A free apprenticeship program is being offered in the Erie area and applications for enrollment are just weeks away from opening.
Erie Mayor Joe Schember was there to help bring awareness to the apprenticeships being offered. Samiar Nefzi was there to tour the facility with the mayor.
TJ Sandell and other leaders discussed several local apprenticeships offered in the area from plumbing to electrical work to help bring attention to students who are not sure of their next step.
With high school graduations just a few months away, some students might feel the rush to go to college, but Erie Mayor Joe Schember saying it’s alright to find other forms of education.
“I did go to college and all that, but there is no need to do that. You can start earning a family-sustaining wage four years earlier, rather than sit through college. find one of these trades and get going.”
The local Plumbers Union Training Facility in Summit Township is offering an apprenticeship.
President of Great Lakes Building & Construction Trades Council TJ Sandell says, “What we are doing here in our programs are providing skills to young people that last a lifetime and a job that pays a living wage. “
The five-year program teaches students several trades from plumbing to welding, and student education ranges from classroom experience to hands-on learning with equipment just like this.
During the course of the program, students are placed with jobs during the day and then at night, they attend class; all for free.
Sandell tells us, ” A fund [was] created by all the members of our organization. So, every hour worked puts a contribution of money toward our program. We fund it ourselves.”
Third Year Apprentice Charles Williams, who is from the Erie area, says the program is changing the future. “Coming in I knew nothing about plumbing. Some kids have a plumbing background and they flourish a little faster than others, but you don’t get left behind. “
The program will be accepting applications from February 25th through March 9th.
If you want more details about the program, check out the mayor’s news conference posted on our Facebook page.