Mayor Kenney, Dr. Hite Announce the Expansion of the School District of Philadelphia’s Maintenance Apprenticeship Program
Program seeks to grow to 18 new Apprentices in only its second year
PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney joined the School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite to announce an expansion of the District’s Maintenance Apprenticeship Program. In just its first year, the program addresses the District’s need to attract, retain, and develop future talent and supports our mission to provide strong school-facing support and customer service.
“The Maintenance Apprenticeship Program gives our graduates the opportunity to put their skills to use with a steady career right out of school,” said Hite. “At the same time, it allows the District to build a sustainable workforce of highly-needed, trained employees. It’s truly a win-win and it only makes sense for us to expand this mutually beneficial partnership. We are thankful to our partner organizations across the city for making this program so successful.”
The District will triple its program when it expands to 18 new Apprentices next year, for a total of 24 Apprentices. Next year, the program will also likely expand to include areas of specialty in H.V.A.C. and steamfitting, in addition to the current specialties of electrical and plumbing.
“Initiatives like the Maintenance Apprenticeship Program are one of many ways that the School District sets up our city for long-term success,” said Mayor Kenney. “This particular program offers a career pipeline for skilled trade workers to develop right here in Philadelphia, preparing them for meaningful careers and ensuring we have a sustainable and talented workforce for the future. While we invest in early literacy and added student supports, we also must ensure that there are exciting opportunities for students when they graduate. I’m committed to working with the District to develop more career pathways for young adults in Philadelphia. We thank the apprentices for choosing to stay in Philadelphia and for starting their career by making a difference in our school communities.”
To be considered for the program, candidates must have at least six CTE credits or equivalent work experience, and must meet all application criteria and complete oral examinations. Those selected into the program are required to complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom instruction. Upon completion, Apprentices will become certified mechanics of their trade and are guaranteed full-time employment with the District.
Thursday’s event was also attended by Danielle Floyd, the District’s Chief of Operations, Ernie Bennett, President of 32BJ and SEIU, and all instructors and current Apprentices, including Antonio Lopez, a 2016 graduate of Edison High School.
“I had been doing plumbing for two years, and finally received this opportunity,” said Antonio Lopez, a plumbing Apprentice who graduated from Edison High School in 2016. “I am very happy to have this job and I am learning a lot.”
Partners of the program include the District’s Office of Career and Technical Education, Thomas Edison High School (providing classroom training), 32BJ SEIU District 1201, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprentice and Training Office.
Candidates interested in applying can visit https://jobs.philasd.org/apprenticeship-opportunities/ for more information and to apply. A YouTube video explaining the program can be found at youtube.com/watch?v=NPcOgy839OU.