Chapter Education Programs


Change Orders - What You Need to Know - Roger Hoover

The change order is an area of concern for many members, i.e., obtaining full payment for customer changes. This course addresses the challenges and concerns of the industry with regard to payment of change orders. The program includes the following topics: common triggers, categories of change orders, understanding the contract, assessing risks, cost documentation, standardizing the approach and presenting the proposal.

Effective Construction Communication - Roger Hoover

Approximately ninety-five percent of on-the-job problems, as identified in the supervisory training sessions of the last several years, are attributed to communication breakdowns. This course addresses the challenge presented to the job leader of today by analyzing the different areas of communication through group discussions and individual exercises aimed at sharpening the skills of the participant.

Field Based Project Management - Closing the Gap Between the Office and Field - Kevin Dougherty

This SMACNA program is designed for field personnel to understand the importance of the project management process and provide them with the tools to improve profitability for each job. Topics covered in the program include: introduction to the basics of project management; the kick-off meeting; the pre-planning meeting; instituting shop coordination and drawing processes; interval planning/dividing the planning process into manageable tasks; job site organization; job meetings; scheduling; and project review.

Foreman/General Foreman Training - Roger Hoover

Contractors control many of the costs of doing business; such as the cost of materials and equipment. The biggest and riskiest cost of doing business, labor, is turned over to the care of the foreman. This course, updated for 2005, is designed to offer assistance in understanding what it takes to run a job in the challenging world of construction today. The course is designed to offer valuable training for not only the new foreman, but also to sharpen the skills of the veteran with many years of experience.

Front Line Project Profitability - Kevin Dougherty

With today’s jobs: more competitive, having aggressive schedules, being inconsistently managed by the customer, skilled manpower shortages, with projects involving more documentation and administrative needs, today’s supervisor is critical for profitability. Gone are the days when the supervisor could wing it - today’s successful supervisor must manage not only the field, but also understand how the whole process fits together. This program will provide today’s supervisor with the tools needed to be successful. Topics to be covered in this program include working with chaotic jobs, improving the communication processes, establishing front-line and job leadership, and becoming proactive with managing jobs.

Managing Multiple Jobs - Roger Hoover

Today’s work place has evolved and continues to change into a site with multiple responsibilities and various tasks for supervisors and foremen. This program addresses the challenges faced by today’s supervisors. The program covers multi-tasking and balancing time on multiple sites; delegating work on various sites; communicating with separate sites; increasing productivity while off-site; and reducing conflict on the job.

Safety and Health Overview - Michael McCullion

This program includes three sections: Safe Material Handling, Physical Safety Hazards, and Environmental Health. This program can be customized for 1/2 to full day program

In Safe Material Handling, participants learn about material handling safety issues in the workplace. The course is based on SMOHIT training products and includes a discussion on ergonomics and safe lifting, as well as an overview of the OSHA inspection process.

The second section presents information on physical safety hazards in the workplace. Issues discussed include personal protective equipment, confined space entry, and the sheet metal industry “Big Four + Two”, as well as an overview of the OSHA inspection process.

The third section of the program focuses on environmental health issues in the workplace. Topics include hazard communication, hearing conservation, and lead and asbestos exposures, as well as an overview of the OSHA inspection process and an update on OSHA’s standard on Hexavalent Chromium.

Sheet Metal Foreman: Planning, Goal Setting and Performance Improvement - NEW Kevin Dougherty

(Course Information available soon).

Sheet Metal Planning, Scheduling and Material Handling - Kevin Dougherty

Today’s sheet metal contractors are asked to accomplish more in less time and with less margin. This program emphasizes personal and organizational planning, scheduling and project coordination skills a contractor can put to immediate use.


Achieving Greater Project Success and Profitability through Pre-Construction Planning - Awad Hanna, Ph.D.

A recent study for the New Horizon Foundation showed increased profit margins and projects success by following a comprehensive formal pre-construction planning process. This seminar will assist SMACNA Contractors in developing a formal pre-construction planning process that extends through the three project stages: bidding, pre-construction and project execution. The seminar will include principles for successful implementation of pre-construction planning. Contractors will be presented with a comprehensive set of preconstruction activities that can be tailored to fit all project sizes and risks. Best pre-construction planning practices currently utilized by the nation’s top SMACNA contractors will be presented as well.

Advanced Sheet Metal Estimating - Kevin Dougherty

Turning Your Takeoff into a Winning Proposal! This program will help estimators to think differently about the estimating process, and how to approach each opportunity realistically. Estimators will learn not to look at the estimate as a number, but more as a process from job inception to job completion. This program will allow attendees to think more like a business person, and to take more of a big picture approach to the estimation process rather then just doing takeoffs and providing numbers. Topics to be covered include customers types, the pre-bid qualification process, what foreman and superintendents say about the best estimators, contracts, various project options, how to protect your company’s interest, internal communication, job kick-off meetings, scheduling and general conditions, traps and snares and opportunities. Attendees will also participate in a case study.

Basics of BIM - Steve Hunt (Course Information available soon) - (NEW) Program available on April 1st

Basic Sheet Metal Estimating - Roger Hoover

An estimator plays a vital role in a project’s success. In this eight-hour program, eleven steps used in preparing an estimate are presented, installation drawings are examined, and the take-off process is discussed. The first half of the course will explore the estimate basis; the second half of the session will include a hands-on exercise of preparing an actual estimate with the use of sample drawings, notes, and bid preparation materials provided with the course. Estimating is not guess work, but rather a knowledgeable, calculated assessment.

Cumulative Impact of Change Orders - Awad S. Hanna, Ph.D.

Through this program Dr. Hanna will present quantitative methods to calculate the cumulative impact of change orders on labor productivity for sheet metal contractors. Participants will learn types of changes, why change orders cost more, recoverable change order costs, methods of pricing change, methods of quantifying the impact of change orders on labor efficiency, sources of cumulative impact, recommendations for prompt recovery of change order costs and what to document to recover additional costs due to change orders.

HVAC Systems-Understanding the Basics - Thomas E Glavinich, D.E., P.E. - (NEW)

As people spend an increasing amount of time inside buildings, HVAC systems and their associated control systems are becoming more important. As a result, the complexity and cost of HVAC systems for commercial and institutional buildings is increasing. The purpose of the SMACNA document HVAC Systems: Understanding the Basics is to provide an overview of HVAC systems, the equipment and components that comprise them, and how they work. Through in-depth discussions on the chapters of the manual, this program will provide attendees with an overall understanding of HVAC systems which will be helpful in bidding and negotiating projects, planning and scheduling work, fabrication and installation of HVAC system equipment and components, and system commissioning and project closeout.

Influencing Without Authority - Kathy de Jong - (NEW)

Whether you are speaking with a client, boss or peer, today’s leaders and professionals must know how and when to leverage their influence with others to impact results. Using the power of persuasion while increasing the buy-in and engagement from the other party is key to creating mutual objectives that work. Using a collaboration model, workshop participants will identify and apply top verbal, vocal and visual techniques to select situations in order to maximize the impact and commitment of others one to one and in group meetings.

Kaizen Blitz-Significantly Improving Contractor Performance in Less Than A Week - (A New Horizons Foundation Project) - Larry Swanson - (NEW)

Want to make your business more efficient in only one week? If so, you won’t want to miss this session where you will hear about Kaizen Events from a Kaizen expert. Obtain information about the Foundation’s latest project in the area of Quality/Process Improvement, and learn how this program was successfully implemented in a contractor’s operations. A Kaizen Event is a lean production tool that focuses on continuous improvement in the workplace by improving standardized activities and processes with the objective of eliminating waste. An Event consists of several days of intense training combined with immediate application of the concepts just taught to identify and eliminate waste in a specific process. The process is applicable to ANY aspect of your business.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) - David Hubka - (NEW)

This 4 hour program focuses on the role of the HVAC contractor as it relates to various LEED rating systems. How to acquire LEED projects through the correct company marketing as well as project proposal strategies will be reviewed. Attendees will receive a better understanding of integrated mechanical product selection and the correct documentation to promote a streamlined path to LEED certification. The seminar is geared to HVAC contractors who have passed the LEED Accredited Professional exam and are working towards acquiring LEED projects. The goal is to teach HVAC contractors how to turn their LEED AP exam success into dollars for their company.

Lean Works in Construction - Dennis Sowards

The manufacturing world has recently gone through a revolutionary change, making companies more productive and profitable. By implementing Lean principles and techniques, companies have seen improvements in many areas, i.e., manufacturing lead time, delivery performance, inventory turns, conversion costs and new product development. Research sponsored by the New Horizons Foundation found that contractors are beginning to apply Lean to construction with great success. This four-hour interactive session introduces the principles and techniques of Lean and shows how they work in construction. At the end of the session participants will be able to explain the background, benefits and principles of Lean thinking, understand the Lean techniques and how the tools work, learn how Lean thinking has been used in construction, identify which Lean techniques apply to their own operations, and establish a plan for implementing Lean within their company.

Project Tracking to Improve Labor Productivity - Awad Hanna, Ph.D. - (NEW)

To successfully manage a project, sheet metal contractors need to know when and where the job man-hours are deviating. Earned Value Analysis (EVA) is one of the most powerful tools in the sheet metal contractors toolkit. This seminar presents the fundamentals of EVA and how it can be used to develop manpower loading charts, how to track and measure percent complete, how to predict the job outcomes when the job is just 20% complete and how to compare your performance to industry benchmarks. The seminar will also present a comprehensive job tracking system based on tracking project man-hours. A simplified and yet accurate job tracking system for small and medium size mechanical contractors will be also shown in this seminar. This seminar will show real-life examples of good jobs and bad jobs and will show how you can analyze and detect “Early Warning Signs”, and the appropriate course of action when the project is in trouble.

SMACNA’s Reference Manual for Labor Units - Kevin Dougherty - (NEW) Program available January 15th

This manual provides users with a source of labor unit data required to fabricate and install heating, ventilation and air conditioning materials and equipment. Kevin Dougherty will discuss important features of the manual and demonstrate its use including a new electronic spreadsheet feature which calculates adjustments in the 138 labor unit tables for project types and non-typical shop and job site conditions.

The Effects of Schedule Compression on Labor Productivity - Awad S. Hanna, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Hanna will present quantitative methods to calculate the effect overtime, over manning and second shift on labor productivity for sheet metal contractors. Participants will learn types of schedule compression/acceleration, the economic impact of acceleration, recoverable acceleration costs, methods of pricing acceleration, methods of quantifying the impact of schedule acceleration, and strategies for minimizing the economic consequences of schedule acceleration.