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Major International Labor Union Joins SAHWIA to Help Promote Solar Air Heating

September 16, 2013: As solar continues to be a “hot” growth industry in the United States and other parts of the world, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) is feeling especially buoyant about the growth potential for its members from increased use of solar air heating. To lend support to the industry, they have become members of the Solar Air Heating World Industries Association (SAHWIA) and will provide assistance to help promote the use of solar air heating, which will create installation work for their members.

Solar air heating systems are typically integrated onto a building’s wall or roof. They heat the ventilation air required in institutional, commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Solar air heating systems have a rapid ROI compared to other renewable energy technologies and have been used around the world for cold climate air heating or warm climate process heat (such as crop drying). Solar air heating systems have been widely used in the USA and Canada for over 20 years by manufacturing plants, military, agriculture, schools, multi-residential, municipal buildings, and commercial operations. They can displace up to 50% of a building’s heating load and thereby be a significant contributor to global climate change goals.

Solar air heating systems are typically installed by sheet metal contractors. This means that increased deployment in this particular solar technology directly creates employment for sheet metal workers and other similar construction trades. Increased employment has always been a positive economic objective for solar, and now SMART union members will be ready to participate in this growth by “solarizing” America’s walls and roofs.

“SMART looks forward to the partnership with SAHWIA in expanding alternative energy solutions to improve environmental conditions and increase job opportunities for our skilled members,” said General President Joe Nigro.

About International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers

SMART was formed with the merger of the United Transportation Union and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association It is an international labor union with membership in the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Labour Congress, providing policy direction and program support on behalf of its membership in maintaining the union’s jurisdiction over various types of work in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Sheet metal members perform work in the building and construction trades, in production manufacturing, railroad shops, and shipyards. Transportation members are in railroad, bus, transit and airline operations. SMART provides apprenticeship and upgrade training through its160 training centers. For more information visit www.smart-union.org.

About Solar Air Heating World Industries Association

SAHWIA is the industry association representing the companies engaged in the manufacturing, marketing, installation and sales of solar air heating technologies across Europe and in North America. Its mandate is to promote public awareness on the benefits, applications, and necessity of solar air heating, as well as to help develop the government policies and programs required to support and accelerate the widespread use of solar air heating throughout the world.

SAHWIA also administers the Solar A Mark, which is a quality assurance certification designed to guarantee high quality systems in the marketplace. It also ensures that solar air collectors are tested to the relevant test standards. For more information on solar air heating, visit www.solarairheating.org or contact info@solarairheating.org

Press Contact:

Bill Butler

Victoria Hollick

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