Steamfitters Local Union 449
The new trade school by Steamfitters Local 449, a Pittsburgh based union, expects its first classes to start in January of 2017. The state invested $5 million for the Steamfitters facility, claiming it was “essential” in filling the gap with the new manufacturing jobs that will be coming on-line in the region. The 75,000-square-foot facility cost about $18.5 million. The project location was a green field site.
The Steamfitters deal with appliance- and industrial-based work, such as heating, refrigeration, air conditioning and process piping. Officials said about 350 students will be enrolled for the first year, although they all will not be taking classes at the same time. Union members pay $1 an hour toward education for apprentices. Apprentices typically are provided 17 weeks of welding along with OSHA training, drug testing, soldering, brazing, etc.
Union officials said the reason why Jackson Township Butler County, was chosen for the facility was because of its location. Local unions in Pittsburgh and Erie were consolidated a few years ago, and the township was determined to be the halfway point between Erie and the Pittsburgh/West Virginia border. The union spans 15 counties in Western Pennsylvania, with about 2,700 members locally.
Allegheny Mineral’s Princeton plant provided material for the Steamfitter project.