Monthly Archives: October 2016

Apprenticeship centers open their doors to kids participating in College & Career Knowledge

The Keystone Mountain Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters, United Association of Plumbers Local 27 and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5 all hosted presentations at their training centers this month for students participating in our latest session of College & Career Knowledge.

College & Career Knowledge organizes learning opportunities for students interested in finding out more about college or looking for alternatives. In both parts of the program, students get to learn from the source. The college sessions afford opportunities to visit campuses and ask questions in breakout groups with faculty, counselors and college students. The apprenticeship sessions take students on site to the training centers, where they explore the facilities and talk with instructors, trainees and experienced tradesmen.

Western Pennsylvania offers an abundance of post-secondary options, with more than 60 colleges and universities, as well as some 17 different trade apprenticeships.

Students visiting the apprenticeship training programs with College & Career Knowledge came from Brownsville Area, Monessen, Pittsburgh Carrick, Pittsburgh Perry, and Steel Valley high schools as well as Lawrence County Career & Technical Center.

The apprenticeships not only are cost-free to their students, they actually pay starting wages and benefits. Becoming a journeyman in one of the crafts usually takes five years, but trainees see their income rise with each year of experience. All of the apprenticeships lead to jobs with incomes well into five figures and some, like the training for electrical workers, also lead to associate’s degrees.

Like others hosting the apprenticeship learning sessions, Tom Nicola who serves as Training Coordinator for the Carpenters’ program told students that job opportunities for tradesmen in western Pennsylvania are expected to be plentiful for the foreseeable future, with a methane cracking plant slated for construction in Beaver County and many other construction projects planned elsewhere across the region. You’re looking at the best work climate I’ve seen in 40 years,” he said.

A sampling of photos of students visiting the three apprenticeship training centers.

Article Spotlights Career Ready

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured our Career Ready initiative in its October 7 editions, showcasing projects in Charleroi Area School District and Albert Gallatin Area School District as early examples the ways it is taking hold.

Stay tuned! The initiative still is in its early stages. Along with a pilot group of districts, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and representatives from business, higher education and the community, we’re working to expand and deepen Career Ready this year. Meanwhile, read the newspaper article here