Pennsylvania Promotes “Earn While You Learn” Opportunities

Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Office Director Tara Loew discussed the important role registered apprenticeship programs have in preparing the commonwealth’s workforce for in-demand careers during a tour of the Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region (FTI) in Philadelphia.

“Ensuring that businesses have the qualified workers they need and that employees are prepared for the jobs of today is a top priority,” said ATO Director Loew. “Registered apprenticeship programs, like the one at FTI, allow commonwealth workers to remain gainfully employed while learning valuable skills and completing their education. These opportunities are invaluable in today’s economy not only for our workforce, but to ensure that companies looking to hire have access to the highly skilled employees they need.”

Registered apprenticeship programs are used to provide employer-driven training to create a more productive, diverse, highly skilled workforce for employers and help reduce employee turnover. The program provides job seekers with increased skills, and a nationally recognized credential to support future career advancement and increased wages.

Created in early 2016, the Department of Labor & Industry’s Apprenticeship Training Office supports 873 individual program sponsors and 1,587 registered apprenticeship programs, occupation or trade additions across the commonwealth, with 17,483 active registered apprentices.

During the tour of FTI, ATO Director Loew spoke with several first-year apprentices in the glazing academy from the Architectural Glass & Metal Installers degree program who will be studying the fundamentals of power tools and performing drilling exercises for various substrates.

FTI is also awarding Department of Labor Completion certificates to 77 graduates this evening from the coatings applicator specialist (industrial painters), commercial paint & wall covering, drywall finishing and architectural glass & metal installers apprenticeship programs. The glazier registered apprenticeship program is the only program within the Finishing Trades Institute, and one of only a few in the country, where apprentices graduate with an associate’s degree.

“The Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region is dedicated to creating a highly skilled, educated, and safe workforce built on quality, pride, and progressive training,” said FTI Financial Controller Kara Peters. “FTI prides itself on providing rigorous academic standards combined with industry-relevant hands-on training that leads to family sustaining careers, or additional education opportunities, for graduate apprentices.”

FTI supplies area contractors with the most highly skilled craftspeople in the construction industry, particularly for the six industries for which they have apprenticeship standards registered: architectural glass & metal installers, coatings applicator specialist, commercial paint & wall covering, drywall finishing, glassworkers, and multi-craft decorators. FTI designs programs that produce some of the best journeypersons, supervisors, and project managers in North America.