CCK helps Yough students explore apprenticeships

A group of students from Yough High School got a close-up look at trade apprenticeship opportunities this month when two training centers hosted them as part of our College & Career Knowledge (CCK) program. Early in the morning, students visited Steamfitters Local 449’s new state-of-the-art training center in Harmony, Butler County. After lunch, they visited the Ironworkers Local 3 training center in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. 

Hosts at both centers said that the trades offer lots of options that aren’t always apparent. Among them are opportunities to earn associate’s degrees and even bachelor’s degrees, Steamfitters Training Director Dale Glavin told the students. He said work in his field isn’t just installing the piping for industrial facilities, refrigeration systems and other applications. Steamfitters learn computer-aided design of piping systems, become skilled service technicians and can pursue supervisory and managerial positions as well.

He counseled that students interested in the program could make themselves stand out among applicants by getting jobs or even pursuing hobbies that show they have mechanical ability.

Representatives at both training centers said trades offer a very viable alternative to college for students who want one. The apprenticeship programs offer paid training and typically lead to jobs with high, five-figure incomes and substantial benefits.

In addition to learning about the programs and touring the training facilities, students participating in CCK also sometimes get a chance to try their hands at some of the skills apprentices learn. During their visit to the Ironworkers, a number of kids tried tying together the rebar used to strengthen the concrete cores of walls in office tower construction.