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2024 Apprenticeship & Trades Fair

SPRINGFIELD, PA – April 18, 2023 – Senator Tim Kearney (D- Delaware) and state Representative Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware), in collaboration with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU), hosted a successful Apprenticeship & Trades Fair at the DCIU in Morton on Saturday. They were pleased to see the event draw over 100 local seventh through 12th-grade students and their families, highlighting the growing interest in apprenticeships and trade programs among the youth.

Attendees started arriving at the DCIU shortly before 10:00 a.m., where they were greeted by 16 exhibitors showcasing a diverse range of opportunities in trades and apprenticeships. Companies and organizations such as Boilermakers Local 13; DCIU – Delaware County Technical High Schools Career/Tech Programs and Practical Nursing Program; Delaware County Community College; Delco Emergency Services; IBEW 65; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; Ironworkers Local 405;  Laborers’ Local 413; Oliver Heating and Cooling; Philadelphia Suburban Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors; Steamfitters 420 UPS; and Williamson College of the Trades were present, with representatives offering valuable insight and advice to guests.

“It was fantastic to witness the enthusiasm and engagement of our students and families at the fair,” said Senator Kearney. “Events like these are instrumental in showcasing the diverse career pathways available through apprenticeships and trades. I am grateful to the partnerships that made this event possible, including the DCIU, attendees, and our local trades and apprenticeship programs. Each committed a portion of their Saturday morning to be here, and from what I saw and have been told, it was well worth it.”

“I was thrilled to see the high turnout on Saturday, and I think it demonstrates both the demand and interest in apprenticeships and trade programs.,” said Rep. O’Mara. “It’s important that we continue to show both parents and students that a traditional four-year college is not the only option post-graduation. By encouraging and empowering young adults to pursue opportunities that best fit their strengths, we can create a strong, diverse, and most importantly, fulfilled, workforce.”

Several exhibitors praised the event’s success and highlighted its importance in promoting apprenticeships and trades among young adults.

“Trades and apprenticeships form the backbone of our nation, enabling individuals to thrive and contribute meaningfully to society, said Nahfees Akbar, Admission Associate at the Williamson College of the Trades.  “The Williamson College of Trades offers an opportunity for prospective students to learn valuable skills and to become successful individuals, that’s why we wanted to be a part of this event.”

Keisha Hawk, an Upper Darby resident, attended the event with her son who was undecided about his post-graduation plans.  “We came to this event last year and he didn’t really engage with the companies. This year, he’s more into it and trying to figure out what he wants to do,” said Hawk. She also expressed her gratitude to Senator Kearney and Rep. O’Mara for organizing the event. 

In addition to local initiatives, Governor Shapiro has proposed increased state investments to support career, and career and technical and vo-tech education, apprenticeship programs, and on-the-job training in his 2024-25 budget. These investments aim to ensure that industries reliant on trades, skills, and labor can attract and retain talent.

“This event was about encouraging our young people to explore all career opportunities, but we also have to make sure we are providing state resources to help these same industries appeal to prospective employees,” said Senator Kearney. “More investments in trades and apprenticeship programs are needed.”

Both elected officials would like to thank everyone who helped to make the event a success.