Collaboration for Progress

Building a strong and positive presence within the community is essential for organizations seeking to broaden their outreach and enhance community awareness. This educational session will guide you through the strategies and best practices for collaborating with community organizations to achieve mutual goals, create positive impact, and engage effectively with the local community whether it be with non-profits, community organizations, or government entities.

Key Highlights:

  • The Power of Community Engagement: Begin by exploring the profound impact of community engagement and how it can benefit both your organization and the community. Understand the value of building strong community connections.
  • Identifying Community Partners: Learn how to identify and connect with local community organizations that align with your goals and mission. Discover the types of partners that can help you broaden your outreach and enhance your community awareness.
  • Setting Mutual Goals: Explore the importance of setting mutual goals and objectives with your community partners. Understand how shared vision and collaboration can lead to more effective outreach efforts.
  • Effective Communication and Collaboration: Discuss strategies for fostering effective communication and collaboration with community organizations. Learn how to build strong working relationships and partnerships.
  • Leveraging Resources and Expertise: Understand how to leverage the resources, expertise, and networks of community organizations to enhance your outreach efforts. Learn to tap into their local knowledge and connections.
  • Community Needs Assessment: Explore the process of conducting community needs assessments to better understand the specific needs, challenges, and aspirations of the local community. Use this information to tailor your outreach efforts.
  • Community Engagement Initiatives: Learn about effective community engagement initiatives that can help you connect with the local community. Discover methods for hosting events, workshops, and activities that foster community awareness and engagement.
  • Measuring Impact: Explore methods for measuring the impact of your collaborative efforts with community organizations. Discuss the use of key performance indicators (KPIs) and feedback mechanisms to assess success.
  • Sustainability and Long-Term Partnerships: Understand the importance of building sustainable, long-term partnerships with community organizations. Learn how to maintain and nurture these relationships over time.
  • Case Studies and Success Stories: Gain inspiration from real-world examples of organizations that have successfully collaborated with community organizations to broaden outreach and enhance community awareness.

By the end of this education session, you’ll be well-prepared to effectively collaborate with community organizations to broaden your outreach efforts and strengthen community awareness. Whether you represent a business, non-profit organization, or government agency, this session will provide you with actionable insights and tools to create meaningful impact and connect with the local community. Join us and embark on the journey of collaborative outreach and community awareness.

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Dushaw Hockett

Dushaw Hockett is the founder and Executive Director of SPACEs, a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to bridging the gap between what people imagine and what they achieve. A native New Yorker who now resides in Maryland, Dushaw has over 25 years of experience in the areas of leadership development, organizational transformation and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

He’s the former Director of Special Initiatives for the Center for Community Change (CCC), a 40-plus year old national organization founded in the memory of the late Robert F. Kennedy. He’s also a former aide to Representative Nydia M. Velazquez (NY), Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. Congress.

Dushaw has written several publications focused on citizen engagement and cross-cultural communication. They include Not Part of the Plan, Crossing Borders and A Hope Unseen. He has served on the boards of numerous local and national organizations, including the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).  He’s currently a founding board member of the Perception Institute, a consortium of researchers and practitioners who translate cutting edge research on race and gender into strategies that reduce bias and increase belonging.

Dushaw’s current work includes Allies for Inclusion, a multi-year project with the National Park Service (NPS). The project equips park service employees with the skills needed to create environments that support inclusion and belonging. Dushaw has worked with a diversity of clients including Cracker Barrel, Disney, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU).


Cheryl Sprague
SMACNA – Sacramento Valley Chapter

Cheryl has been the Sacramento Valley chapter executive since 2013. Her main focus there has been labor relations, member services and education. Prior to joining SMACNA, Cheryl was a contract lobbyist and served as the chief executive for several trade associations while in-house at an association management firm. As a Certified Master Facilitator ®, Cheryl specializes in consensus building and has led stakeholders through the collaboration process on several high-profile redevelopment projects for municipalities throughout her state.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations with a Masters in social work. She is currently pursuing a second Master’s in biblical studies.


Will Scott
SMART International Organizer

Will Scott began his sheet metal apprenticeship in 1990 at Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 85 in Atlanta, Georgia. After relocating to Southern California in 1994, he transferred to Local Union 108 in Los Angeles, achieving Journeyman status in 1995. Will specialized in HVAC/R, earning certifications in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB) in 1997. He served as a Foreman for Western Allied Corporation, overseeing numerous HVAC projects for eleven years.

In 2006, Will transitioned to become a JATC Instructor, teaching at the Southern California Sheet Metal Training Center. He instructed Journeymen in Blueprint Reading & Specifications and apprentices in Basic Air Testing and Balancing. In 2008, he assumed the role of Marketing Representative for Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 105, contributing his expertise for five years.

In July 2013, Will became the JATC Training Coordinator in Bakersfield, leading a successful transformation of the apprenticeship training program, earning a platinum accreditation award from the International Training Institute (ITI) in 2018. In 2019, he became the JATC Administrator of the BYD-SMART Joint Apprenticeship & Training Trust, pioneering accredited apprenticeship training for the electric bus manufacturing industry.

Having experienced an impoverished childhood himself, Will has also championed efforts to open the building trades to disenfranchised and underserved communities during most of his career. As an Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer, he has trained over a thousand individuals enrolled in pre-apprenticeship programs at LA Mission College, LA Southwest College, Santa Ana College, and The Flintridge Center located in Pasadena California.

Additionally, his leadership as an advisory board member was instrumental in the development of both the Los Angeles & Inland Empire Black Worker Centers, community-based organizations whose mission is to increase access to quality jobs, reduce employment discrimination, and improve industries that employ Black workers through action and unionization.

In January 2023, Will joined SMART International staff, showcasing his extensive experience, leadership, and commitment to equitable access to high-quality union training.

Will currently serves as a member of the SMART BE4ALL Committee, a joint effort by SMART, SMACNA, and the ITI to transform the culture of sheet metal industry into one that affirms the dignity and worth of every human being who walks through our doors, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups.