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College & Career

Pittsburgh career workshop will connect workers with construction jobs

Jamie Martines
| Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, 12:33 p.m.
Mason O'Dell (left), a junior at Monessen City High School, works the controls of a carry deck crane, as apprentice Garrett Kievit gives him directions, during a program for students to explore alternative education and careers, at the Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center in New Alexandria, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Mason O'Dell (left), a junior at Monessen City High School, works the controls of a carry deck crane, as apprentice Garrett Kievit gives him directions, during a program for students to explore alternative education and careers, at the Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center in New Alexandria, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

Area construction firms are hiring, and those seeking jobs in the trades can connect with employers at an upcoming career workshop hosted by several professional and community organizations.

The Construction Trades Career Workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 27 at PPG Paints Arena. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available.

In 2016, about 7,900 people were employed in construction in Westmoreland County, representing 6 percent of the county workforce and ranking sixth among industry sectors, according to the Westmoreland Development Council. As the labor force continues to dwindle and age, manpower to tackle the region's construction projects is in high demand.

The workshop will help those interested in the trades connect with apprenticeships — described as “earn while you learn” training — offered by local commercial trade unions and contractors, Builders Guild of Western PA Executive Director Jeff Nobers said in a statement.

Resources will be on hand to help people take steps toward overcoming barriers that might prevent them from applying or interviewing for an apprenticeship. Services will include help with a suspended driver's license, criminal background, illegal drug use, lack of personal transportation, math and reading tutoring, GED programs, financial counseling and interview training.

The event will be hosted by the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania, the Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Participating organizations include Pittsburgh Community Services Inc., the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NAACP, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, The Energy Innovation Center's Intro to the Trades program, Breaking the Chains of Poverty trade pre-apprentice program, The Black Political Empowerment Project, Corporate Equity & Inclusion Roundtable, Ways to Work, Duquesne University School of Law Clinic and the Community College of Allegheny County.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jmartines@tribweb.com, 724-850-2867 or via Twitter @ Jamie_Martines.

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