11:06 AM / Tuesday May 30, 2023

14 Apr 2023

Shapiro administration announces new funding to increase iron worker apprenticeships in the Philadelphia area

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April 14, 2023 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: DCED Acting Secretary Rick Siger  ( Photo/

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Rick Siger has announced $293,295 in new funding for Iron Workers Local 401 to train apprentices and help them earn while they learn new skills in the Philadelphia area. Gov. Josh Shapiro believes strongly that every Pennsylvanian should be free to chart their own course to success in the Commonwealth.

This funding, provided by Pennsylvania’s Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, will help the Iron Workers Local 401 Apprenticeship Program serve 26 apprentices over the four-year program. 

Through Gov. Shapiro’s budget, the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program will receive $3 million of a $23.8 million investment in building partnerships between Career and Technical Education and industries, trades, and entities that need highly skilled workers.

“Governor Shapiro and his administration strongly believe Pennsylvanians should have the freedom to chart their own course to success in the Commonwealth,” Siger said. “The apprentices participating in this program will learn valuable skills on their pathway to a successful career in the Commonwealth. Investing in our people, and in apprenticeships programs like this one at Iron Workers Local 401, is an important strategy by the Shapiro Administration to strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy.”

The Iron Workers Local 401 Apprenticeship Program combines 8,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training and 816 hours of related classroom instruction. The program provides an administrative coordinator and highly skilled instructors to train people to qualify as productive craftsmen in all phases of the ironworking industry. This includes structural steel erection, rigging, architectural metal erection, metal window systems, blueprint reading, welding, flame cutting, plasma arc welding and cutting, fence installation, use of hand and power tools, OSHA Construction Safety Regulations, first aid/CPR, and the use of precise plumbing and leveling instruments.

“We at Iron Workers Local 401 are thankful to the Shapiro administration for helping us to improve our community through this grant,” said Mickey McGrogan, apprentice coordinator, Iron Workers Local 401. “The grant will be used to increase training and provide an opportunity for good paying careers.”

The Iron Workers Local 401 Apprenticeship Program is administered by a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC). The JATC committee consists of three contractor representatives from the Philadelphia Steel Erectors Association and three union representatives from Ironworkers Local 401 and is registered with the U.S. Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training and the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO), housed in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. 

“Apprenticeship is a pathway to family-sustaining employment in industries with high demand for skilled workers,” said L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker. “I encourage Pennsylvanians looking for opportunities to consider the earn-as-you-learn benefits of apprenticeship programs, especially those sponsored by organized labor, such as the Iron Workers Local 401 Apprenticeship Program.”

Established in 2016, L&I’s ATO is responsible for guiding and promoting the expansion and compliance of all registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth. 

Today, the ATO supports 868 unduplicated program sponsors and 1,580 occupation-specific registered apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth, with 16,362 registered apprentices currently active.

The Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant program works to increase apprenticeship availability to Pennsylvania employers to assist them with their talent recruitment and development. Program funding is provided to eligible applicants for the purpose of reaching the goal of increasing apprenticeship accessibility across the state. Eligible uses of funds include expenses related to instruction that complements on-the-job learning.

Shapiro and his administration are committed to investing in apprenticeship programs to provide skills-building opportunities for Pennsylvanians and a strong workforce for businesses. Having robust apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth will provide pathways for workers to earn family-sustaining wages and help build vibrant communities – all without accruing debt. For more information about his commitment to workers, businesses, and our economy, visit the Governor’s website at: .   

For more information about the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, visit:, or

 DCED’s website at:, which also contains links to their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. 

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