Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 Bay Area Industry Training Fund opened its new training facility Oct. 1. The new 32,000-square-foot facility was renovated from an existing warehouse space in Livermore, California, to a state-of-the-art training center, replacing the aging training center in San Leandro about 20 miles away.
Although similar in size to the previous center, the new facility’s design was carefully planned with the education of more than 1,000 apprentices in mind.
The training program hired several of its signatory contractors to complete the renovation, which allowed for apprentices employed by those contractors and enrolled in the training program to participate in the build.
“The concept behind the new facility is to emulate what the apprentices see on a worksite,” said Tim Myres, Local 104 administrator. “Everything from safety to technology is what they can expect when on the job.”
Myres said that every classroom in the building has large windows and open ceilings and exposed ductwork so instructors can use all parts of the building as visual aids while teaching.
The facility as a whole also doubles as a service and testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) lab, Myres said. The building also features three technology labs with raised flooring for easier future technology upgrades; ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi; a two-story red iron steel structure used for training on everything from field installation to 3D modeling; and roof access for instruction on HVAC equipment, which is also used to service the facility.
“The entire building teaches — there is no other training center like it. It is top-of-the-line, inside and out,” Myres added. “Every square foot of the building is intended to be used for teaching and learning.”