The Belonging and Excellence for All campaign, better known as BE4ALL, is discussed in this Talking SMART special edition by SMART General President Michael Coleman, SMACNA President Anthony Kocurek, and returning guest host Dushaw Hockett.

They discussed the importance of BE4ALL for the unionized sheet metal industry as we enter a time of unheard-of opportunity at the SMART Leadership Conference at the end of August 2023.

“We have some projects where the workforce for that project alone exceeds the amount of members we have in that entire local,” said GP Coleman. “We cannot apprentice our way out of this problem. The numbers don’t line up. So, we have to get outside our comfort zone. And we have to look at all kinds of different ways to bring in a workforce that’s not the traditional way we did that. And the issue with that is we need to be welcoming when we do this.”

In addition to being fundamental components of the solidarity that characterizes our organization and the labor movement, the ideals of inclusion and belonging will be essential to ensuring that local unions can fulfill the workforce demands posed by megaprojects, federal law, and a renewed focus on our sector. We won’t be able to secure the jobs, hours, and collective bargaining power that lay in front of us unless we organize all employees into our union.

Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs), a company with headquarters in Washington, DC, is being helped by SMART and SMACNA to advance the BE4ALL initiative. Dushaw Hockett is the organization’s creator and executive director.


Talking SMART is a member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network — working people’s voices, broadcasting worldwide 24 hours a day.