Governor Wolf Announces New Funding for Plumbing Apprenticeship Opportunities

February 06, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding to increase apprentice instructor training opportunities by partnering with Plumbers Local Union 27 (PLU 27) in Allegheny County. This funding will support the governor’s commitment to increasing job training opportunities throughout Pennsylvania.

“Our support of the PLU 27’s apprenticeship program will help by preparing students and workers to succeed in our evolving economy,” said Gov. Wolf. “Programs like this are significant in that the apprentices are receiving pay while simultaneously completing in-depth, quality training. This can help lift the financial burdens that often come with trades training and can deter people from exploring these great career pathways.”

The $297,000 grant will support the annual trainings of qualified instructors, the purchase of consumable supplies such as pate, pipe, welding rods, and grinding wheels for the welding and plumbing shops, textbooks, and 40 computers for training and online exams. The PLU 27 apprenticeship training consists of five years where each apprentice must pass their shop classes and plumbing-related classroom instruction to be promoted to the next year, which includes a significant pay increase.

“The DCED Apprenticeship grant allows us to offer state-of-the-art training as our apprentices learn a trade that provides substantial pay increases annually during their apprenticeship, while going to school in the evening and working onsite with our signatory contractors during the day. This training, combined with on-the-job experience, ensures our apprentices attain skills that see better pay and advance from entrance wages to family-sustaining wages with benefits,” said Plumbers Local 27 Training Director John Inks. “The Plumbers Local 27 prides itself on producing some of the finest plumbers in the world, as evidenced in 2014 and 2018 during apprentice competitions when Plumbers 27 had two apprentices titled the best in the United States, Canada, and Australia.”

Apprenticeship programs provide critical 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.

Apprenticeships are a key component of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, an innovative way to improve coordination between state agencies, cut red tape, and invest in people and businesses to expand innovative job training in apprenticeships and other programs so workers get the skills they need to compete in the global economy.

The Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program is a statewide program that offers assistance to registered apprenticeship programs. The program’s goal is to increase apprenticeship availability to Pennsylvania employers to assist them with their talent recruitment and development.

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to workforce training, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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