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Trades and education team up to fill jobs

Sep 2, 2021 : Press Releases
Trade Up logo and construction worker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pittsburgh, PA – Ever-increasing demand for skilled tradespeople coupled with the continuing retirement of the baby boom generation has created significant career opportunities in the regional construction industry. Several new projects are underway that will further elevate demand, such as the Pittsburgh International Airport Terminal modernization, redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site, and Hazelwood Green, among others.

The Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania and Literacy Pittsburgh have launched a collaboration to help create meaningful, skilled work for some of the region’s most vulnerable adults. There are an estimated 54,000 working-age adults in Allegheny County that lack a high school credential. The new Trade Up program will give these individuals the skills and background needed to pursue lucrative careers in the construction trades. 

Trade Up integrates GED preparation and construction trades pre-apprenticeship training. It builds upon the success of The Builder’s Guild’s existing Introduction to the Construction Trades program, which has a 97% completion rate with 87% of all participants placed in union apprenticeships, full-time employment with contractors, or other construction-related employment. Similarly, Literacy Pittsburgh has successfully supported adult learners for 40 years and taught more than 100 GED graduates over the last two years.

“We are excited to partner with the Builders Guild to create a unique opportunity for indivdiuals looking to stage their post-COVID comeback in a big way. Our Trade Up program offers vital credentials and an on-ramp to a middle skills career path and a family sustaining wage,” said Carey Harris, CEO of Literacy Pittsburgh.

The construction industry in the 12 county southwestern Pennsylvania region is facing an unprecedented labor market shortage.  At present, there are nearly 52,000 construction jobs, with a projected growth rate of 9.2% over the next 10 years. At the same time, 30 to 35 percent of current tradespeople are expected to retire over the next few years. This situation has created thousands of opportunities for motivated people to establish a solid middle class way of life.

“The Trade Up program provides a clear path for those who desire a life changing opportunity and who are willing to work hard to achieve that,” said Jeff Nobers, Executive Director of the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania.  “The reward for those who successfully complete both the GED and pre-apprentice programs is guaranteed entry into a trade apprenticeship or other opportunities in the construction industry.”

Individuals who are interested in enrolling in Trade Up should contact Dan Lampmann at 412-350-9920.

The Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania (Builders Guild) is a labor/management initiative representing 16 building trade unions, nine affiliated general and specialty contractor associations, and the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council. The Builders Guild is focused on growing a dedicated and diverse workforce and to promoting the benefits of union construction on both public and private projects.

Literacy Pittsburgh helps create better lives through learning. Recognized as a national leader in adult and family literacy, Literacy Pittsburgh is the largest provider of adult basic education in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. Literacy Pittsburgh provides free, personalized instruction in workforce readiness, high school diploma test preparation, digital literacy, English language learning, math, reading, and family literacy through one-to-one and small class instruction. Founded in 1982, it serves local adults through numerous neighborhood locations and its Downtown Pittsburgh and Beaver County Learning Centers.    

Literacy Pittsburgh (formerly Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council) helps create better lives through learning. Recognized as a national leader in adult and family literacy, Literacy Pittsburgh is the largest provider of adult basic education in Allegheny and Beaver Counties. Last year, Literacy Pittsburgh helped some 5,000 individuals acquire the skills needed to reach their fullest potential in life and participate productively in their communities. Literacy Pittsburgh provides free, personalized instruction in workforce readiness, high school diploma test preparation, digital literacy, English language learning, math, reading, and family literacy through one-to-one and small class instruction. Founded in 1982, it serves local adults through numerous neighborhood locations and its Downtown Pittsburgh Learning Center.       

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