YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training and classroom instruction to prepare workers for highly skilled occupations.
People looking for jobs in trades such as electrician, plumber, pipe fitter, and carpenter can earn 50% of a journeyman’s salary to start and increase their salary over the next three to six years.
The Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania offers 16 apprenticeship programs. The objective of the organization is to place 20 apprentices in each profession of the building trades. But it is below 10 to 40% depending on the business, says Gary Hartman, director of services for the association.
“This translates into something I’ve been saying for a few years,” he says. “We know that by 2023, across the country, we’ll likely have one person short for every position. We are trying to educate and bring people into the trades for high paying jobs.
Hartman says most apprentices earn a starting wage of over $ 16 an hour. The average salary upon completion of the program is $ 28.50 to $ 49.70 with benefits factored in.
The Builders Association represents more than 150 of the most successful and successful companies in the construction industry in Trumbull, Columbiana and Mahoning counties in Ohio and Mercer and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania. All are union entrepreneurs who realize that knowledge, in-depth training, and access to more resources means higher productivity, which ultimately benefits the bottom line.
There is a great need for apprentices in this field due to the amount of work available in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, says Kevin Reilly, executive vice president of The Builders.
“We want to be able to do all this work and provide good jobs for residents of Mahoning and Shenango Valley,” he said. “So we can definitely use more people in apprenticeship programs.”
The Builders Association is involved in different schools, in collaboration with business advisory councils. Hartman says representatives from the organization give students numerous career exploration lectures, serve on company advisory boards, and conduct mock interviews.
A partnership between The Builders and the Mahoning County Educational Service Center allows students in 13 school districts to participate in a pre-learning program. Students learn construction math and other skills that give them an edge before entering a post-high school apprenticeship program.
“We think the earlier contact with something like this, the better,” says Hartman. “This is part of our long term plan to address some of the gaps and shortages that we expect to have with any skilled trades program over the next five years.
Hartman says women’s participation in apprenticeship programs is around 7% and minority participation is 22%.
“There is always a push to get more women and minorities into the program,” says Reilly. “All school systems in Mahoning and Shenango Valley have been invited to attend. “
With most apprenticeships, there is little or no cost. Apprentices will not take on debt the way they would if they went to college. At most, they have to pay for the books.
“There is virtually no cost to attend the training and you get paid as you learn,” says Reilly. “They train in the classroom and also learn on the job. It just offers a different opportunity. You learn a skill that no one can take away from you.
Pictured: Gary Hartman and Kevin Reilly say The Builders are working with qualified unions to deliver 16 apprenticeship programs.
Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.