seems careers that required working with your hands at a job site instead of at a desk have been looked down upon by many people  — including some of those who perform such work. Many sheet metal contractors have told me they hoped their children would not follow them into the industry, even though it afforded them a comfortable living.

But there has been some good news on this issue lately.

The White House has made apprenticeship training a signature issue under Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. After President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order aimed at expanding such programs, Acosta has established a task force charged with determining how to do it. Members include Associated Builders and Contractors CEO Michael Bellaman, National Urban League CEO Marc H. Morial, Sheet Metal Workers union President Joseph Sellers Jr. and actor John Ratzenberger, best known for playing “Cliff Clavin” on the NBC-TV show “Cheers.”

Lauren Tucci-Howey

Lauren Tucci-Howey

Of another subject, I’d like to introduce you to Lauren Tucci-Howey, Snips’ new associate editor. She started with BNP Media (Snips’ parent company) as an intern last year. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in public relations from Oakland University in suburban Detroit. In addition to Snips, she contributes to Walls & Ceilings, a sister publication covering drywall, stucco and related materials. She can be reached at (248) 786-1232 or

Boyd Bennett

*Click the image for a closer look


Remembers Boyd Bennett  

Love the article about Boyd Bennett (“From rockabilly to refrigeration,” October).  I knew him well. Here is a page from October 1972 Snips, reporting on the 1972 SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association) convention, held in Los Angeles. I had a hand in forming the current associate membership program at SMACNA in the 1970s. 

Three companies: Welty-Way Products, now Iowa Precision; Gripnail, represented by me; and Boyd Bennett from Hardcast were invited by SMACNA to participate at a luncheon titled “Contractors-Manufacturers Relationships — A New Approach.”  This was the beginning of SMACNA eventually welcoming non-HVAC contractors as associate members, but it wasn’t until the 1976 convention in Miami that it became official. I was there too.

Boyd Bennett was the chair of our small group.  Later I became a Hardcast representative for Southern California and was one of the first to sell his Iron Grip, circa 1981. From those early days representing Hardcast’s new water-based adhesives, I knew it was just a matter of time until water-based adhesives would disrupt the oil-based or solvent ones.  They did.

David Daw

Marketing representative

Mestek Machinery