Many of the trades -- ironworkers, electricians, heavy equipment operators and electricians, just to name a few -- offer apprenticeship programs with classroom training a few weeks a year coupled with time in the field learning from experienced professionals. Tuition and tools are generally free of charge, and apprenticed earn while they are on the job learning. The Builders Guild offers more information about more than 17 occupations with great salaries and benefits.
Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Westmoreland county each have community colleges that offer two-year associate's degrees that can help graduates find jobs or be transferred to a four-year college to help complete a bachelor's degree. These colleges also offer refresher training in basic high school sills and industry training for specific jobs. Mechatronics, a program that provides training in mechanical engineering, electrical/electronic engineering and control systems, is a particularly promising field of study for its use in energy, manufacturing and supply chain and logistics.
ShaleNET is a program that trains individuals for careers in the oil and natural gas industry, nearly 5,500 people have completed training, and more than 3,500 are employed. Classes are not free but financial aid is available, and training is available at various locations.
Scheduled to open in late 2014 on the site of the former Connelley Technical Institute in the Hill District, the Energy Innovation Center is working with key business and research organizations to bring together proof-of-concept energy technology demonstration laboratories, an early-stage business incubator and targeted workforce training programs.
The Bidwell Training Center in Manchester partners with regional companies to train adults with a high school diploma or GED in one of seven majors, partnering with regional employers to make sure students are learning relevant skills.