Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • First Aid & CPR Instructor - HSI

Lisa Davis - Full Time Instructor (Portland)

Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • Bachelors Degree in Labor Education and Labor Studies - 2006
  • Low Voltage Electrical License
  • CFC Universal Certification

Jim Ramos - Full Time Instructor (Portland)

During the early 1980’s in San Jose, CA there was a high tech building craze. Silicon Valley was in its infancy. The lure of good union pay, benefits, and plentiful overtime pay persuaded me to enlist in the sheet metal apprenticeship program in Local 309, now Local 104.
The academic challenges; the satisfaction of creating three dimensional fittings from flat sheet metal; and the comradery within the sheet metal union has forged what started out as just a job into a multifaceted and lifelong career for me.
​In the early nineties my family and I ended up settling to the Northwest and Local 16. My career in the sheet metal industry has been very diversified. I’ve worked from residential to heavy metal companies both in the shop and field installation. My favorite type of work was the installation of architectural sheet metal. There is an artistic satisfaction and pride in beautifying and protecting buildings from the weather. One’s work and skills are put on display for all to view for generations to come.
​Passing on the passion, skills, and knowledge of the sheet metal trade is an honor for me. The privilege of being an instructor here at the Sheet metal Training Institute allows me to pay homage to all those “old timers” who by their patience and instruction passed on their heritage and made me a better journeyman. 

Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • Certified Welding Inspector - American Welding Society​
  • First Aid & CPR Instructor - HSI
  • HVAC Fire Life Safety Level 1 Technician - Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau

Todd Stevens - Full Time Instructor (Portland)

I was born and grew up in Walla Walla Washington. After graduating high school I studied music at washing State University before moving to Portland in 1985.

As an apprenticeship I worked in a small HVAC shop while taking classes at Portland Community College at night.

Now, with over 20 years as a member of Local 16 I am enjoying the opportunity to be able to teach here at the Sheet Metal Institute.


Doug Haase - Full Time Instructor (Portland)

I was born in Fargo North Dakota.  I was raised throughout the Midwest; Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.  I started my Sheet Metal Apprenticeship in 1995 and graduated in 2000.  In my 15 years in Sheet Metal my work experience has been the following, 6 months at Helser Industries doing shop layout and fit up.  The rest of my time until June 2011 I worked for Streimer Sheet Metal Works doing the following - 4 years as a field installer, 4 years as a CAD Detailer, 5 years in the Fabricated Products Department as an Estimator/Salesperson/Project Manager.  I started teaching shortly after completing my Apprenticeship in 2000.  I have taught classes in Math, Computers, Beginning and Advanced AutoCAD, and various Detailing related classes.  Recently I have been charged with heading up our Benchmark Building Information Modeling (BIM) Detailing program as our onsite certified Detailing Inspector.  I am currently very close to achieving my Bachelor of Science degree in Education.  I went to college to be a teacher.  I have always loved learning and have greatly enjoyed my years being an instructor at the Sheet Metal Institute.  I became a Full time Instructor in June 2011.
​I've been married to my wife Paige for 8 years now.  We have 3 children; China, Sterling and Coral.  Away from work I'm an avid poker player, I enjoy scuba diving and taking trips to Nicaragua and Mexico for both Humanitarian missions and leisure.

John Tillotson - Full Time Instructor (Springfield)

The Missoula Trap and Skeet Club hired me as a score keeper when I was eleven years old. It was either that, or buck hay bales. In my five years there, I made enough money to buy my first computer, a Commodore 64, and tens of thousands of baseball cards. From 16 to 22, I worked at more than a dozen jobs. None of them gave me the sense of belonging, or the feeling of being needed that I got from being the Head Trap Kid. I called balls and strikes, bagged groceries, baked pizzas, flipped burgers, was a full-time student at Montana State University, folded burritos, washed semi-trailer trucks, replaced railroad ties, puddle-welded decking onto structural steel, wrote for and edited the sports section of my college newspaper, spent a summer as a shift utility at the union pulp and paper mill my dad worked for, tended bar, operated heavy equipment, cleaned railcars, installed underground drainage pipe…etc. I did like some part of every job, but they were all just jobs. The Scottish dramatist, Sir James Barrie, said, “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” Apparently, all that time, I would rather have been working in the sheet metal trade.    I turned out of the sheet metal apprenticeship in 2002 and started teaching a few years later. I believe helping other sheet metal workers achieve their full potential is my calling in the trade. Helping the journeyman’s tasks run smoothly was my favorite part of being an apprentice and helping the apprentice’s tasks run smoothly is my favorite part of being a journeyman.  After spending my childhood face down in the snow as drunken men shot over my head at clay pigeons in pursuit of winning a frozen turkey, I would say that safety is my favorite subject. On top of being in the line of fire, I did not wear ear plugs. I needed to hear the soft-spoken shooters call for the target and who was I to ask them to speak up? Today, I encourage students to raise their concerns when they feel safety is being compromised.  I am a proud trade unionist. I get excited about teaching subjects that will lead to new work opportunities for my fellow sheet metal workers. I try to honor those who came before me by remembering their advice and passing it on to the next generation.  I fear God, love my family and drive a Chevy. The French writer, Gustave Flaubert, said, “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” I’m trying that.


Connie DelRossi- Office Manager

 

I was born in New London Connecticut and moved to the west coast when I was 3 years old.  I began working for the Sheet Metal Institute in September of 1997. I came with no prior knowledge of the Sheet Metal trade, of Apprenticeships or how the union operated.  I have learned a great deal during my years here, and have enjoyed it immensely.  I have gained a broad knowledge and respect for the Sheet Metal industry and the dedication of the members to continue to master their craft!  I take great pride in playing a role in assisting with the success of our members in achieving their goals in their careers.  As the Office Manager my duties are many.  I wear many hats as they say.  I enjoy getting to interact with the variety of people that I do in and for our Industry.  From applicants, to members, to the Bureau of Labor and Industries, to the Employment office, to our contractors - I'm involved with all of them at some level and enjoy working with them all. I have one son, Jimmy, who I cherish my relationship with.  I have a great love of football and have been a diehard Oakland Raiders fan since 1984. I really enjoy traveling and it is my hope to travel the globe.


Kevin Roth - Training Coordinator

 I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After completing my general education and graduating from Benson Polytechnic High School in 1985, I found a passion for working with my hands creating and building things out of sheet metal. That fall I applied and was accepted into the Sheet Metal Apprenticeship Program and turned out as a Building Trades Journeyman in December 1989. My first place of employment (1985) was a stainless shop primarily involved in the fabrication of commercial kitchens in the Hotel and restaurant industry. My work experience there included the fabrication, welding and finishing (polishing), and installation of components made of mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and brass. I found a true passion for this kind of work as it requires a lot of skill and patience.   In 1993 I was hired by an Architectural company as a fabricator. Involved in the design, manufacture and installation of exterior sheet metal products which included panel roof systems, siding, flashings, louvers etc. In a short time I became shop foreman which led to the responsibility of purchasing material, detailing, coordinating jobs and estimating.  In 1997 I began teaching stainless and architectural classes part time for the sheet metal apprenticeship program. In 1999 was hired as a full time Instructor.  As a full time instructor my educational goals are many. Being an educator for the apprentice program I strive to absorb as much information as I can in the sheet metal industry. Sheet metal, being as diversified as it is would take many lifetimes to master, if it were even possible. There is no greater reward in teaching then to see the results of students being successful in the sheet metal industry and knowing you helped them achieve it.

Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • Bachelors Degree in Labor Education and Labor Studies 2004
  • OSHA Construction Outreach Trainer - U.S. Department of Labor
  • Certified Associate Welding Inspector - American Welding Society
  • ​First Aid & CPR Instructor - American Red Cross

Our staff offers over 200 years of Sheet Metal experience and over 75 years of teaching experience.  We come from different parts of the industry and offer a very diverse knowledge of the Industry.

Meet Our Staff

Sheet Metal Institute

Wes Foster - Part Time Instructor (Portland)

I graduated from South Salem High School in 1967.  I then entered the US Navy in December of that year until being Honorably discharged in 1972.  During my time in the Navy I worked on Boilers, Air Conditioning Units and with various types of refrigeration.    I've worked in the HVAC industry for many years.  My time in the union began in 1998 when I started work for Day Heating in Salem Oregon.  I worked there until my recent retirement at the end of 2010.  While at Day I performed the duties of a journeyman service technician.  I've kept trained in the newest technologies on new equipment as it has come out.  I've also attended schools to keep my licenses current.  I have been teaching Service classes for the Sheet Metal Institute since 2000.  I initially started by teaching continuing education classes to journey level workers.  Then when they started a 3 year program I was tasked with teaching the first year of the program. Today I teach the first year students in the HVAC Technician and Service program.  Initially I did not know if I would enjoy teaching, but after doing it for awhile I've found it to be very fun and rewarding.  I enjoy being able to pass on the knowledge I have gained through the years to the next generation of Service Technicians.I have been married to the love of my life for 37 years.  We have 2 kids and 3 grandkids.  Away from work I enjoy being involved in Soap Box Derby racing.  For the last 25 years I've been involved with the Salem Soap Box Derby.  I enjoy working with the kids and teaching them lessons in sportsmanship and that winning is not everything.  15 years ago another dad and I started a new race in Salem to bring kids from all over the West Coast and other parts of the country.  We call it the Best in the West Classes.  For the past 14 years I've been the regional director of the All American Soap Box Derby.  I'm also involved in Awanas through my church.

Walt Weitzel - Part Time Instructor (Portland)

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.  I graduated from Benson High school and later recieved a degree in Technical Illustration from PCC as well as a degree in Sheet Metal.  I spent 31 months in the Army which included 21 months in Vietnam in the Engineers.  Before entering my Apprenticeship I worked at several jobs in the metal fabrication industry that included; leaf spring fabricator, Carman for the Union Pacific railroad, fabricator for several non-union shops, welder for American Sheet Metal in local 544 (now the production side of local 16).  I started my Apprenticeship in 1974 at R & J Metal Fabricators and stayed there for over 30 years.  At R & J I worked in the shop and field the first 20 years before becoming the shop foreman and eventually moving into the office as an estimator.  Most of the work we did was in the Heavy Industrial segment of the Industry.  I completed my Sheet Metal Apprenticeship in 1978.  I started teaching for the Sheet Metal Institute in 1992 before we had our own training center.  Classes were held at various locations; including Benson High School and several PCC campuses.  Teaching is a very rewarding job that I have enjoyed for many years now. 
​My wife and I have been married for 38 years.  We have two daughters, one son and four grandchildren. 

Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • First Aid & CPR Instructor - HSI
  • Approved Rigging Instructor - The Crosby Group

Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • Bachelors Degree in Labor Education - National Labor College
  • Certified Welding Inspector - American Welding Society
  • OSHA Construction Outreach Trainer - U.S. Department of Labor
  • First Aid & CPR Instructor - American Red Cross
  • Benchmark Building Information Modeling (BIM) Detailing Inspector
  • Benchmark Building Information Modeling (BIM) Fabrication Inspector
  • Certified Welder - International Training Institute
  • Certified Refrigerant Technician (Universal Level) - Universal Technical Institute
  • Industry Competency Exam (ICE) Certification - Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute
  • HVAC Fire Life Safety Level 1 Technician - Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau

Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • First Aid & CPR Instructor - HSI
  • Certified Welding Inspector -  American Welding Society
  • OSHA Construction Outreach Trainer - U.S. Department of Labor
  • Approved Rigging Instructor - The Crosby Group

Bob Schaefer - Part Time Instructor (Portland)

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I began my Apprenticeship in June of 1978 and completed it in May of 1982 and received Journeyman status as of July 15, 1982.  I have worked for Streimer Sheet Metal Works my entire career.  Most of my experience has been in the HVAC Industry as well as some Architectural and Industrial work.  I have been the shop foreman for the last 14 years.  I have been involved in teaching in the Apprenticeship program since the mid 1990's.  I began by teaching Apprentices when it was a night school program.  Then when the program changes to day school 6 days a week I taught Apprentices on Saturdays.  Currently I am instructing on Thursday nights for the study hall class.  Study hall covers whatever subject the Apprentices may be learning that particular week, or allows them to prep for an upcoming week.  I take a personal interest in helping Apprentices learn and grasp different concepts presented to them through the Apprenticeship program.

Industry Credentials & Certifications

  • Certified Welding Inspector - American Welding Society
  • Benchmark Building Information Modeling (BIM) Certified Detailing Inspector

  • Benchmark Building Information Modeling (BIM) Certified Fabrication Inspector

  • Benchmark Building Information Modeling (BIM) Certified Detailer

  • First Aid & CPR Instructor - HSI​