ABC Keystone: About the program
Good news! ABC Keystone has nearly tripled its footprint here at the ABC Keystone chapter headquarters, located just off of Route 283 at Manheim Road in Lancaster County. The vast majority of the renovation was focused on expanding its education and training facilities, with a particular emphasis on shop space for apprenticeship programs.
In south-central Pennsylvania, more than 2,000 employees of industry-related businesses participated in 112 career development courses between August 2014 and July 2015, and ABC has experienced the start of a record-breaking year in 2015, with 250 apprentices currently enrolled.
ABC apprenticeship programs are dedicated to giving passionate and hardworking people extraordinary careers in the construction industry. These programs allow individuals to learn a skilled trade and achieve a career that will help them thrive and earn a great income right here in Pennsylvania! At the same time, contractors are able to have a highly qualified workforce, trained by the best of the best.
As an alternative to college or entering the workforce directly following secondary school, apprenticeship poses many benefits — among them, far greater job security than in most of today’s markets. “I was a part of an apprenticeship program at ABC after I got out of high school,” said Barry Miller, a local business owner who has worked in the electrical field since 1974. “I was eventually involved in founding an electronic security firm as well as buying an electrical contracting firm.”
Another success story comes from Manheim. “Out of high school, I decided to work a year as a laborer for Garden Spot Electric,” said Chad Fernald. “It turned out to be a great fit for me. After a year, they signed me up for the apprenticeship program at ABC. Today, I’m a project manager for Garden Spot Electric.”
Apprentices learn their skilled trade through a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and classroom instruction. OJT is at the core of ABC Keystone’s apprenticeship programs, and it is obtained through employment with a sponsoring contractor. Apprentices work side by side with skilled, trained individuals on jobsites, obtaining balanced experience in all aspects of their chosen trade. In addition, apprentices attend classroom instruction, which provides them with the theory behind what they are learning in the field, along with other hands-on learning opportunities.
Notably, ABC apprenticeship programs are approved by both the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. This means that individuals enrolled in the programs can rest easy, knowing they are part of an approved program with high standards. In addition, because ABC programs are approved, apprentices who graduate will receive certification as a “journeyman” in the trade, not only by ABC but also by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For individuals, apprenticeship’s unique combination of OJT and classroom instruction provides a comprehensive, well-rounded education leading to an outstanding, lucrative career in construction. For contractors, apprenticeship helps ensure a highly trained workforce now and in the future.
Apprenticeship — it’s a win-win!