Free Plumbing Classes Launching to fill Worker Needs

Free Plumbing Classes Launching to fill Worker Needs

To help meet the construction industry’s demand for skilled workers and to help young people find good-paying jobs, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and Suncoast Technical College will offer a tuition-free plumbing technology certification program beginning in September.

The eight-month class will include classroom and on-the-job training.

Graduates will be able to enter apprenticeships with local employers, likely leading to full-time jobs, given the shortage of workers in this trade, organizers said.

The college is using a mass mailing to target high school graduates from the last six years who have not entered a traditional college program.

“Our goal is to increase the number of 18- to 25-year-olds receiving an industry­recognized college credential in high-demand occupations within our region in order to meet employer workforce needs and close skills gaps,” said Mireya Eavey, executive director of Career Edge, a private workforce-development nonprofit.

While the focus is on young adults, the program is open to older students.

Plumbing jobs have average wages of $54,000 per year, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and demand is expected to increase.

“The specialty trades, such as plumbing, will experience the biggest shortfalls due to specialized training needs and required schooling,” said Jaime DiDomenico, president of Cool Today, Plumbing Today and Energy Today. “While the needs are keen in the construction side of the business, the service side will steadily show double-digit percentage increases due to more homeowner occupancy.”

CareerEdge will fund the internships for program graduates through its Internship Reimbursement Program, which provides employers with up to $1,500.

Suncoast Technical College is scheduled to hold a job fair from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 8 in the main atrium of its Sarasota campus, 4748 S. Beneva Road. Employers and college representatives will be available to speak with prospective students about the Plumbing Technology program and other construction trade offerings at the school.

The course will begin Sept. 8 and will be held Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Prospective students and employers interested in participating in the job fair should contact Chuck Drake at Suncoast Technical College: 941-924-1365, extension 62429.

For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, go to careeredgefunders. org or call 328-6985.

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