Educator in the Workforce offers apprenticeship webinar

Educators often are surprised to learn that building trade apprenticeship programs enable students to earn paychecks while they’re still learning. They’re also always interested to learn what the admission requirements are.

Both were among the key takeaways when our Educator in the Workforce program hosted a webinar with Ironworkers Local 3 Apprentice & Training Center.

Rick Pireaux, the Center’s Assistant Director, said apprentices working on jobs in Allegheny. County as part of the program start at around $20+ an hour, roughly 55% of the journeyman level they’ll reach when they complete the program in four or five years. Additionally, trainees get a full benefit package worth about $32/hour.

“It means we’re paying $53 an hour before we even teach you anything,” Pireaux said.

Like the 17 different apprenticeship training programs available in the region, the Ironworkers’ program requires an entrance exam focused on math and reading comprehension. The programs also require every enrollee to have a driver’s license because on-the-job training can take place at different worksites where contractors have projects.

Mike Huber, an attendee who serves as Transition Coordinator at Elizabeth Forward High School, said learning from EIW sessions with different apprenticeship training centers helped his district tweak its curriculum to give students more familiarity with the kinds of math used in building trades.

“The program is really designed to give educators a better grasp of how the subjects they’re teaching are actually applied in different work settings,” said Consortium Program Director Jenn Sethman, who oversees EIW. “It can help them and their districts better prepare students for employer expectations.”