Governor Wolf: New Apprenticeships for Electrician, Machinist and Maintenance Technician Careers in Southwestern Pennsylvania

October 24, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced three new apprenticeships for electricians, machinists and maintenance technicians have been approved in Southwestern Pennsylvania, underscoring the governor’s commitment to expanding apprenticeships, increasing the skilled workforce and attracting more businesses to Pennsylvania.

“These new apprenticeship programs will help connect people with the training for in-demand jobs,” said Governor Wolf. “Apprenticeships give students and workers the opportunity to get hands-on training while they earn a paycheck.”

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.

First, the Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) recently approved a group non-joint apprenticeship program for Electricians in the Pittsburgh area through the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Western Reserve Chapter. Upon completion of the four-year program, IEC students receive nationally recognized credentials as a Journeyman Electrician.

“IEC’s Electrical Apprenticeship offers an exciting and unique training experience that builds lifelong trade skills and gives a competitive advantage in the job market,” said Mary Masco, executive director of the IEC Western Reserve. “We are excited to show Pennsylvania the many benefits of IEC Western Reserve and we look forward to training a new generation of electricians.”

Second, Oberg Industries recently added two trade additions to their existing apprenticeship programs. The company will train for Competency-Based Wire EDM Operators and Sinker EDM Operators in Armstrong County. In addition, the company also recently registered a pre-apprenticeship program, to offer high school students a head start in learning the technical skills required to pursue a career in the manufacturing industry.

“Oberg’s newly registered pre-apprentice program is foundational to our vision of increasing the awareness of high school students and their parents about careers in advanced manufacturing in the communities in which they live,” said Joe O’Brien, Oberg Director of Human Resources. “As we have developed this program over the last few years, it has become a solid strategy for attracting skilled workers that continue to advance our business.”

Third, DMI Companies in Washington County recently registered an individual joint apprenticeship program for maintenance technicians. Their hybrid four-year program will partner with Westmoreland County Community College for its related technical instruction.

“DMI Companies’ Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship program will provide opportunities for current and future employees to learn exciting new skills in the areas of industrial maintenance and advanced manufacturing,” said Katie Hager, Workforce Development Manager for DMI Companies. “It is now crucial to have employees who can work with the ever-evolving technology that is required to remain competitive and grow in today’s manufacturing economy. Apprenticeship programs are ideal vehicles to accomplish this because they blend cutting edge, formal instruction with practical, hands-on application in the workplace that engages learners and enables them to advance in their careers.”

“Pennsylvania’s businesses are growing and need skilled workers, and workers want the education and training necessary for jobs in today’s economy,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative is investing $7 million in apprenticeships to expand programs in traditional and non-traditional occupations, with a goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices in the state by 2025.”

The Wolf Administration established the ATO in 2016 to support and expand registered apprenticeship programs statewide. The office provides outreach, education, and technical support to current and prospective apprenticeship program sponsors and apprentices.

Since the ATO was created in early 2016, the office has registered 129 new sponsors and 180 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 16,674 statewide.

Approved through the ATO, apprenticeship programs are used to provide employer-driven training to create a more productive, diverse, highly-skilled workforce for employers and help reduce employee turnover. The program provides job seekers with increased skills, and a nationally recognized credential to support future career advancement and increased wages.

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.

Visit ATO for more information about apprenticeship programs and the Apprenticeship and Training Office.

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