When people think of Sheet Metal Workers, they often think about the HVAC industry.
The highly-skilled and highly-trained sheet metal workers affiliated with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), are known throughout North America for their ability to design, assemble, and install air handling systems.
However, there is much more to this trade than HVAC work.
While the members of the Toledo District of Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 are well-known for their ability to design, fabricate and hang ductwork, they also perform a wide range of sheet metal and welding services at a variety of industrial facilities.
This work includes a variety of large-scale projects, custom one-of-a-kind projects and large shop-built modules.
The metals used in this industry can be up to one-inch thick and parts or equipment are moved or hoisted into place using large, heavy-gauge machinery or sometimes helicopters.
Industrial sheet metal work can also include the manufacturing and installation of equipment used in a number of industries such as automotive assembly or food processing plants.
Their signatory contractors also regularly secure work throughout Northwest Ohio, performing detailed copper and architectural sheet metal services.
Architectural work, a centuries old craft, involves the shaping of metal into useful and beautiful forms. Examples of this work can include installing metal roofs, multiple-siding panel projects and building decoration.
The work performed by members of Local 33’s Toledo District can be seen in 11 counties in Northwest Ohio and two counties in Michigan.
Members of SMW Local 33 are proud to hang their hat on work they performed at the Toledo Jeep plant. The Jeep assembly plant has provided good work for many Local 33 members who have helped improve Jeep’s painting and assembling process.
Some of Local 33’s members have been fortunate enough to work at the former Jeep Plant on Willy’s Parkway and help build the new plant on Chrysler Drive.
Local 33 members have also performed many architectural projects in their region such as the installation of the massive metal roof on the Cabela’s store in Dundee, Mich., the terra cotta work performed on the Sylvania ProMedica Health and Wellness Center project and all the custom copper work on the historical Cathedral in Toledo’s central city.
These projects are just a few of the thousands members have expertly completed on-time and on budget over the years.
Toledo District Business Agent Matt Cherry said his members take pride in their work. From hanging ductwork to soldering copper on one of Toledo’s historical churches, or flying smokestacks in with a helicopter on one of various industrial factories, they know their craftsmanship is on display for all to see.
To be a good sheet metal worker, members must be able to display the knowledge and expertise gained through their award-winning state-of-the-art apprenticeship program, while also being open to learn new skills as the industry changes.
Many members hold multiple certifications that allow them to perform a wide variety of tasks.
The members of Local 33 know what it takes to satisfy the customers they serve by being courteous on the jobsite and showing maximum work ethic.
Cherry said Local 33 members are good team players, who look out for one another, not only as a safety aspect but in everyday life as well.
Few unions in Northwest Ohio have as rich a history as Toledo’s Sheet Metal Workers.
Initially founded in 1888, the Local is the byproduct of seven sheet metal unions who merged to become part of the new Tin, Sheet Iron and Cornice Workers’ International Association.
The leaders drew numbers out of a hat to determine the number of their Local and the head of the Toledo union picked number six. For the next 100 years, despite changes in the International name, Toledo was Local 6.
In 1988, Local 6 merged with other districts in the Ohio and WV region to become part of Local 33. Together, the districts that make up Local 33 are one of the strongest, progressive unions in the country with upwards of 5,000 members.
The Toledo District itself is currently approaching 400 active members, with roughly 160 retirees. Toledo District members not only work in the area, but also live in Northwest Ohio and give back to the community.
With hearts like no others, they unselfishly give back by supporting schools, first responders and a number of charities in the region. In addition to supporting charities, Toledo District members often help with other causes in the community.
Some of their more recent projects include helping the Shoreland Schools sports boosters build a concession stand for their athletic field, renovating a basement for the Kolebuck Kid’s Humanitarian Project and installing an HVAC unit and ductwork at Soul City Boxing Gym.
In these cases, and many others, the Sheet Metal Workers strapped on their tool belts and donated time, skill and even money to improve the lives of those less fortunate.
For more information about Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, please visit their website.
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