CCK’s apprenticeship training center explorations open possible post-secondary paths

Before visiting two trade apprenticeship training centers in November, a young woman from Pittsburgh Allderdice High School told one of her teachers she didn’t know anything about the trades. But by the time she left, she was convinced that she might just have found a career path.

“Hearing this is what makes these trips so worthwhile,” said Nikki Schmidlein, the teacher who accompanied the Allderdice students on visits that our College & Career Knowledge (CCK) program organized in partnership with Sheet Metal Workers Local 12 in Harmarville and Boilermakers Local 154 in Pittsburgh.

“In a society where going to college is made to be so important, it is crucial to understand that not all students will go to college,” Schmidlein added. “These visits open our students’ eyes to the different possibilities around them.”

Hosts told students that they needn’t take out loans for apprenticeship training. The programs cost nothing and pay apprentice-level wages, which increase throughout training. Most programs take five years and some offer college credits or the chance to earn associate’s degrees. All lead to middle and upper-middle income jobs.