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Former brownfield site becomes union training facility for the sheet metal industry

Ribbon cutting Monday marked the opening of the $1.3 million SMART Local 71 training center.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Those hoping to train in the construction, sheet metal and other fabricating industries now have a new place to learn their craft.

The ribbon was cut Monday on a $1.3 million training center for Local 71, the local union of International Association of Sheet Metal, Air Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART). 

The reused former brownfield site on Liberty Avenue in Buffalo is a merger of three separate properties into a state-of-the-art facility offering apprenticeships while relying on clean energy.

"Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 71 committed to making the City of Buffalo our home in 2000. Since then, we have worked, saved, and planned for this expansion, so we can continue our mission of training the next generation of Sheet Metal Workers," said SMART Local 71 Business Manager Paul Crist.

“Our members strive to be the safest, best trained, and most productive workers on any jobsite and with this help we can simulate realistic jobsite conditions for hands on training. I cannot express enough how thankful we are to Empire State Development for partnering with us to make this expansion happen.”

The center offers the opportunity for hands-on experience working with sheet metal and allows for a real construction site experience. If you're interested in Local 71 and a possible apprenticeship, you can learn more here.