Allegheny County Democratic Delegation: $155,000 secured to expand building and construction apprenticeships for women, diverse job seekers

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 17 New grant funding of $155,000 will broaden apprenticeship opportunities for women, people of color and other underrepresented workers in the building and construction trades, members of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced today.

The funding from the state Department of Labor and Industry includes $90,000 to Steamfitters Local 449 to add 25 new regional apprenticeships reaching underserved workers and $65,000 to the A. Philip Randolph Institute Education Fund to enhance the “Breaking the Chains of Poverty” Career Pathways pre-apprenticeship program.

“There is a constant demand for skilled labor, which is only increasing as the infrastructure bill creates new projects,” said Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny. “We need a robust workforce to meet the demand, yet a large percentage of available talent never gets tapped because many women and diverse job seekers don’t have access to the apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs that are the prime gateway to these trades. Securing this new funding for Steamfitters Local 449 to expand these programs is a great step in the right direction.”

State Rep. Aerion Abney, D-Allegheny, said funding to the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s Pittsburgh chapter will help remove obstacles that have traditionally blocked the path for diverse job seekers.

“For decades, female and Black workers – and Black women in particular – have been underrepresented in the building and construction trades, effectively shutting them out of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs while shortchanging employers and our labor force,” Abney said. “With help from this new funding, APRI Pittsburgh will work to knock down the barriers that have stood in the way for these workers and allow us to reach new, diverse talent.”

In addition to Abney and Deasy, the Allegheny County Delegation includes Delegation Chairman state Rep. Nick Pisciottano and state Reps. Jessica Benham, Dan Frankel, Matthew Gergely, Emily Kinkead, Anita Kulik, Brandon Markosek, La’Tasha D. Mayes, Joe McAndrew, Dan Miller, Abigail Salisbury, Mandy Steele and Arvind Venkat.

The apprenticeships – part of L&I’s Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Building and Construction Trades through Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships initiative – were 100% federally funded with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act statewide activity funds.

More information about the funding is available here: