Erie Chamber Blog
Thursday June 4, 2020 

From plumbing to electrical work to welding to fire protection systems, skilled trades span a broad range of interests and provide limitless career opportunities for those willing to put in the effort. In the video above, we interview two Steamfitters apprentices working at Wm. T. Spaeder, Jared Szczesny and Mark Holcomb. Here they give us a firsthand look at both about the apprenticeship program as well as their goals for the future. 

There are over 400 local Steamfitters training centers throughout the United States. The Pittsburgh Steamfitters Local 449 Technology Center is a new state of the art facility located in Harmony, PA. The center offers two training programs: Building Trades, such as welding and process piping, as well as Mechanical Equipment Service like HVAC and refrigeration. The Apprenticeship Program lasts five years. During this time, rather than accrue debt, apprentices earn a living wage while gaining valuable work experience. 

Advantages of being an apprentice include affordable cost of degree, learning an essential skill with a continually growing demand, good base pay, job security (cannot be outsourced), flexible career choices and multiple options for growth. 

As a union contractor, Wm. T. Spaeder, appreciates the excellent technicians trained by the steamfitters and other apprentice programs because it helps us ensure high quality products and services for our customers. This in turn allows us to maintain our standard of excellence that we have built upon over the last one hundred years.

For application information, please see the Steamfitters UA Local 449 website. Though the 2020 applications have been postponed due to COVID-19, hopefully, business will resume soon. https://www.ua449.com/training.aspx?zone=training&pID=3726 

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