We support our members & contractors while helping to pave the wave for continued success in our industry.

A Path to Continued Prosperity

For over 140 years (1880) the Steamfitters Local Union #449 has strived to prepare our members to be deservedly able to earn a middle-class wage with benefits – the American dream. To that end, in January 2017, we completed a new 75,000 square foot state of the art training center to cement the future that we envision – a future where our journeymen and apprentices are expertly and properly educated and trained in their craft. Our goal is to produce the most productive and safe workforce for our contractors and for the industry with the goal of another 140 years on the job.

For over 140 years (1880) the Steamfitters Local Union #449 has strived to prepare our members to be deservedly able to earn a middle-class wage with benefits – the American dream. To that end, in January 2017, we completed a new 75,000 square foot state of the art training center to cement the future that we envision – a future where our journeymen and apprentices are expertly and properly educated and trained in their craft. Our goal is to produce the most productive and safe workforce for our contractors and for the industry with the goal of another 140 years on the job.

Kenneth Broadbent

Business Manager

Local 449 (Pittsburgh, PA) Business Manager Kenneth J. Broadbent has been a proud member of his local union and the UA for more than 31 years, beginning with his five year apprenticeship in his local’s training program. In addition he graduated from the UA Instructor Training Program and holds an American Welding Society Qualification as a CWI (Certified Welding Inspector). He has also attended three years of HVACR classes at CCAC and classes for Non-Destructive Testing. After working in the field, Kenneth contributed to the apprenticeship program that provided him with his education by serving as a welding instructor from 1981 until 1989. The members of Local 449 then elected Kenneth to the position of president in 1992, business agent in 1996, and business manager in 1999. Since 1999, he has served continuously as business manager of Local 449.

Since 2007 and while continuing to serve the Local 449 membership as business manager, Kenneth also represents UA members as Vice President for District 2, encompassing Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Kenneth brings an exceptional depth of experience and knowledge of local union operations to his role on the UA’s General Executive Board.

In addition to his service as a Local 449 officer, Kenneth has held other elected and appointed positions. These positions include serving as a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians; member of the Apprentice and Journeymen Training Committee of the Heating, Piping, and Air Conditioning Industry; serving on the Triangle Technical Institute’s HVACR Board; vice president of the Pennsylvania Building Trades; and president of the Pennsylvania Pipe Trades.


James A. Harding

Secretary Treasurer

James Harding has been part of the Steamfitters Local 449 since 1989 and is currently in his 6th year as a Business Agent. During his time with the union, he has also been a Welding Inspector, Instructor, and Journeyman on commercial and industrial projects. As a business agent, he dispatches members for employment, protects the jurisdiction, and ensures the safety of the members. As an instructor, he has taught a wide range of subjects from mathematics to CWI classes, as well as a Radiographic Interpretation class for the International Union in 2016. James enjoys seeing his students excel as a result of his teaching and is grateful to be able to help them grow in knowledge and understanding of the trade.

A first-generation steamfitter, he believes that his work with the union is “the best thing that ever happened to him.” Not only because of the career, comradery, and membership benefits, but in the satisfaction of seeing how completed building projects can help support and enrich the community.

James has earned his CWI (Certified Welding Inspector), CRI (Certified Radiographic Interpreter), and other various welding certifications.

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Robert G. Lorenzi Jr.

Business Agent - Zone 1

Robert is an experienced industry professional who has held a number of titles including Superintendent, General Foreman, Foreman, Journeyman Steamfitter, and Apprentice. In his current role as a Business Agent, he provides contractors with manpower and helps to maintain good labor relations while ensuring the maintenance of fair wages and hours.

Robert has always enjoyed working with his hands and creating things that stand the test of time. Being a part of the union is important to him, and he views his fellow members as family. Hard work has been a guiding principle throughout his career, and he is dedicated to maintaining high standards for himself and the union far into the future.

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Jim “Chip” Reynolds

Business Agent - Zone 2

A second-generation Steamfitter, Jim has been a member of Local 449 for over 26 years. Prior to becoming a Business Agent, he worked as a Building Trades Apprentice, Foreman (commercial and industrial jobs), and President. He was also a member of the Election Committee for six years.

Jim’s 26+ years of experience has given him the skill and understanding to successfully help resolve problems/conflicts that arise. He values the teamwork and comradery within the Steamfitters because it not only provides a network of support but also international recognition to its members. As a Business Agent, he is able to continually impact the organization in positive ways and ensure members receive fair and equal treatment now and in the future.

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Nicholas Kappas

Business Agent - Zone 3

Nick has worked as an Apprentice, Journeyman, Foreman (6 years), Estimator, Project Manager, and now as an Organizer. He is well versed on both the business and construction side  of the trades which has given him a comprehensive understanding of labor operations.

As an Organizer, Nick recruits new apprentices through post graduate trade schools, high school programs (Votech), and the nonunion labor force. He educates candidates about what the union provides, including ongoing education, competitive wages, and comprehensive benefits packages. He views being a union member as a life changing opportunity – as it has been for him – and is continually inspired to work hard for its current and future members.

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William A. Yocum

Business Agent - Zone 4

William Yocum was proudly initiated over 25 years ago. Since then, he has been an Apprentice, Journeyman, Union Steward, and Foreman, as well as a MES instructor. He has worked in all facets of the industry, both building trades and mechanical equipment service.

Giving back to the union is very important to Bill, and he has demonstrated that by contributing in several positions over the years. Prior to being elected Business Agent, he served as President, Union Trustee, and member of the JATC, as well as Recording Secretary for four terms. Bill is grateful for the education and career that being in Local 449 has allowed him, and he continues to pass that on to the next generation.

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James C. Kirsch

Business Agent - Zone 5

James Kirsch is a 2nd generation Steamfitter and has been a part of Local 449 since 1998, serving as an Apprentice, Journeyman, Foreman, Executive Board member, Organizer, and (now) a Business Agent. He was enrolled in the U.S. Army Reserves Corps of Engineers for nine years directly after High School. This military experience and training mixed with the responsibilities of a Foreman helped to hone his skills as a leader and enables him to effectively approach a variety of work situations.

As a Business Agent, he is proud to have been elected by his peers to be part of such an excellent leadership team. He looks forward to helping develop new goals for the union and maintaining the high standards already in place.

James has earned a Labor Combat Certificate in Organizing, and a National Building Trades Labor Law Certificate. He has also served on the Constitution Committee, Fraternal Fund Committee and has proudly represented Local 449 at the U.A. General Convention twice.

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Bill Panitzke

Business Agent - Zone 6

Bill Panitzke has over 25 years of experience with Steamfitters Local 449, during which time he has been an Apprentice, Service Technician, Instructor, Trustee, and is currently in his 6th year as a Business Agent.

Bill enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after High School. Following the Marines he applied for and got accepted into the building trades apprenticeship. A second-generation Steamfitter, the Steamfitters is his “dream job” because it allows him to work with his hands and work in a variety of places with many different people. Finding new members and assisting current ones has been an important and rewarding aspect of his work as a Business Agent.   It has enabled him to show new recruits a path to reach their full potential, changing lives for the better.

Bill also sits as the Vice President of the Great Lakes Building Trades and is on the board of the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority.

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Nicole Flynn

Administrative Assistant

Nicole is an accomplished administrative professional. Her responsibilities include processing dues and payments, tracking work history, monitoring marketing initiatives, assisting in website maintenance, and other tasks involved in Local 449 operations. Her work with the union has given her an understanding and appreciation of how the organization functions to ensure the continued growth and success of its membership. Excelling in the communication and interpersonal skills required for her role, she is proud to be part of the “glue” that helps to hold everything together.


Jacki Pahler

Office Manager

Jacki is an office professional who brings more than 30 years of administrative and accounting experience to her role as Office Manager for the Steamfitters Local Union 449. She works under the direction of the Unions Financial Secretary/Treasurer and maintains all the accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. Prior to her employment with the Steamfitters in 2001, she maintained the accounting, payroll and bookkeeping alongside the CFO for a local mechanical contractor for 14 years. She is a graduate of North Hills High School, is married and has a son. Jacki enjoys crafting, vacationing, and spending time with her family.


Becky Steigerwald

Administrative Assistant

Becky is from a long line of Steamfitters; her grandfather was at one time the coordinator of the school. With advanced degrees in sociology and psychology, her experience as both a teacher for autistic children and (later) her work at Allegheny General as a medical secretary has helped her develop finely tuned interpersonal communication and analytical skills. She has also worked for MSA, Mine Safety and Appliances in Cranberry township, which enabled her to see the benefits of working with trade organizations that promote the safety and wellbeing of their members.

At Local 449, she supports payroll, investments, dispatching, website updates, and other administrative tasks that expedite the organization’s smooth operation. She enjoys being part of the team and the learning opportunities her work provides.


interested in the steamfitters? steamfitters?

You can join the steamfitters as an apprentice. Experienced technicians are also encouraged to inquire about placement opportunities.