- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Plumbers and Gasfitters UA Local 12 Apprenticeship Program Celebrated During National Apprenticeship Week 2021
Michele Campbell, Director of Communications
Dorchester, MA — Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta and members of the Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS) celebrated the apprenticeship program at Plumbers & Gasfitters UA Local 12 on Thursday, November 18, participating in a tour and classroom demonstrations as part of National Apprenticeship Week (November 15-21).
The top occupations for DAS programs include electricians, carpenters, plumbers/gasfitters, and pipefitters. Currently at Local 12, there are total of 308 apprentices, 38 of which are female and 33 representing minorities. The 5-year apprenticeship program operates during the day, with apprentices in 40-hour block training for 6 weeks a year (September through June).
“This format works the best,” said Richard Carter, Training Director for Local 12, “because the apprentices can have class during the day and can still have a home life.” With apprentices ranging from high school age to mid-40s--even some 50s--this is a program that creates a work/life flexibility that that leads to student success and retention.
Secretary Acosta, Apprenticeship Director Patrick Mitchell, and DAS team member Margaret Gilligan toured the two-building training facility, where 4 classes were in session: plumbing shop, science, math, and plumbing code. The plumbing shop had apprentices learning press technology with water piping materials, and Secretary Acosta spoke with students and tried her hand at the craft.
“Apprenticeships are a great equalizer, because they offer opportunity to the unemployed and underemployed to learn and earn at the same time, resulting in stable career pathways in high-demand, high-paying industries,” said Secretary Acosta.
Another classroom instructor conducted an experiment that demonstrated differences in pressure when heating water. Here, Secretary Acosta told the students that they are on an excellent, high-paying career path and that the craft they are learning is in demand both commercially and residentially. She also mentioned that because of the success of apprenticeships in the trades, the program is growing to include opportunities in expansion industries, which include health care, technology, biotechnology/life sciences, banking/finance, and advanced manufacturing.
“With the majority of our apprenticeship programs in the construction and building trades, it’s so important that we highlight these great careers and let everybody know, ‘These opportunities are available to you—in the trades and in any industry. Apprenticeship is accessible to everyone,’” said Mitchell.
The tour concluded in the meeting hall where Secretary Acosta addressed about 50 apprentices, congratulating them for joining the program and discussing how their expertise and service is needed across the Commonwealth. She also presented to Carter a proclamation signed by Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin proclaiming the week of November 15th to be Massachusetts Apprenticeship Week.