At the conclusion of the 2000 SMWIA/SMACNA Partnership Conference, facilitator Bernie Flaherty told the 450-plus contractors, business managers, agents and chapter executives that it was time to begin the partnering process locally. SMWIA Local 33 and four Ohio SMACNA chapters and contractors took that advice to heart and embarked on a Pilot Partnering effort that will serve as an example for other chapters and locals to follow. "The need for a new vision for the future of the sheet metal industry was our main reason for pursuing the partnership program. Times are changing and we need to adapt to the new customer in the market," explained Jim Shoaff of SMACNA-Cleveland who organized the program with Local 33, national SMACNA and the SMWIA. Al Chermack, business manager of Local 33 felt "it was necessary to bring together the contractors, representatives and organizers of Local 33 to meet to develop a relationship that will allow the unionized sheet metal industry to establish short and long-term goals for increasing market share, expand the education of our respective memberships, and promote the benefits of the union sheet metal industry to the public." During the day and a half session led by Bernie Flaherty of Cornell University, the 44 attendees discussed the present state of the union sheet metal industry, identified barriers to partnership and developed a mission statement.