Sheet Metal Workers Sign with CSM

St. Mary's County Advisory Council member Dr. Eugene Guazzo, right, talks with CSM HVAC student Michael Pasqualle of California, following the signing of an articulation agreement Feb. 22 between CSM, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association/Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and Sheet Metal Workers International (SMACNA-SMWIA) Union Local 100. Pasqualle told people gathered at CSM’s Center for Trades and Energy Training that the partnership creates a pathway to prosperity, the same pathway that he is on.

Pre-Apprenticeship Training Leads to Preferred Placement in Union

For one Southern Maryland family, the effect of one man’s apprenticeship initiated a ripple effect of extraordinary educational and professional opportunities for the generations that followed. The personal story, shared by College of Southern Maryland Board of Trustees Chair Mary Krug at CSM’s Center for Trades and Energy Training Feb. 22, gave a human face to the bright futures possible for area students through a partnership between CSM, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association/Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMACNA-SMWIA).

The partnership provides CSM pre-apprenticeship training students the option to earn preferred enrollment and placement as a sheet metal helper and, upon completion of a six-month probationary period, direct enrollment into SMACNA-SMWIA Union Local 100 joint apprenticeship training program.

During the articulation signing Krug said that she knew something about apprenticeships and labor. “My father was born in 1903 in a deep slum across from the Navy Yard. He grew up very poor. At the end of the eighth grade he had to go to work and his first job was with the sewer department,” she said adding that after some time, he was able to get an apprenticeship as a machinist and that opened his future. The stability of her father’s union job allowed the family to own a home and send Krug to college. “That was my path, the path I chose because of my father’s apprenticeship and his association with the unions,” said Krug adding that in turn, her children have chosen their own paths as well.

“In today’s environment, partnerships are the path to success for our students, our community and our college, for our businesses and for our economy,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “Business, labor and education must work together to make our community strong. Our work here at the CTET is a prime example of partnerships at work.”

Another speaker, Michael Pasqualle, enrolled in CSM’s Career Starters heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) helper apprenticeship training after he graduated from Chopticon High School. Pasqualle was subsequently hired by ADJ Sheet Metal and now a year later, he has received his letter of apprenticeship. “This opportunity means things to me: first, I will be able to learn specialized skills with many career paths; second, I’ll earn a living, family-supporting wage with benefits including pension with 401K workers benefits and nine paid holidays,” said Pasqualle. “I now have a pathway to a career and a pathway to prosperity. To add it all up, I have a future and I just want to say thank you.”

SMWIA  Business Manager John R. Shields, Jr. said that giving opportunity is what the partnership is about. The union, working with contractors who see value in trained help, and the agreement with CSM is expanding opportunities for students and ultimately workers.

With projected job growth of almost 1.1 million positions in the next 20 years, jurisdictions in the Washington area will need to add more than 730,000 housing units, according to a study by the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis. An employment forecast by HIS Global insight for 2010-2030 points to 94,928 new construction jobs in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

To view a video of articulation agreement signing, visit or view here