New program allows high school seniors to explore building trades

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

A number of local schools have partnered with the York Builders Association to launch a new construction apprenticeship program.

In all, 27 high school seniors from 11 area school districts will explore various construction-related trades during this school year with a goal to prepare them to enter the workforce. This program is being done in partnership with the York County Alliance for Learning.

“This program will offer future skilled trade professionals the opportunity to build their skill sets and gain first-hand experience before joining the workforce," said the Workforce NOW Foundation’s staff director Melissa Longenberger, in a statement. "The program will also benefit the participating York Builders Association member companies looking for knowledgeable entry-level candidates to join their team."

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Longenberger said Workforce NOW works toward developing community partnerships and developing programs and resources to educate not only students, but parents and teachers as well about the skilled trade career opportunities available locally. 

Kinsley Construction worker Humberto Santana works from a lift while removing old plywood from the left field wall at PeoplesBank Park Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. Crews were replacing the facing and mounting lumber on the "Arch Nemesis," the tallest wall in professional baseball, rising nearly 39-feet above the playing field. Renovations, including upgrading the manual scoreboard, are expected to be completed next March. Bill Kalina photo

Students participate in several hands-on training sessions in a number of trades including plumbing, framing, electrical, drywall and masonry. Introductions to Auto Computer Aided Design and blueprint design and reading are also part of the program. Students will also complete a 10-Hour OSHA Construction Safety Course and receive an OSHA Certification Card at the completion of the course. 

The lack of skilled trade professionals is a serious challenge facing the U.S., with the demand at approximately 740,000 new workers per year for the next three years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. 

The NAHB says pre-apprenticeship allows students to explore a career and develop transferable skills before graduating and entering the workforce. On a national level, pre-apprenticeships are found to increase the success rates of individuals entering registered apprenticeships, which benefits both the apprentice and the employer. 

For more information, contact the foundation at 717-767-2444 or visit www.ybaworkforcenow.com

— Reach Anthony Maenza at amaenza@yorkdispatch.com or @atmaenza on Twitter. 

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