Gov. Wolf Announces Investment to Increase Plumber and Pipefitter Apprenticeships in Pennsylvania

August 26, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf is continuing to invest in the commonwealth’s workforce with the announcement of $297,000 in new funding to help Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 354 meet the demand for a certified, well-trained workforce in 14 Pennsylvania counties.

“Supporting Local 354’s apprenticeship program will help develop talented workers for in-demand careers in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “Apprenticeship programs like this one allow Pennsylvanians to earn while learning the skills they need to get a secure, good-paying job. We are proud to have supported many of these programs that benefit workers and businesses alike.”

Through this funding, provided by Pennsylvania’s Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 354 will be able to continue their five-year apprenticeship program in the Pennsylvania counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Somerset, Westmoreland, and parts of Green and Washington counties. Apprentices are taught welding, pipefitting, plumbing, and HVAC while receiving on-the-job training under the supervision of Journeymen.

“Local 354’s apprenticeship program helps bridge the gap and provides the workforce with qualified and well-trained employees,” said Tim Custer, business manager of Local 354. “We are so pleased to have received this funding.”

Established in 1972, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 354 represents approximately 600 Journeymen and apprentices who are provided superior training and endeavors for work with the highest standard of craftsmanship.

Since 2018, Gov. Wolf has invested $28 million in registered apprenticeship programs through the Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprenticeship and Training Office to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce. This is part of the governor’s fulfillment of his promise to create good jobs that pay well when he first took office in 2015. On average, graduate apprentices in Pennsylvania earn a starting wage of $70,000 and have the potential to earn $300,000 more than other workers over the course of their careers.

Gov. Wolf has invested an additional $11.7 million through Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant program.

The program works to increase apprenticeship availability to Pennsylvania employers to assist them with their talent recruitment and development. Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Program funding is provided to eligible applicants for the purpose of reaching the goal of increasing apprenticeship accessibility across the state. Eligible uses of funds include expenses related to instruction that complements on-the-job learning.

For more information about the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program and other economic development programs, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of the agency’s news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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