The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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Bucks Develops First of its Kind Trades Program in PA

Photo Courtesy: Raeanne Raccagno
Photo courtesy:Raeanne Raccagno

Bucks County Community College launches the Building & Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program after partnering with the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council to offer students the opportunity to learn many skills in building trades disciplines.

This new program is believed to be the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, and the development was inspired by the current need for skilled building and construction workers.

Bucks had decided to try and help lessen the load by generating and offering students this 10-week and 288 hours program that will educate students with the material necessary for graduates to apply for a Registered Apprenticeship Program or secure a high-paying, family-sustaining job.

Christine Harvie, the manager of workforce development programs at Bucks, explains how “the planning for the program has been in the works for about a year, however, the idea of doing a Building and Construction Program was something we wanted to do since the beginning of the “Center For Advanced Technologies Project.”

“The Center For Advanced Technologies” is a brand new building featured at the Gene and Marlene Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks in Bristol Township. The $9.9 million building was finished in November and will hold the Building and Construction Trades and multiple other advanced manufacturing training and workforce programs.

Students will earn OSHA-10 and Ariel Platform Lift Safety certificates by graduation as well.

“Students will have class at the CAT on Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. On some Fridays, the group will take tours of local union apprenticeship training centers,” Harvie tells us. These tours will also allow trainees to get a feel of what trade they are interested in and help them apply to those trades.

“We will assist with helping the students apply for registered apprenticeships in the discipline they are interested in pursuing,” she continued.

Another feature of the program is that it is free to those who qualify for the requirements. “We received a PA Labor and Industry PA Smart Grant to fund our program through 2024.

Looking ahead, we will continue to seek out grant-funding options so we can continue to offer the program for free and serve even more students in the future!” Harvie shared.

The inaugural cohort of the Pre-Apprenticeship Program beings April 10 and will feature a total of eight students. Each cohort will acclimate eight students in future sessions. Over the next two years, current grant funding will be able to accommodate a total of 32 students.

“For many young people, a traditional four-year college degree is not always a viable option. This program will provide young people with the opportunity to earn a paycheck while they learn a trade,” Harvie says.

For more information, regarding the program or the program’s requirements, visit the Building & Construction Trades page on the Bucks website or contact Harvie at [email protected].