During National Apprenticeship Week — November 13–17, 2023 — the SMART Women’s Committee spotlighted apprentices from around the country.

Kacey Grierson, third-year apprentice, Local 206 (San Diego, Calif.)

“Joining the apprenticeship was life changing. It offered me a career with several different opportunities for growth.”

Alejandro Moreno, fifth-year apprentice, Local 206

“Thank you to sheet metal and my Local 206 members. Sheet metal has given me a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and joy. I am forever grateful to my teachers, mentors, foremen and every single person that has helped me grow and learn in the industry.”

Monty Stovall, recent graduate, Local 5 (East Tennessee)

“Going through the apprenticeship school helps you realize: ‘The amount of effort and work that I put into the program is what I’m going to get out of the program.’ Completing the program makes you feel proud that you have accomplished your goal. My goal is to be able to better provide for my family.”

Mathew Hunter, second-year apprentice, Local 20 (Indianapolis, Ind.); SMART Heroes Cohort 16 (Local 9, Colorado)

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship thus far, and I hope that the SMART Heroes program can continue to grow to bring more service men and women into the trade.”

Connor Tiernan, first-year apprentice, Local 17 (Boston, Mass.)

Connor started his career with a nonunion contractor and notices that with the union, people care more. Connor enjoys working with his hands but is also pursuing a degree in business management at Southern New Hampshire University. He has hopes of owning a company one day. When asked what advice he would give to other apprentices, Connor said: “This is a ridiculous opportunity! Push through!”

Jason Medeiros, first-year apprentice, Local 17

Jason previously worked for a residential nonunion contractor and says that with the union, the level of expectation is higher. Jason is a proud son to Portuguese immigrant parents and loves that he is able to provide for a family of three. He has hopes of becoming a foreman one day. When asked what advice he would give to other apprentices, Jason said: “Don’t let the bad days get you down, never say never, and Barry Ryan [his instructor] is the man.”

Stephen Halstead, first-year apprentice, Local 66 (Seattle, Wash.)

“I have never felt like I had a career until I joined the sheet metal apprenticeship. It has given me a purpose, a plan and a future.”

Stacy Ironside, second-year apprentice, Local 18 (Wisconsin)

“I am in the career and the trade that I was meant to be in.”

Roselyn Soto, second-year apprentice, Local 105 (Los Angeles, Calif.)

“I just started my career, so I am focused on putting in all the effort, dedication, and hard work to journey out and master my trade.”