PORTLAND, Ore. - In 1995, the doors were opened to the HVAC & Metals Institute in Portland, a 38,000-square-foot training center built to meet the demand for qualified and trained workers in the HVAC and the metals industries. An additional 7,200 square feet were added in 2001.

Funded and operated by the Sheet Metal Training Trust, Union Local #16, and the Columbia Chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA), the center is an example of "how union contractors and organized labor cooperate to ensure the best for all involved in the trade," according to the institute.

Among the programs offered is a five-year apprenticeship program. For a complete description of the courses and a comparison with a four-year college education, visit the institute's Web site at www.sheetmetal-16.org.

Publication date: 07/12/2004