Human Resources

March 5-9, 2023

Business Management University 2023

Provides an in-depth study of the business practices necessary to run a successful sheet metal company.  Program sessions include financial management, strategic planning, contractor survival skills, negotiation, surety and bonding, leadership and productivity.

  • LocationTempe, AZ
  • Calendar DateMar/05 - Mar/09 2023

March 13-17, 2022

Business Management University 2022

Provides an in-depth study of the business practices necessary to run a successful sheet metal company.  Program sessions include financial management, strategic planning, contractor survival skills, negotiation, surety and bonding, leadership and productivity.

  • LocationTempe, AZ
  • Calendar DateMar/13 - Mar/17 2022


Let's Talk Shop, Episode 16: Diversity and Equity in the Industry

In Episode 16 of Let’s Talk Shop, host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, chats with Leah Rambo, Training Director and Fund Administrator at Sheet Metal Workers Local 28, about the diversity requirements required in the building trades in NYC and how they ensure opportunities in the trade remain equitable and competitive.

SMACNews Apr 30 2021

The Harder Work: Reputation Management and Trust Building

We continue the series on the “harder work” of leadership — important but not urgent responsibilities that are easy to put off, in some cases for decades. In this installment, we’ll examine the responsibility of owners and senior leaders to incessantly enhance their organization’s reputation, refusing to believe it will stand untarnished without constant attention.

Member Update Apr 08 2021

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ARPA Provides Up to Six Months of Paid COBRA Benefits

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law. ARPA includes a provision that provides certain individuals (called “Assistance Eligible Individuals” or “AEIs”) with a 100% subsidy for COBRA continuation coverage for up to six months.

Chapter Leadership Apr 01 2021

Tax Credits for Employers Who Voluntarily Provide E-PSL and E-FMLA Extended

The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act extends tax credits originally enacted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) until September 30, 2021. 


Building What’s Next: Preparing for the Next Decade of Construction

For long-term success, it is important that construction workers, associations, and tech companies work together to build awareness around the opportunity that data and inclusion hold. 


The Hard Work: Developing People

Building a great culture is, in part, the result of making hard decisions about finding, keeping, and developing great people. But too often we let the urgency of our need lower our standards.


Opening Doors for Diversity in Construction

When Fatima Ware finished her apprenticeship in sheet metal construction in 2016, she decided it was time for a change. Not for her, but for the construction business.

Chapter Leadership Feb 17 2021

Update: Requiring COVID-19 Vaccines

As more COVID-19 vaccines are approved and made available to willing recipients, there will be increased discussion around whether, when and how contractors might require their employees to be vaccinated.

Contractor Operations Manual

Recruit to Retire Best Practices

Employees are one of a company’s biggest expenses — and also one of its most important assets. Unlike major capital costs (like buildings, machinery, technology, etc.), human capital is volatile. Employees need to understand that a company invests in them with a hiring decision, and that the company wants them to stay until they retire.

In this publication, we explore the influence and impact of the pandemic; generational expectations; the advantages of remote work ; how to lead, communicate and incentivize behavior; the impact of this shift on organizational strategy and culture.

This document is free to members in the SMACNA Store.

  • Dollar SignPDF $75.00

Webinar Nov 05 2020

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Residential Forum: Leadership & Company Culture

This informative session, led by Jeff Plant of BDR, will help you find out where you can have the most impact on your company culture.

Contractor Operations Manual

Scheduling and Planning Best Practices

Summarizes proven scheduling and planning processes and introduces practices, concepts and principles that are field-tested and proven to deliver superior results. Free to members in the SMACNA Store.

  • Dollar SignPDF $75.00


Employee Stock Ownership Plans Come with Both Risks and Rewards

Maybe you’re thinking that your business is not valuable to a third-party buyer. Maybe you don’t want to deal with the sales process, or perhaps you don’t have the next generation to pass it to. So, what are your options?


Finding Balance Between “Me” and “We”

Whether you are talking about your company’s engagement on a prestigious megaproject or a lone service tech making a routine call, all of us have to manage the tension between individual recognition and collective success.


Creating the High Performing Contractor

Becoming and remaining a high-performing contractor requires constant focused effort. For leaders aspiring to this level of excellence, the journey is well worth the work.

High-Performing Contractors (HPCs) deliver exceptional performance. They empower their work teams by creating rewarding work environments. They nurture strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with their suppliers, trade partners and subcontractors. They embrace focused technologies that help them deliver greater value to their customers. Above all, they never lose focus on their people as their most strategic asset.

The second edition of Creating the High-Performing Contractor: Proven Practices for the Sheet Metal and HVAC Industry seeks to capture new applications while maintaining the basic, sound principles and proven tools of High-Performing Contracting.

Topics covered in the 2020 manual include:

  • High-Performing Leadership
  • Planning Your Future
  • Employee Focus
  • Customer Focus
  • Work Processes Management
  • Keeping Score
  • The High-Performance Assessment Model

Free to members in the SMACNA store.

  • Dollar SignPDF $50.00

Paid Sick Leave

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FFCRA Paid Leave Chart and Poster

Flow chart and poster outlining employee rights regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA).

SMACNews Mar 31 2020

Showing Up as Your Best Self

The default response for many leaders in our industry is toward action. So when a crisis hits, whether internal or external, investing even more time, even more emotional intensity, even more brute force seems like the obvious move.

Podcast Mar 05 2020

Let's Talk Shop, Episode 10: Carol and Ashley Duncan of General Sheet Metal

To celebrate Women in Construction Week, host Angie Simon, SMACNA president and CEO of Western Allied Mechanical, talks with Carol Duncan, CEO, General Sheet Metal, and her daughter Ashley Duncan, mechanical division manager at General Sheet Metal.

SMACNews Feb 28 2020

The Importance of Identifying Risks and Developing a Strategy

We recently looked at the tendency for senior leaders to stay involved in the details of their organization long after they’ve grown to the point of hiring others. In this issue, we’ll share an analogy and a few takeaways.

New Horizons Foundation Dec 30 2019

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Engaging a Workforce in Transition - Keeping Skilled Labor

This short white paper outlines the steps necessary to create a highly engaged workforce that will sustain your organization and manage the transition from one generation to the next.

SMACNews Dec 20 2019

Who’s Using the Tennis Court?

How do you correct inefficient or controlling leadership behaviors? Self-awareness is the key.

SMACNews Oct 25 2019

Courage in the Little Things

The grind of decision making can be exhausting. If you kept track of the number of decisions you make every day, you’d probably feel even more tired.


The Roadmap for an Enduring Organization

Why is it that only about 30 percent of privately held companies move beyond the founder and transition to a second generation? One primary reason is that there is no roadmap from “here” to “there.”

New Horizons Foundation Jul 15 2019

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An Executive Exit: A Closer Look at the Factors That Drive Successful Executive Transitions

There is significant research on laying the organizational groundwork for transition and identifying and preparing a successor. However, there is no formal set of guidelines for a successor transitioning into the CEO role.

Podcast Jul 12 2019

Let's Talk Shop, Episode 4: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Joe Isom, vice president (former president), California Sheet Metal is featured in this episode of Let’s Talk Shop. Host Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical, and SMACNA president talks with Joe about his company’s conversion to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

SMACNews Jun 20 2019

Culture: As Defined by Architectural Sheet Metal Contractors

SMACNA’s architectural sheet metal contractors share their formulas for a thriving company culture.

SMACNews Jun 20 2019

Accountability and Leadership

Understanding the dynamics of accountability helps a leader create a culture where people learn to take responsibility for their own work — mistakes and all.


Tom Schleifer’s Construction Company Self-Analysis Program

In 2019, Dr. Thomas C. Schleifer developed the Construction Company Self-Analysis Program.This do-it-yourself diagnostic tool offers the equivalent of an independent expert evaluation of every aspect of a construction business.

SMACNews May 20 2019

Saving the Hardest for Last

In a construction-related business of any size, decisions come early and often, particularly when you are the owner.

SMACNews Apr 29 2019

Developing Leaders Through Feedback

Collectively, companies spend billions of dollars for leader development, utilizing everything from public seminars to executive MBA programs at prestigious universities. While all of these have value, people sometimes overlook one of the simplest tools, available free to everyone—real-time developmental feedback.

New Horizons Foundation Feb 01 2019

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Tools for the Hiring, Promotion, and Talent Development of Sheet Metal and Mechanical Contractors

The New Horizons Foundation partnered with lead researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of Kansas to understand how personality and aptitude assessments are being used successfully in the construction industry.

Contractor Operations Manual

Personnel, Policies, and Procedures

Contractors can use this publication to create a personalized policy manual for their firm by modifying or editing the general guidelines and policies included.

This publication clarifies company procedures and expectations that foster healthy management-employee relationships and eliminates confusion and inconsistency. It addresses most of the topics necessary to provide employees a solid understanding of their obligations and opportunities.

This document is free to members in the SMACNA Store.

  • Dollar SignPDF $75.00

Contractor Operations Manual

Management Succession

This publication guides a firm in creating a formal process for leadership development. It illustrates the ways members can turn this potential crisis into an opportunity while gaining a competitive advantage. This report highlights the benefits of internal management succession, best practices, and outlines a process for effective management succession.

This document is free to members in the SMACNA Store.

  • Dollar SignPDF $75.00

Federal Contracting

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Guide to EEO Compliance

SMACNA contractors who work on federal contracts have certain equal employment opportunities (EEO) obligations imposed upon them that may not apply to contractors who do not work on federal contracts.

Employee Policies

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Collective Bargaining Considerations for Monitoring Technology

An overview of the law under the National Labor Relations Act concerning use of technology to monitor employees and employer property. 

Fair Labor Standards Act

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Compensation for Time Spent Changing Into or Out of Some Protective Gear

Contractors working under contracts that exclude time for changing of clothes from paid time should review their practices to ensure that the vast majority of the time excluded is spent putting on or taking off “clothes” as defined by the Sandifer decision.

New Horizons Foundation Dec 01 2013

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Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking is a blueprint for contractors seeking to use the Futures Study to improve their position as the industry recovers and stabilizes.

New Horizons Foundation Jan 01 2011

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Continuity and Transition Planning: The Changing Face of Leadership

The leadership and supporters of the New Horizons Foundation have produced three comprehensive research reports concerning the importance of business continuity planning and execution.

New Horizons Foundation Jan 01 2010

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Exit Strategies for HVAC/Sheet Metal Contractors: Strategies for Equity and Ownership Transfer

This report presents the results of a study commissioned by the foundation to identify and evaluate approaches for exit strategies and equity transfer for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC ) and sheet metal contractors.


Leading Responsibly During Uncertainty

Seasons of extreme change always create extreme opportunities. Those who successfully act on those opportunities are usually remembered by history. Those who don’t are usually forgotten.


The Hard Work

When we discuss leadership with our clients, we are most often talking about leading the enterprise — deliberately taking your company toward a preferable future.


Exit Engineering 101: Owner Readiness, The COVID Reflection

Exit engineering is about finding a “winning scenario” that allows you to balance work and life in ways you likely haven’t done for years, if not decades.

Chapter Leadership

NLRB Rejects Union Motion to Reconsider Ruling in Temp Agency Case

While rare for SMACNA contractors to use staffing agencies, when they do, they generally do not want to have these individuals legally treated as their employees.


Secrets to hiring and retaining good employees

With a limited potential resource for new, productive and loyal employees, what can be done? Here are some quick tips.