The Build On Conference  was the perfect way to close out National Apprenticeship Week. On November 17th and 18th, Local 449 was once again represented at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, informing interested young people in the community about the benefits of entering the trades; specifically the union. “High School kids came to the convention center throughout the state to learn about the benefits of joining the building trades and more importantly, apprenticeships,” said Anthony Marshall.  

The week included Pennsylvania’s Governor, Josh Shapiro, and the Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry, Nancy Walker, coming to our Technology Center to talk about plans to invest in the future of our unions. Governor Shapiro shared his comprehensive plan to invest in apprenticeship programs, expand vo-tech, and bring career/technical education back into Pennsylvania classrooms. “Economic opportunity runs through places like this (Steamfitters Technology Center). I think we have to do a better job in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania investing in people like you so that in turn you can continue making our communities stronger, safer and more vibrant,” said Governor Shapiro.  

After his tour of the center, the Governor boasted of its opportunities. “When I think about freedom, when I think about opportunity. It runs through places like this and folks like you. I’m proud to be here making these investments in you and your future and all of our collective futures,” said Governor Shapiro. The Shapiro Administration has delivered on that commitment to prioritize workforce training and development by securing historic budget investments and creating new opportunities for Pennsylvania workers. When asked about the benefits of Steamfitters and Governor Shapiro’s plan, Local 449’s business manager Kenny Broadbent said, “Going to school for free off the backbone of contributions, starting health coverage from day one, two forms of retirement.. Our Governor realizes that we are an asset to the workforce and the state”. 

The 2023-24 budget secured $23.5 million to prepare more students for skilled careers, $6 million in pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship programming, and an additional $3.5 million to fund the Schools-to-Work Program to develop and expand career pathways for high school students via partnerships between schools, employers, organizations, and the Commonwealth.) Credit: 

For more information on the Apprenticeship program, please visit the apprenticeship section of the website: For more information on Governor Shapiro’s plans to invest in the trades and programs like ours, please visit his website: