Union construction workers are answering the call for more hospital beds, converting the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center into a 1,000 bed field hospital in just 3 days.  With the state’s health care system facing a shortfall of thousands of beds, members from Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 worked around the clock to adapt the convention center’s air system for the enormous temporary hospital.  Currently, there are over 40 patients (sixteen homeless) occupying the facility.

Local 17 members working at J.C. Cannistraro had just days to complete the project before patients arrived. They jumped into action, adding filtration, modifying the rooftop ventilation units, and preparing isolation rooms to keep everyone safe.

“Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 went above and beyond what’s expected of them,” said Ray Martin, Project Manager at J.C. Cannistraro. “This isn’t part of their normal job. They did it for the people that are sick.”

“We’re proud to stand with our neighbors and communities during these tough times,” said Bob Butler, Business Manager of Local 17. “We will continue to help expand our healthcare capacity, so everyone can get the care they need.”

As the demand for hospital beds grows, Local 17, along with other building trades unions, is already planning additional field hospital construction throughout the region.

Submitted by Metal Workers Local 17 :  Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 is a building trade union representing more than 2,700 skilled and licensed workers throughout Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. We stand together as the most highly trained professionals in the industry, bringing top safety standards and quality to every project. For more information, visit: www.smw17boston.org 


Local 17 member Dan Morency adds filtration to the air circulation system to prevent the spread of COVID-19.