Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain MCA Podcast
Who Is SMACNA Colorado? featuring Nathan Cooper

Who Is SMACNA Colorado? featuring Nathan Cooper

February 1, 2022

On this episode of Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast, we welcome Nathan Cooper, Executive Director of The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) Colorado Chapter. SMACNA Colorado represents over 50 Contractor Members and 25 Associate Members who manufacture and supply our Contractors with equipment and materials. Nathan began as SMACNA Colorado’s Executive Director in January of 2018 and leads the association’s efforts in labor relations, education, advocacy and management of multiemployer health, retirement and training benefit funds.

Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this show:

  • What do the members of SMACNA fabricate?
  • How does one eventually become the leader of a trade association?
  • What role do trade associations play in helping to shape the careers of young people?
  • What is the most challenging aspect of leading a trade association?
  • What is the MEP Alliance?
  • What, in Nathan's view, is the most important aspect of designing a building, particularly with regard to the pandemic?
  • How did the COVID-19 pandemic shift this industry, and what does Nathan see ahead?

For more information about SMACNA Colorado, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

What is the Career Path for a Plumbing Apprentice? featuring Niki Anema

What is the Career Path for a Plumbing Apprentice? featuring Niki Anema

January 15, 2022

On this episode of Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast, we welcome Niki Anema, a 4th Year Apprentice with United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 145. Local #145 is extremely proud to be a productive member of Western Colorado and the Grand Junction business community. Their jurisdiction is the entire Western Slope from the middle of the Rocky Mountains at Vail to the Utah border proudly serving all areas

Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this show:

  • What led to Niki leaving traditional four-year college to pursue a career in the trades?
  • What are the best parts of an apprenticeship?
  • What types of projects does Niki work on, and what are some of her favorites?
  • Why should women choose a career in the trades?
  • What opportunities to travel exist in the trades, and will Niki pursue them?
  • What opportunities to acquire new skills exist for Niki?

This episode is available on podcatchers everywhere. Please rate, review and subscribe.

For more information about Local #145, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

From Electrician to CEO - What Is It Like To Be an Electrician? featuring Gina Cullen

From Electrician to CEO - What Is It Like To Be an Electrician? featuring Gina Cullen

January 1, 2022

On this episode of Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast, we welcome Gina Cullen, President & CEO of Dynalectric Colorado. Gina joined Dynalectric Colorado in 1992. She is active in the local industry organizations including the Colorado State Electrical Board, Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation Board of Governors, and various International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and National Electrical Contractors Association committees. She holds a Colorado Master Electrician License and a Bachelor of Science in organizational management – project management from Colorado Christian University.

Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this show:

  • How did an earthquake inspire Gina's career choice?
  • Why is the challenging architecture of the Denver Art Museum one of her most satisfying projects to work on?
  • How can the work of electricians literally change people lives for the better?
  • What is the best part of her job? What is the most challenging?
  • How is the work of electricians largely invisible?
  • What does a day in the life of an electrician look like?
  • How is electrical work like artwork?

This episode is available on podcatchers everywhere. Please rate, review and subscribe.

For more information about Dynalectric Colorado, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

What Is It Like To Be an Apprentice? featuring Training Director Beto Herrera

What Is It Like To Be an Apprentice? featuring Training Director Beto Herrera

December 15, 2021

On this episode of Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast, we welcome Beto Herrera, Training Director at UA Local 58. Beto has more than 9 years of hands-on experience. He has been a member of UA Local 58 since 2008. He achieved his plumbing journeyman licensure in 2011. His noteworthy projects include power utility infrastructure for Vestas, new construction and expansion for multiple healthcare facilities of Parkview Medical Center, and original construction of Black Hills Power Plant serving all of Pueblo County.

Beto also has two years as a Training Coordinator of the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, overseeing 15 instructors and 80 apprentices concurrently, and 4 years as an Instructor of Plumbing and Medical Gas curriculum. He holds Instructor Certification through the International Pipe Trades Association. Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this show:

  • What is Beto's favorite part of being in the trade and why did he join?
  • What is Beto's favorite part of being a Training Coordinator?
  • How can work in the trades give back to the community?
  • What is a day in the life of a Training Coordinator like?
  • What is a day in the life of an apprentice like?
  • What advice does Beto have for new apprentices, and what makes them successful?
  • What is the coolest project Beto has ever worked on?
  • Why should one pursue a career in the skilled trades?

This episode is available on podcatchers everywhere. Please rate, review and subscribe.

For more information about UA Local 58, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

Why and How Does One Become a Pipefitter? featuring Ben Frias

Why and How Does One Become a Pipefitter? featuring Ben Frias

December 1, 2021

On this episode of Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast, we welcome Ben Frias, a 4th year apprentice at UA Local 192 in Cheyenne, WY. Ben shares with us how he got involved in the trades, discusses his past as a bullrider, why he chose pipefitting over electrical work, and where he sees himself going from here. Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this show:

  • What led to Ben choosing a union job over other opportunities?
  • Why did an enjoyment of math lead to his choice of pursuing pipefitting?
  • What does a pipefitter do? And how does that type of work fit into hydrogen fueling stations?
  • How does this career allow one to travel?
  • What is "sticker trading?"
  • How are unions misunderstood, and what does Ben want to do to evolve their perception?

This episode is available on podcatchers everywhere. Please rate, review and subscribe.

For more information about UA Local 192, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

Why Choose a Career in Plumbing? featuring Sarah Harkssen

Why Choose a Career in Plumbing? featuring Sarah Harkssen

November 15, 2021

On this episode of Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast, we welcome Sarah Harkssen, an instructor at Plumbers Local Union 3. She recently completed her apprenticeship program (winning awards for her work during each year of the program) and has already transitioned into a foreman role. Sarah discusses her journey into plumbing, what her original career path was, and why she transitioned into the trades. Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this show:

  • What does it mean to be an apprentice?
  • What types of things do you learn in apprentice classes?
  • How did Sarah ascend from apprentice to journeyman to foreman?
  • What would Sarah tell other women considering a job in the trades?
  • How do plumbers protect the health of a nation?
  • What are the economic benefits of pursuing a job in the trades vs. taking a traditional 4-year college path?

This episode is available on podcatchers everywhere. Please rate, review and subscribe.

For more information about Plumbers Local Union 3, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

What Sets Mechanical Contractor U.S. Engineering Apart? featuring Todd VonLintel

What Sets Mechanical Contractor U.S. Engineering Apart? featuring Todd VonLintel

November 1, 2021

On this episode of Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast, we welcome Todd VonLintel, Vice President of Operations, Rocky Mountain Region for U.S. Engineering, a full-service mechanical contractor committed to providing solutions for the life of your facility. Their innovative thinkers and expert collaborators combine over 125 years of expertise to help your facility evolve throughout generations. 

Todd shares his history with U.S. Engineering, discusses the evolution of the business over the last 30 years, and what he tells policymakers about new policies that would affect the industry. Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this episode:

  • How has the culture of safety in construction evolved over the last 30 years?
  • How has technology improved the process for subcontractor sequencing?
  • How did U.S. Engineering build a mobile COVID hospital at the Colorado Convention Center in just 17 days?
  • Which projects are among Todd's favorite that he's worked on?
  • What is the most fulfilling part of Todd's job?
  • What does it mean when U.S. Engineering wants to "leave a legacy?"
  • What should someone consider if they want to pursue a career in construction?

This episode is available on podcatchers everywhere. Please rate, review and subscribe.

For more information about U.S. Engineering, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

 

What Does a Pipefitter Do? featuring Gary Arnold

What Does a Pipefitter Do? featuring Gary Arnold

October 12, 2021

Tradeswork: The Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association Podcast showcases the skilled trades our society depends on. The men and women of our industry build our skylines, our community, and our future.

On the inaugural episode of our show, we welcome Gary Arnold, Business Manager for Denver Pipefitters Local 208,Gary shares his work history and evolution as a pipefitter. He discusses his family history in the business, the many roles he's held, and his current role as an advocate for the industry. Here are some of the questions you can expect to be answered on this week's episode:

  • What types of projects does a pipefitter work on?
  • How has the industry evolved over the last several decades?
  • What is the career path for a pipefitter and what growth opportunities exist in the industry?
  • How much does education cost to become a pipefitter vs. attending a traditional four-year university?
  • What is the earning potential for a pipefitter?
  • What types of skills are most useful for someone considering a career as a pipefitter?

This episode is available on podcatchers everywhere. Please rate, review and subscribe.

For more information about Denver Pipefitters Local 208, please visit their website.

For more information about Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, please visit our website.

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