SMART General President Michael Coleman reads a BE4ALL Toolbox Talk in Washington, DC.
SMART General President Michael Coleman reads a BE4ALL Toolbox Talk in front of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

Join the Talks On Tour contest to show the BE4ALL committee where you read your Toolbox Talks!

We want to see you holding up a BE4ALL Toolbox Talk wherever you read it, whether you’re at a jobsite, in an office, the union hall or even on vacation. Group photos okay? Absolutely! Show us your team spirit for a chance to win big – the whole group will be eligible for the prize! Just make sure your photo is taken in a safe and appropriate setting.

Snap your pic and email it directly to with the subject line “Talks On Tour” to be screened and entered to win. Let’s unite to champion safety and education within the industry. We can’t wait to see where Toolbox Talks take you!

Contest prize: A BE4ALL-branded tool pouch.

Read the latest BE4ALL Toolbox Talk, entitled “Courageous Conversations,” in English and in Spanish, and view all existing BE4ALL Toolbox Talks here.

The Belonging and Excellence for ALL (BE4ALL) Committee launched its first-ever Toolbox Talk on January 19, 2023 — the initial step in an ongoing effort designed to educate, spread awareness and help strengthen SMART and the unionized sheet metal industry. Toolbox Talk #1, titled “On Being a Good Crewmate,” touted the importance of creating welcoming workplace environments and developing a sense of camaraderie and mentorship on the job.

Studies have shown that new employees, including apprentices, who receive support and mentorship are twice as likely to complete their training and remain successfully employed,” the Toolbox Talk read. “A positive work environment has been shown to alleviate stress not only on the jobsite but in other areas of life as well. We must support each other!”

The BE4ALL Committee will be distributing Toolbox Talks every other month as part of its ongoing work. Those talks will then be given and discussed at local unions, JATCs and jobsites across the country. The goal, the committee says, is for the Toolbox Talks to reduce bullying, harassment, hazing and discrimination on jobsites, and to promote solidarity among SMART members.

“BE4ALL’s mission is to create a culture of excellence, foster a welcoming work environment for all of our members and retain our skilled workforce,” said SMART General President Joseph Sellers. “Our trade relies on teamwork and the solidarity that comes from having each other’s backs, and we hope that these Toolbox Talks will strengthen the connections between all our brothers and sisters.”

Read the first Toolbox Talk here.

The Belonging and Excellence for All (BE4ALL) Committee launched its second Toolbox Talk on March 16 – part of the committee’s ongoing work to strengthen SMART and the unionized sheet metal industry by making all members feel welcome, on and off the job. Toolbox Talk #2, titled “Effective Communication,” addresses the important steps that can be taken to avoid miscommunication and conflict on the jobsite.  

“In the heat of the moment, sometimes simple miscommunications can lead to angry fireworks, which can create an environment where ultimately, we may regret our behavior,” the Toolbox Talk reads. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be this way. Most of our time, whether at work, school, or home, is spent communicating in some way with others. Drawings, instructions, verbal and nonverbal feedback, body language – there are many ways we interact with others to share our ideas and ultimately, to attempt to arrive at the same place: safely, ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Like the first Toolbox Talk, which was titled “On Being a Good Crewmate,” “Effective Communication” incorporates into BE4ALL’s broader mission to create worksites where all members – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, experience and more – feel that they belong. Not only is this goal part of the core solidarity at the heart of the labor movement; we can only recruit and retain the workers we need in order to grow if we welcome ALL members into our union.

“We work in a trade in which teamwork and trust are absolutely vital – and we can only foster that sense of trust when we communicate with one another,” remarked SMART General President Joseph Sellers. “We hope members can use this Toolbox Talk to build connections and avoid miscommunications in the future.”   

The Toolbox Talk, which has been distributed to local unions, contractors, training centers, members and more, is intended to be read aloud at jobsites, union meetings and other group settings. Members can access all existing Toolbox Talks in the “Resources” section on SMART’s website.