Harmar sheet metal union gets $500K for training, renovations
The Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 12 in Harmar plans to make building improvements and buy new training equipment with a $500,000 state grant.
“We’re very excited. We’ve been really hoping this would go through,” said Greg Blose, Local 12’s business manager.
The Harmar location includes the Local 12 union hall and training center, where the union trains apprentices and holds continuing education classes. The circa-1800s building, located on Gulf Lab Road, has housed Local 12 since the 1970s.
The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant will go toward installing handicap-accessible bathrooms, electric and plumbing upgrades and other building renovations that will modernize the facility and enable Local 12 to rent it out for small events and weddings.
“The profits of those rentals would go to the apprenticeship training fund,” Blose said.
Blose said Local 12 is training about 160 apprentices this year. It also offers continuing education classes for members on nights and weekends.
He said Local 12 also will use some of the grant money to install new training monitors and equipment that will allow it to train members through video chats so members in outlying communities won’t have to travel long distances.
Work is expected to get underway this fall.
Blose applied for the grant last year. Local 12 received support from state Sen. Lindsey Williams, D-West View, to receive the grant, he said.
“Sheet Metal Workers Local 12 provides state-of-the-art training for workers, whether they are coming from high school or starting a new career,” Williams said in a news release. “I was pleased to support this (grant) project because when we invest in high-quality training programs, it ensures that the construction jobs across the commonwealth are done not only safely, but to the highest degree of quality.”
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .