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First Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Pennsylvania High School Students Begins this Fall in Pittsburgh Public Schools

PITTSBURGH July 23, 2021 – Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Pipeline Into The Trades (P.I.T.T.) Pre-Apprenticeship Program is the first registered carpentry pre-apprenticeship program for high school students in the state.

The P.I.T.T. Pre-Apprenticeship Program, sponsored by the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Division of Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and Keystone Mountain Lakes (KML) Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund, is designed to augment CTE's three-year Carpentry program of study with components that will help eliminate barriers that have hindered application and acceptance into Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training program.

According to CTE Executive Director Angela Mike, “Labor projections indicate that over the next eight years, construction occupations will grow by 4%, creating nearly 300,000 new jobs in this field. But the construction industry, which has an aging workforce, has struggled to attract younger and more diverse employees. Through this pre-apprenticeship program, we will not only help address these challenges, but help our students prepare for a successful career in a booming industry.”

The program also has elements to promote the building trades to female students and students of color, to help address the lack of diversity in this field.

Per Nick DeMatteo, Executive Director, Eastern Atlantic States Apprenticeship Funds, “The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is very pleased to enter this joint venture with the Pittsburgh Public School System. This initiative will enable our two organizations to collaborate very effectively in creating wonderful career opportunities for the youth of Pittsburgh.”

The pre-apprenticeship program will benefit the carpentry students enrolled at Pittsburgh Carrick and Pittsburgh Westinghouse High Schools. At the end of the three-year program, the pre-apprentices will have received: hands-on skills development including live construction builds; industry-recognized certifications; paid part-time construction work experience in the summer; work-readiness/expectations training workshops conducted by carpentry professionals; CCAC Union Trade Exam Prep Math Course (MAT 75); drug resistance workshops; transportation supports; a summer drivers’ education course; union exam preparation; apprenticeship registration/application supports; apprentice fee support; physical exam fee support; guaranteed apprenticeship interview; and advanced placement points toward acceptance into the KML Carpenters Apprenticeship Program.

“We are excited to work with Pittsburgh Public Schools and the building trades unions in support of this pre-apprenticeship program, which will help break down barriers connecting city youth with good-paying union jobs and will create a pipeline of opportunity to help rebuild the Pittsburgh area workforce,” said Pittsburgh Penguins CEO and President David Morehouse.

The P.I.T.T. Pre-Apprenticeship Program owes its existence to CTE stakeholders, construction industry professionals and building trades advocates throughout Pennsylvania including esteemed professionals:


Nick DeMatteo 

Executive Director 

Eastern Atlantic States Apprenticeship Funds 

Rob Smith 

Supervisor of Instruction 

Eastern Atlantic States Apprenticeship Funds 

Thomas Sommers 

Director of Outreach & Development 

Eastern Atlantic States Apprenticeship Funds 

William Waterkotte 

Eastern District Vice President 

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners 

Bill Sproule 

Executive Secretary Treasurer 

Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters 

David Morehouse 

CEO and President 

Pittsburgh Penguins 

Kevin Acklin 

Senior Vice President and General Counsel 

Pittsburgh Penguins 

Dr. Quintin Bullock 


Community College of Allegheny County 

Debra Caplan 

Interim CEO 


Jeff Nobers 

Executive Director 

Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania 

DeWitt Walton 

Vice President 

APRI Pittsburgh Chapter 

Tom Melcher 

Business Manager 

Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades 

Steven Massaro 


Massaro Corporation 

Bomani Howze 

Vice President 

The Buccini and Pollin Group 

Janet Manuel 


Department of Personnel and Human Services, City of Pittsburgh 

Markese Long 

Director of Outreach and Inclusion 


Steven Mazza 

Council Representative 

Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters 

Thomas Bender 

Council Representative 

Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters 

Theresa Giacomino 

Project Manager 

PJ Dick 

Justin Hough, 

Project Manager 

PJ Dick 

Darnell Dinkins 


TD Construction 

Jake Wheatley 

Pennsylvania State Representative, 19th District