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Ep. 13: Illinois SMART Army Delivered When Disaster Struck

April 26, 2021

IL Locals Hit the Road to Help Texans 

Matt Gugala

April is SMART Army Month of Community Action. And this episode our featured guest is Matt Gugala, an organizer with SMART Local 265 and the SMART Army coordinator for the state of Illinois.

Brother Gugala has been in the sheet metal trade since 1995, and was accepted to the apprenticeship program in 2002. He has worked on a wide variety of projects, including residential sheet metal, custom fabrication, commercial/industrial service and testing and balancing.  He was also a subject matter expert in developing the ITI’s TABB Supervisor test. In 2019, Matt was one of the inaugural winners of the Joseph J. Nigro SMART Army Service Award for outstanding community service and leadership, along with Ronnie Hobbs from Local 854 in Virginia, who was on our last episode.

Matt talked with us about a recent SMART Army project by Illinois locals to gather and deliver a large quantity of bottled water to Texas residents in need of clean water after severe winter storms. He also discussed his work with the SMART Army around fire life safety legislation in Illinois, which significantly impacts both SMART member work hours and public safety.

In addition, listen for the open mic segment with General President Joseph Sellers at the end of this episode. He responds to a question from a SMART member about what our union is doing to support members who are interested in running for elected office in their local communities and states.

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