Governor Wolf Announces New Apprenticeship Opportunities for the Skilled Trades in Allegheny County

October 10, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced the approval of three apprenticeship grants to assist with the costs of necessary classroom training for 57 apprentices in Allegheny County, enabling the recipients to strengthen and expand their apprenticeship programs. The funding, granted to the Cement Masons Local 526, the Associated Master Plumbers of Allegheny County, and J.A. Sauer Co., will build on the governor’s commitment to expanding job training opportunities for Pennsylvanians.

“All across Pennsylvania, many industries in the trades have aging workforces in which increasing numbers of retirements are causing a shortage of workers,” Governor Wolf said. “But with that worker shortage comes opportunity for younger individuals to achieve high-demand, high-paying jobs in the trades. By supporting these three training programs, we’re helping to equip more workers with the skills they need to succeed in these family-sustaining careers.”

Apprenticeship programs provide access to career pathways and enable apprentices to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to compete in today’s economy. Classroom training is a required component of registered apprenticeship programs across Pennsylvania, and complements traditional on-the-job training. The technical material taught in a classroom environment enables apprentices to learn fundamental concepts, terminology, procedures, safety requirements, and basic tools and instruments.

The first grant, approved for the Cement Masons Local 526 in Pittsburgh for $164,661 over three years, will support no-cost training for 25 apprentices to gain skills in the field of concrete construction. In addition to concrete finishing, forming, pouring, patching, and time management skills, the program will also educate apprentices on soft skills like financial planning and health and safety. After successful completion of the three-year program, apprentices will become journeymen earning family-sustaining wages and excellent benefits.

The second grant, approved for the Associated Master Plumbers of Allegheny County (AMPAC) in Pittsburgh for $297,000 over three years, will support the training of 30 apprentices in the plumbing trade. Due to an aging workforce, southwestern Pennsylvania is experiencing a lack of skilled plumbers and a subsequent increase in costs for plumbing work. This program, which will be offered at AMPAC’s training facility in Pittsburgh, will address this need and provide workers with the skills needed to meet the area’s demand for skilled plumbers.

The third grant, approved for J.A. Sauer Co. for $19,800 over three years, will support the training of two air conditioning contractor apprentices. J.A. Sauer’s program is run through the Air Conditioning Contractors of Western Pennsylvania program developed after carefully assessing the needs of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) industry, and is taught at Pittsburgh Technical College. The funding will support the nearly 800 hours of classroom training that apprentices must complete.

Apprenticeships are a key component of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a new and innovative way to improve coordination between state agencies, cut red tape, and invest in people and business to expand innovative job training in apprenticeships and other programs so workers get the skills they need to compete in the global economy. The $30 million initiative includes $7 million to increase support for apprenticeships, with the goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices by 2025.

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to workforce development, visit the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

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