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The Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania endorses the following pre-apprenticeship training programs*  

energy innovation center eic logoIntroduction to the Construction Trades;
Energy Innovation Center, Pittsburgh, PA

This program aims to connect individuals of all backgrounds, including but not limited to those who are underserved, disadvantaged, underemployed, unemployed, or seeking a career change to the extraordinary educational and career opportunities provided by the building and construction trades. Participants are provided with information about the work that skilled tradespeople perform, how to apply, and most importantly, which trade may be best suited to their individual talent and personal preferences.

This training program facilitates career exploration through a combination of hands-on activities, virtual reality, individual career counseling, visits to Joint Apprenticeship Training Centers (JATC), and meeting professionals in various fields. Upon completion, program participants will have the option of taking the next step, applying for an apprenticeship. Throughout this process, students are mentored to build job readiness and soft skills required to be competitive for union positions—and remain successful throughout their careers.

No previous experience specifically with the skilled trades is needed. Program activities aim to satisfy two educational outcomes: basic job readiness and a wide exposure to a range of technical disciplines.

Interested candidates may contact Ms. Chaquita Barnett via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via phone 412-482-3361 for more information and/or to enroll. Visit to learn more about the Energy Innovation Center Institute.

apri logoBreaking the Chains of Poverty;
A. Philip Randolph Institute/ Pittsburgh Chapter

A career training program administered by the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s Pittsburgh Chapter and facilitated in partnership with United Steelworkers, the program’s goal is to promote living wage jobs and union membership for the minority community.

In partnership with the labor movement and other allies, the program provides community-based training programs to individuals to educate, to improve their employment opportunities, and to secure good union jobs that earn family-sustaining wages.

Demographic data from the 2010 Census indicates that more needs to be done to support African Americans and low-income communities. Without education, workforce training, decent employment, and livable wages, many individuals do not have the opportunity to escape from poverty, own their own homes, or adequately support their families.

Breaking the Chains of Poverty instruction equips those who are traditionally disenfranchised or discouraged from participation with a new sense of democracy, education, and opportunities. The goal: To create self-sufficient individuals and families.

Participants acquire state-of-the-art training, tools, and theory used by the building and construction industry. They also have a competitive edge because training specializes in environmentally sustainable practices. The skills obtained in the program are in high demand and are transferable to many industries. The core program consists of approved training modules that are industry driven and constantly enhanced by bringing new employers to the table. Graduates enjoy career placement assistance and networking opportunities.

For more information please contact: Breaking the Chains of Poverty, A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), 60 Blvd of the Allies, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 412-562-2432 or visit:

nabtu logo final blackApprenticeship Readiness Program; Multiple Sites

This program was developed by the North America Building Trades Union (NABTU) and is endorsed by the Beaver County Building Trade Unions, Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council, Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania and the U.S. Department of Labor.

This four-week course prepares individuals interested in entering one of 16 regional Joint Apprenticeship Training Programs. The Apprenticeship Readiness Program (ARP) will take place in the counties of Washington, Westmoreland, Butler and Beaver in the Fall of 2017 through Spring 2018. This training is available at no cost to participants.

Individuals must have the status of a dislocated worker or a spouse of a dislocated worker. Candidates must have a driver’s license, reliable transportation and pass a drug/alcohol and a criminal background check.

Interested candidates may contact Ms. Maria Brown via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via phone at 724-480-3448 (cell) 412-735-0851.

Adult Literacy Action: No-Cost Academic Review Classes;
Penn State Beaver, Beaver County, PA

Adult Literacy Action Penn State Beaver provides free basic skills academic instruction in reading and math to individuals applying to Apprenticeship Programs in the various building and construction trades. The primary focus is on reviewing basic math skills and improving Algebra 1 skills in preparation for apprenticeship application math aptitude tests.

Individuals who do not possess a high school diploma or high school equivalency must first receive instruction to prepare for the high school equivalency (GED) test, as this is the initial building block for any future apprenticeships and employment.

Day and evening classes, which are funded by state and federal government workforce education grants, are located in Beaver, Beaver Falls, and inside CareerLink at the Beaver Valley Mall.

To sign up for free classes or for additional information, contact Adult Literacy Action Penn State Beaver at 724-773-7810. Visit

*Completion of these, or any pre-apprenticeship program does not guarantee entry into a Joint Apprenticeship Training program offered by the region's construction trades, but can better prepare those who may need additional hard and soft skills training to be successful in applying to and being accepted into one of the trade programs.