Builder’s Guild Teams Up With Literacy Pittsburgh to Fill Vacant Jobs

About 30% to 35% of current tradespeople are expected to retire over the next few years, creating a huge shortage of skilled workers.
Construction Trades


As the nationwide labor shortage hits the regional construction industry, it’s seeing an increased demand for skilled tradespeople and fewer qualified workers, especially as older generations approach retirement.

That’s where the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania and Literacy Pittsburgh come in. 

The dynamic duo has teamed up to launch the new Trade Up program, a collaboration aimed at providing specialized training to the estimated 54,000 working-age adults in Allegheny County without high school credentials.

Trade Up integrates GED preparation and construction trades pre-apprenticeship training. It builds upon the success of The Builder’s Guild’s existing Introduction to the Construction Trades program, which has a 97% completion rate. Likewise, 87% of all participants are placed in union apprenticeships, full-time employment with contractors or other construction-related employment upon finishing the Builder’s Guild’s training.

Literacy Pittsburgh has taught more than 100 GED graduates over the last two years.

“We are excited to partner with the Builders Guild to create a unique opportunity for individuals looking to stage their post-COVID comeback in a big way,” said Carey Harris, CEO of Literacy Pittsburgh, in a press release. “Our Trade Up program offers vital credentials and an on-ramp to a middle-skills career path and a family-sustaining wage.”

The Builder’s Guild, a self-described advocate for the commercial construction industry throughout Western Pennsylvania and beyond, is expected to see a projected growth rate of 9.2% over the next 10 years. Coupled with the fact that between 30% and 35% of current tradespeople are nearing retirement age, the industry will soon find itself in dire need of more skilled workers. 

“The Trade Up program provides a clear path for those who desire a life-changing opportunity and who are willing to work hard to achieve that,” Jeff Nobers, executive director of the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania, said in a press release. “The reward for those who successfully complete both the GED and pre-apprentice programs is guaranteed entry into a trade apprenticeship or other opportunities in the construction industry.”  

Individuals who are interested in enrolling in Trade Up should contact Dan Lampmann at 412-350-9920.

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