OAKLAND, CA — The Bay Area Association of SMACNA Chapters will invest $100,000 in a research and educational program to benefit sheet metal and HVAC contractors.

In announcing this gift to the New Horizons Foundation, Bay Area president James Asbury (Bell Products, NAPA, CA) was pleased with the amount for, what he termed, “a good cause.”

“Many of our members understand the need to approach business in a visionary way,” said Asbury. “They want us to be involved in identifying the trends and practices that will help them become the best business owners possible. Our participation in the New Horizons Foundation and our role as a member of its Summit Council make the Bay Area Chapter part of the process. We are helping put together the best expertise and talent to address key industry issues.”

The New Horizon Foundation is a sheet metal industry initiative, funded by grants from contractors, SMACNA (national), and a growing number of SMACNA chapters nationwide. Organized in 2001, the Foundation has received industry commitments totaling more than $3.5 million towards an initial goal of $8 million.

Gary Schwenk, Bay Area executive vice president, is also enthusiastic about the chapter’s decision to make a significant investment.

“Our Bay Area group serves 17 counties,” he said. “Our 137 contractors employ more than 15,000 people and represent approximately 6 million sheet metal hours annually. Our contractor members have specific business needs that would be impractical and expensive to meet individually. The New Horizons Foundation isn’t just looking for dollars. The Board wants our time, our perspective on the industry, and our ideas. That’s the exciting challenge for all of us.”

The Foundation’s Summit Council has selected and funded three innovative projects for the Foundation’s inaugural year: Quantify the Cumulative Impact of Change Orders on Sheet Metal Contractors; The Future of Union Sheet Metal Construction; and Attracting the Millennium Generation to the Sheet Metal and HVAC Industries.

For additional information about the Bay Area SMACNA Chapter, contact Schwenk (510-635-8212). For information about the New Horizons Foundation and its Summit Council, contact Dennis Bradshaw, executive director (703-222-9001).

Publication date: 09/16/2002