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Philadelphia Training Center

Joining the Local has definitely secured my future financially, it secured my retirement. If I knew that it was an option earlier, I would have definitely joined right out of high school.

– Caitlyn Bednar, Local 19 apprentice

Sheet Metal Worker Caitlyn Bednar

Mission Statement

The Sheet Metal Workers’ Training Center of Local Union 19 brings many groups and purposes together for a common goal. We are dedicated to ensuring a dependable source of skilled, versatile sheet metal workers to our cooperating employers.  

We also strive to provide committed men and women the basis for a challenging, rewarding trade through training and encouragement. Those men and women will also find the resources necessary to stay current in a dynamic building atmosphere.  

Finally, the Training Center develops the continuing generations of brothers and sisters for Local 19, to help ensure growth and prosperity of ​all members.

Donald J. Smith Jr.
Training Coordinator

Messages from Co-chairmen

To meet the needs of our industry, we have developed one of the most thorough and comprehensive training programs in the entire nation.  

Our Training Center utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to meet the changes in our industry, yet never forgetting that quality must prevail.

Our program develops skilled sheet metal apprentices and journeypersons who are competent in all aspects of our trade and are able to work safely without close supervision.

Training highly skilled sheet metal workers is part of our heritage, something that was started in the early years of this century when we first included apprentices in our membership. We formalized that responsibility in 1937, when our first off-site training program began and set the standards for instruction and achievement.

Today, the program is governed by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, a group of union and employer professionals who realize the need to create a steady source of skilled sheet metal workers. The cooperation between the group stresses that training will provide the skills the marketplace requires. It also indicates that hard work will be rewarded with good employment.

We also participate in the International Training Institute. This is a national organization that includes every Sheet Metal Fund in the country. They provide us with a wealth of training information and materials that comply with the highest standards of the industry.

Please let us know if more information is required about Local 19 or our programs. We welcome visitors to our Training Center and are always willing to sit and talk with prospective members and contractors.

Bryan Bush
President / Business Manager Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19

Welcome to the joint apprenticeship program for the Unionized Sheet Metal Industry of the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. We are very proud of this program operated by the Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Philadelphia and Vicinity (SMCA) and Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19.

​​​Our Leadership team of Employers and Union Leaders work together to administer a 4 1/2 year training program that guides and develops a new employee from an entry level (1st period) apprentice to a journeyperson mechanic. From there the sky is the limit for each individual.

Ongoing education and training is the number one thing that sets the union construction industry above the competition. Without an adequate supply of well-trained workers available to perform high quality work on time and on budget, our industry would be an empty promise.

Education does not stop once you are a journeyperson mechanic. There are many, many “upgraded” programs available to journeypersons. These programs include Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), building information modeling (BIM), testing adjusting, and balancing (TAB), a wide variety of specialized welding programs, and countless other programs that are offered as technology emerges.

Local #19 and SMCA agree on the fundamental value of a well trained workforce. The joint apprenticeship and training center is truly the common ground upon which labor and management meet. SMCA contractors will continue to develop and deliver high quality products and services for our customers because they can count on the skilled workforce trained through the joint apprenticeship program and supplied through Local #19.

Peter Jenkins
Executive Director, Sheet Metal Contractos Association

What is offered

Philadelphia Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center

  • The programs take place in some of the most modern facilities for training, including the nationally recognized Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Lab; a Service Room that provides hands-on instruction on almost every type of HVAC equipment available; state-of-the-art Cleanrooms for the most advanced ventilation training possible; and a testing facility accredited by the International Training Institute (iTi) and the American Welding Society.

  • When working in our union shops, apprenticeship training offers an “earn while you learn” system that allows participants the chance to learn from — and work with — trained journeymen while also making excellent pay.

  • According to the U.S. Labor Department, apprenticeships are on the rise, increasing from 375,000 in 2013 to over 400,000 today. The average salary after completing an apprenticeship program ranges from $51,000 to $72,000, and 92% of apprentices find and retain their employment after completing an apprenticeship program.

Quick Facts

2020 Median Pay
$51,370 per year | $24.70 per hour

Typical Entry-Level Education
High school diploma or equivalent

On-the-job Training

How to Apply

  1. Complete the online application form below. 
  2. Bring ALL of your documents to the Training Center from Monday, August 26 through Friday, August 30, 2024 between the hours of 8:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00 pm through 4:00 pm to sign up for your aptitude test date. Documents include:
    • Two (2) forms for Identification (i.e. Social Security Card, Drivers’ License, Passport, School ID., etc.).
      1. **One must have a recent picture.**  
    • Birth Certificate. 
    • School Transcripts, or GED with scores. *note:  if the transcripts are from a school outside of the United States or is in any language other than English, the Transcript must be officially translated to English.
    • A $10.00 blank money order.

 Following directions is a part of the Application Process as each of the three (3) parts are graded. The three (3) parts are Application, Aptitude Test and Personal Interview.

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Contact Our Training Center

Donald J. Smith Jr.
Training Coordinator
Phone: 215-952-1950
Option 5

Ron Deichert
Robert McFadden
Phone:  215-952-1950
Fax:  215-952-0410​

List of Trustees

Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee
Local No. 19 / Sheet Metal Contractors Association (SMCA)

Local 19

Bryan Bush

Luke Gordon
Gerard Gontz
Thomas Bush
Howard VanBuren


Peter Jenkins

Gary Luthe
Ernie P. Menold
Robert Johnston
Jennifer Lohr

Nondiscriminatory Policy

Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 joint Apprenticeship Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older. Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 Joint Apprenticeship Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.

COE Accreditation

Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 JATF of Philadelphia is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

The Council on Occupational Education
7840 Roswell Road Building 300, Suite 325 Atlanta, GA 30350
800-917-2081 (Toll-Free)


Qualified apprentice sheet metal workers take part in a four-year-program that ultimately requires 864 hours of classroom instruction before graduation. Not all the instruction will be done in the classroom. A registered apprentice with Local 19 receives on-the-job training with cooperating employers in the area. Most of the apprentice training is done on weekdays, although some classes are held at night or on weekends.


Since the union and employers make a big commitment to registered apprentices, apprentices are required to reciprocate by signing a commitment to repay their indebtedness. This repayment is done over time. The International Training Institute stipulates that, during each year of an apprenticeship, a predetermined cost of training will be loaned to the apprentice. It will be paid back over a period of ten years, when the member works for cooperating employers that make contributions to the International Training Institute and the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund.


Qualified registered apprentices are paid for work hours and some training hours. In effect, apprentices are paid to learn.


The Training Center is staffed by a full-time coordinator, three full-time apprentice instructors, and 25 apprentice and journeyperson instructors for evening classes. Through the International Training Institute, many of our instructors have undergone extensive training at Ohio State University.

Advanced Training

Registered apprentices who complete their training after four years advance to journeyperson classification and earn greater responsibility and salary. Journeypersons are offered the opportunity to enhance their skills through evening and weekend classes, while maintaining a full-time job. Journeypersons also have the opportunity to work towards a college degree through the Training Center.