Steamfitters Local #449 Ken Broadbent & Nick Kappas on their Free Plan to Train Welders & Steamfitte

Steamfitters Local #449 Ken Broadbent & Nick Kappas on their Free Plan to Train Welders & Steamfitte


STORE –>WELCOME BACK TO THE SUNDAY BUSINESS PAGE. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 400 WELDERS MAY BE NEEDED TO HELP BUILD A PLANT IN BEAVER COUNTY. FINDING QUALIFIED WORKERS TO DO THAT WORK IS NO EASY TASK. THERE IS A SERIOUS SHORTAGE OF WELDERS AND OTHER STEAMFITTERS CAUSED IN PART OF THE RETIREMENT OR PENDING RETIREMENT OF BABY BOOMER UNION MEMBERS. STEAMFITTERS LOCAL 449 IS TRYING TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM WITH A NEW TRAINING CENTER IN HARMONY, PENNSYLVANIA IN BUTLER COUNTY. THEY ARE OFFERING 17 WEEKS OF FREE APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING FOR QUALIFIED APPLICANTS. KENNETH BROADBAND IS BUSINESS MANAGER FOR STEAMFITTERS LOCAL 449. IT IS IS A MEMBER OF THE STEAMFITTERS LOCAL 449 AND IS AN ORGANIZER FOR RECRUITING NEW APPRENTICES TO THEIR TRAINING PROGRAM. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO THE SHOW. IT IS GREAT TO HAVE YOU. CAN, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR NEW TRAINING CENTER. THAT SOUNDS VERY EXCITING. THE STEAMFITTERS BUILDING NEW TRAINING CENTER BECAUSE LET ME START OFF THAT STEAMFITTERS DO HEATING, AIR-CONDITIONING, AND REFRIGERATION. POWER PLANTS, STEEL MILLS, NATURAL GAS PLANTS. YOU ARE ESSENTIAL IN EVERY KIND OF BUILDING PROCESS — PROJECT. WE LIKE TO THINK SO. THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY IS VERY EXCITING WITH THE NEW JOBS COMING ALONG WITH THE SHALE PLANT. WE WILL PEAK AT 1400 STEAMFITTERS AND 450 WELDERS. WE THOUGHT THAT BUILDING A NEW TRAINING CENTER WAS ESSENTIAL TO OUR SURVIVAL AND TO BE ABLE TO TRAIN WELDERS AND STEAMFITTERS PROPERLY FOR THE SHALE PLANT. THIS IS A STATE-OF-THE-ART TRAINING CENTER. WHAT IS THAT MEAN? IT IS $18.5 MILLION TO BUILD THE BUILDING. 775 SQUARE FOOT. 2.5 MILLION FOR THE EIGHT ACRE LOT. IN THE BUILDING, THERE IS STATE- OF-THE-ART AC AND REFRIGERATION EQUIPMENT. NOT ONLY THE EQUIPMENT BUT CONTROLS. RIGGING LABS, CONTROL LABS WITH BOILERS AND IT. PIPEFITTING LABS. 66 WELD BOOTS FOR THE TRAINING OF WELDERS IN THE SHORTAGE OF — AND THE SHORTAGE OF WELDERS. I CANNOT COMPLEMENT YOUR COMPANY ENOUGH ON THE FREE TRAINING FOR FOLKS OUT THERE. THAT IS IMPORTANT. NICK, YOU ARE OUT THERE TRYING TO FIND THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS. IS IT HARD TO FIND PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A STEAM FITTER? IT IS. EVERYDAY WE ARE ON THE ROAD VIRGINIA TO LAKE ERIE TO DIFFERENT TRADE SCHOOLS AND VO-TECH’S. THERE ARE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT THERE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH THEIR HANDS. WE RELATED TO A SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM. IF WE GET THE BEST WELDER FROM EACH SCHOOL, WE FEEL LIKE WE CAN BUILD ONE STELLAR TEAM. COLLEGE EDUCATION IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY. IN FACT, WE NEED TO BE RE- EMPHASIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING TRADE SKILLS IN THE 21st CENTURY. IN FACT, I INTERVIEWED SOMEONE WHO WENT THROUGH A TRAINING PROGRAM AS AN HVAC EXPERT. AFTER FIVE YEARS OUT, HE WAS MAKING SIX-FIGURE INCOME. THAT IS REALLY DOABLE, ISN’T IT? A LOT OF OUR JOURNEYMAN STEAMFITTERS MAKE $80,000. IF THEY WORK OVERTIME, THEY CAN MAKE 100,000. THEY ALSO GET A PENSION, HEALTH CARE. WE DO A FIVE YEAR APPRENTICESHIP YOU HAVE A THOUSAND HOURS OF TRAINING AND LABS AND HANDS-ON, WORKING ON EQUIPMENT. 2000 HOURS OF — 2000 HOURS OF ON-THE-JOB TRAINING. UNLIKE TECHNICAL SCHOOLS OR COMMUNITY COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES, WHEN YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER GOES TO COLLEGE AND GETS A GRADUATE CERTIFICATE, THE HOPE — THEY HOPE TO GET A JOB. WE HAVE PEOPLE FROM DAY ONE GET A DECENT WAGE AND HEALTH COVERAGE. THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY GUARANTEED A JOB? AS LONG AS WORK IS GOOD. WE ARE ALWAYS PLACING PEOPLE. WE LIKE TO CONSIDER OURSELVES PROFESSIONALS. OUR LOCAL DO SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN MOST LOCALS. WE STARTED 17 WEEKS OF FREE TRAINING BEFORE THEY EVEN START DAY ONE. THEY ARE NOT PAID, BUT THEY DO 17 WEEKS OF TRAINING SO THAT THEY CAN GET PROFICIENT AT PIPE WELDERS BECAUSE WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH PIPE WELDERS. I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE SHORTAGE. LET ME AS — LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THAT FIRST. THE FACT IS THAT BABY BOOMERS AND PEOPLE LIKE ME ARE RETIRING. 10,000 BABY BOOMERS RETIRE EVERY DAY IN AMERICA. THAT IS GOING TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT DECADE OR SO. WHILE THAT HAPPENS, THERE WILL BE GREAT SHORTAGES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. I ASSUME THE SAME THING IS HAPPENING IN YOUR PROFESSION. LAST YEAR, WE HAD 400 50 PEOPLE TAKE OUR TEST. FROM THAT, WE DO AN INTERVIEW PROCESS. IF THEY HAVE JOB-RELATED SKILLS AND IF THEY WENT TO A TECH SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY COLLEGE, I BELIEVE THAT IMMUNITY COLLEGES ARE SOME OF THE BEST, CHEAPEST TRAINING. THEN THEY COME TO US AFTER THEY HAVE HAD SOME WELDING SKILL. WE GIVE THEM ANOTHER 700 HOURS. THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WE THINK WE CAN PUT ON A NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY. ALL OF THIS TRAINING, THE 17 WEEKS AND THE FIVE YEAR APPRENTICESHIP IS FOR FREE. WE CHARGE OUT OF EACH MEMBERS PAYCHECK, $.90 PER HOUR THAT GOES INTO THE J TC. IT IS SUPPORTED BY EVERY STEAMFITTERS ASSOCIATION? BY OURSELVES. WE ARE SELF-SUFFICIENT. WHEN OUR HEALTH AND WELFARE NEEDS FOR MONEY, WE TAKE IT OUT OF THE ENVELOPE. WHEN OUR TRAINING NEEDS MORE MONEY OR TRAINING FUNDS NEED MORE MONEY, WE TAKE IT OUT OF OUR MONIES. I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THIS WORK IS NOT LIKE YOUR GRANDFATHER STAY. IT IS HIGH-TECH. YOU CAN’T JUST GO IN AND REPAIR AN HVAC SYSTEM OR DO SOME WELDING LIKE YOU MIGHT DO IN YOUR SHOP AT HOME OR IN THE BASEMENT. WE’RE TALKING HIGH-TECH SKILLS, AREN’T WE, NICK? WE DO — WE ARE. A LOT OF OUR CONTRACTORS ARE USING IPADS TO NOT ONLY CONVERSE WITH EACH OTHER BUT ALSO WITH THE ENGINEERS, THE ARK AND — THE ARCHITECTS THAT ARE ON JOBS. WE ARE USING THE TECHNOLOGY OF OUR TIME TO KEEP UP WITH THE TIMES OF ENERGY MANAGEMENT, BUILDING CONTROLS. AGAIN. IT IS 21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGY.

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