Continuing its mission to improve the lives of residents in the Hill District, Uptown and West Oakland, McAuley Ministries and co-sponsors the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, FOCUS Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County, CareerLinkPA, the Hill House, Community Kitchen Pittsburgh, the Energy Innovation Center, and Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh brought the prospect of career opportunities to the Jeron X. Grayson Center for a free workforce development event.
The prospect? Free union training and employment through one of the five building trades whose representatives attended the event.
“We’ve got the best school around. We just started a new class of 90 (apprentices), and we’ll bring in 90 more in February,” said Harold “Mac” McDonald, of the Carpenters’ union. “Right now, we have 1,500 apprentices in our system.”
The Carpenters, McDonald said, have more classes because they do more work.
“Think about it. Nearly every construction job is about 70 percent carpentry; framing for footers, beams, walls, setting metal studs, window and door frames, and the doors,” he said. “Most people don’t think of that, and that’s why we’re here—to let people know. If we can help just one person, we’ve done our job.”
That one person might be Thomas Holliday from Braddock, who came in towards the end of the four-hour event, Nov. 16, and spoke with people at every table.